Rommel, Africa's Desert Fox, Nazi General

From the Wikipedia:

Erwin Rommel

Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1973-012-43, Erwin Rommel.jpgIn the course of the war, during parliamentary debate following the fall of Tobruk, Prime Minister Winston Churchill spoke of Rommel as a "daring and skillful opponent... a great General", comments for which the British Parliament considered a censure vote against Churchill. Writing about him years later, Churchill offered the following:

"His ardour, and daring, inflicted grievous disasters upon us. But he deserves the salute which I made him, in the House of Commons, in January 1942. He also deserves our respect, because although a loyal German soldier, he came to hate Hitler and all his works, and took part in the conspiracy to rescue Germany by displacing the maniac and tyrant. For this he paid the forfeit of his life. In the sombre wars of modern democracy, there is little place for chivalry.[190]"

Rommel is regarded as having been a humane and professional officer.[4] His Afrika Korps was never accused of war crimes, and soldiers captured during his Africa campaign were reported to have been treated humanely.[5] Orders to kill Jewish soldiers, civilians and captured commandos were ignored.[6] Late in the war, Rommel was linked to the conspiracy to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Because Rommel was a national hero, Hitler desired to eliminate him quietly. He forced Rommel to commit suicide with a cyanide pill, in return for assurances that Rommel's family would not be persecuted following his death. He was given a state funeral, and it was announced that Rommel had succumbed to his injuries from an earlier strafing of his staff car in Normandy...

Dudes, I don't have Erwin Rommel's discipline.  But I can take credit for sacrificing my position as "E-Waste Goodie" early on.  There are many Rommels among the E-Stewards, people who actually know that innocent Africans are being persecuted and arrested.   When the revolution comes, they will deserve pardons.   But the time is running out for them to evict their fearless priestatollah on their own terms.

I could name a few E-Stewards here who really are not racists, and who wince at the way African, Asian, and South American geeks are depicted in the blunt and tasteless E-Waste Hoax.

The problem is that because Rommel was cautious, he can never quite be considered a hero.  He can be respected, as a regretful Nazi  who behaved honorably under the circumstances.

But he failed, ultimately, to make the Huckleberry Finn sacrifice.  He committed suicide.  But he did not say "All right then, I'll go to hell" and sacrifice all for a friend Jim with no options.   I'm hoping that more of us can come out and be Huck Finns for Hurricane Joe Benson, and that fewer of us will play Erwin Rommel.

Mark Twain and Erwin Rommel overlapped.  Twain saw the Missouri slave trade, and the US civil war, in his 20s.  Rommel saw the Holocaust.

Twain made change because he wrote honestly about it... he carried it as far as the society, then, would let him.  Because he carried it as far as he did, Harper Lee had a shorter carry in authoring "To Kill a Mockingbird" in 1960.   I overlap with Harper Lee, no more in common than Twain with Rommel.  But just as the USA eventually elected a black president, an African state will have a renowned world leader.


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