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Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte

Ed. by Altrichter, Helmut / Möller, Horst / Szöllösi-Janze, Margit / Wirsching, Andreas


CiteScore 2017: 0.14

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.104
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.940

Online
ISSN
2196-7121
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Volume 61, Issue 3

Issues

Erwin Rommel

Widerstandskämpfer oder Nationalsozialist?

Peter Lieb
Published Online: 2013-10-16 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/vfzg.2013.0015

Vorspann

Wer war Erwin Rommel? Hitlers Lieblingsgeneral und überzeugter Nationalsozialist oder ein ritterlich kämpfender Offizier alter Schule, der letztlich sogar den Weg in den Widerstand gefunden hat und dafür 1944 mit seinem Leben bezahlen musste? Diese Fragen sind immer wieder gestellt, kontrovers diskutiert, aber bis heute nicht abschließend beantwortet worden. Peter Lieb setzt sich kritisch mit der biographischen Literatur auseinander, nimmt die wichtigsten Stationen von Rommels militärischer Karriere im Lichte der einschlägigen Quellen in den Blick und kommt schließlich zu einem ebenso differenzierten wie überraschenden Urteil.

Abstract

Field Marshal Erwin Rommel is certainly the most widely known German general of the Second World War. Particularly in English-speaking countries, the image of a “gallant” officer and military genius has persisted until today. In Germany this reputation has somewhat faded during the past 20 years; in fact, Rommel has become one of the most controversial Wehrmacht generals. His critics deny his participation in the 20 July plot against Hitler and, instead, emphasise his loyalty to the dictator until his forced suicide. Besides, the opinion has emerged that Rommel was even a war criminal. This article summarises the lengthy and partly passionate discussions in academia and in the general public and also scrutinises new primary sources. On several occasions in his career Rommel demonstrably ignored criminal orders by Hitler and the OKW, but was also integrated into a radical occupation policy during his short spell in Northern Italy in 1943. While he was definitely not a central figure in the 20 July plot, (new) evidence also suggests that he was closer to the military resistance than has been claimed in recent times.

Keywords: Erwin Rommel; Military Resistance; National Socialism

About the article

Published Online: 2013-10-16

Published in Print: 2013-10-15


Citation Information: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, Volume 61, Issue 3, Pages 303–344, ISSN (Online) 2196-7121, ISSN (Print) 0042-5702, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/vfzg.2013.0015.

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© 2013 Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag GmbH, Rosenheimer Str. 145, 81671 München.Get Permission

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