Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Statement: Irwin Rommel's Son

The following is the statement, translated from the German, of Manfried Rommel, son of Field Marshal Irwin Rommel, forced to commit suicide in 1944.

"...I arrived at Herrlingen at 7:00 a.m. My father was at breakfast. A cup was quickly brought for me and we breakfasted together, afterwards taking a stroll in the garden.
'At twelve o'clock to-day two Generals are coming to discuss my future employment,' my father started the conversation. 'So today will decide what is planned for me; whether a People's Court or a new command in the East.'
'Would you accept such a command,' I asked.
He took me by the arm, and replied: 'My dear boy, our enemy in the East is so terrible that every other consideration has to give way before it. If he succeeds in overrunning Europe, even only temporarily, it will be the end of everything which has made life appear worth living. Of course I would go.'
Shortly before twelve o'clock, my father went to his room on the first floor and changed from the brown civilian jacket which he usually wore over riding-breeches, to his Africa tunic, which was his favorite uniform on account of its open collar.
At about twelve o'clock a dark-green car with a Berlin number stopped in front of our garden gate. The only men in the house apart from my father, were Captain Aldinger [ Rommel's aide] , a badly wounded war-veteran corporal and myself. Two generals - Burgdorf, a powerful florid man, and Maisel, small and slender - alighted from the car and entered the house. They were respectful and courteous and asked my father's permission to speak to him alone. Aldinger and I left the room. 'So they are not going to arrest him,' I thought with relief, as I went upstairs to find myself a book.

"I shall be dead
in a quarter
of an hour"

A few minutes later I heard my father come upstairs and go into my mother's room. Anxious to know what was afoot, I got up and followed him. He was standing in the middle of the room, his face pale. 'Come outside with me,' he said in a tight voice. We went into my room. 'I have just had to tell your mother,' he began slowly, 'that I shall be dead in a quarter of an hour.' He was calm as he continued: 'To die by the hand of one's own people is hard. But the house is surrounded and Hitler is charging me with high treason. ' "In view of my services in Africa," ' he quoted sarcastically, 'I am to have the chance of dying by poison. The two generals have brought it with them. It's fatal in three seconds. If I accept, none of the usual steps will be taken against my family, that is against you. They will also leave my staff alone.'
'Do you believe it?' I interrupted. 'Yes,' he replied. 'I believe it. It is very much in their interest to see that the affair does not come out into the open. By the way, I have been charged to put you under a promise of the strictest silence. If a single word of this comes out, they will no longer feel themselves bound by the agreement.'
I tried again. 'Can't we defend ourselves…' He cut me off short. 'There's no point,' he said. 'It's better for one to die than for all of us to be killed in a shooting affray. Anyway, we've practically no ammunition.' We briefly took leave of each other. 'Call Aldinger, please,' he said.
Aldinger had meanwhile been engaged in conversation by the General's escort to keep him away from my father. At my call, he came running upstairs. He, too, was struck cold when he heard what was 
German prisoners are
marched through the
streets of Aachen - the
first German city to
fall. October 1944
happening. My father now spoke more quickly. He again said how useless it was to attempt to defend ourselves. 'It's all been prepared to the last detail. I'm to be given a state funeral. I have asked that it should take place in Ulm. [a town near Rommel's home] In a quarter of an hour, you, Aldinger, will receive a telephone call from the Wagnerschule reserve hospital in Ulm to say that I've had a brain seizure on the way to a conference.' He looked at his watch. 'I must go, they've only given me ten minutes.' He quickly took leave of us again. Then we went downstairs together.
We helped my father into his leather coat. Suddenly he pulled out his wallet. 'There's still 150 marks in there,' he said. 'Shall I take the money with me?'
'That doesn't matter now, Herr Field Marshal,' said Aldinger.
My father put his wallet carefully back in his pocket. As he went into the hall, his little dachshund which he had been given as a puppy a few months before in France, jumped up at him with a whine of joy. 'Shut the dog in the study, Manfred,' he said, and waited in the hall with Aldinger while I removed the excited dog and pushed it through the study door. Then we walked out of the house together. The two generals were standing at the garden gate. We walked slowly down the path, the crunch of the gravel sounding unusually loud.
As we approached the generals they raised their right hands in salute. 'Herr Field Marshal,' Burgdorf said shortly and stood aside for my father to pass through the gate. A knot of villagers stood outside the drive…
The car stood ready. The S.S. driver swung the door open and stood to attention. My father pushed his Marshal's baton under his left arm, and with his face calm, gave Aldinger and me his hand once more before getting in the car.
Hitler's wreath is carried in Rommel's
funeral procession Oct. 18, 1944
The two generals climbed quickly into their seats and the doors were slammed. My father did not turn again as the car drove quickly off up the hill and disappeared round a bend in the road. When it had gone Aldinger and I turned and walked silently back into the house…
Twenty minutes later the telephone rang. Aldinger lifted the receiver and my father's death was duly reported.
It was not then entirely clear, what had happened to him after he left us. Later we learned that the car had halted a few hundred yards up the hill from our house in an open space at the edge of the wood. Gestapo men, who had appeared in force from Berlin that morning, were watching the area with instructions to shoot my father down and storm the house if he offered resistance. Maisel and the driver got out of the car, leaving my father and Burgdorf inside. When the driver was permitted to return ten minutes or so later, he saw my father sunk forward with his cap off and the marshal's baton fallen from his hand."


John Mc Gowan said...

Hi Peter,

Are there any transcripts from the Munich agreement with Chamberlain and Hitler?.

I would love to see Statement Analysis done on this meeting.

Was chamberlain duped by Hitler?.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Good question, John.

I know that commentators love to say how terribly fooled Chamberlain was, especially in the letter he wrote to his sister about trusting Hitler.

Let's search.


maggie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...


Peter I would love to read analysis on some statements regarding the missing flight 370. There are many statements out there from a number of countries. What I am most curious about is whether some official representatives show signs of deception and some do not and would that then mean some countries know more than others? Or is it the case that no one has knowledge of the jet's fate and cause?

Unknown said...


Hi Anon 12:14

I'm glad you asked about statements on the lost flight. The other day someone posted an OT which was a statement made about the plane, but I can't remember which article.

(Seems like it contained passive language, which may be due to the fact that they really don't know?)

Unknown said...

Hi John and Peter,

This article is heartbreaking. I would also love to read analysis on any transcripts available.

I went to the Holocaust Museum in DC years ago. I believe they have a website. I'll check it for something we can possibly use.

Unknown said...

I checked the Holocaust Museum website and it contains extensive transcripts and survivor accounts, but when I tried to open them it repeatedly redirected me. (It may be my device, I'm still learning to use it, lol)

If either of you want to try your luck.

John Mc Gowan said...


Hope for Hailey
THREE YEARS, THREE MONTHS and FOUR DAYS Sweet, Beautiful Hailey had her life ripped from her and still no word from any le agency about Hailey's case. Please pray they answer our calls. Hailey's petition was sent to the Texas Attorney General's office who then forwarded on to their Criminal Justice Department. Thank you again to Frankie and Michele for writing the petition and sending it to news stations and papers all over. Thank you to Marc Klaas, Carrie McGonigle and Brad Dennis for supporting Hailey's petition. We appreciate that you stood behind the petition, Hailey and her family.
To Scurry County Sheriffs Dpt, shame on you for not even acknowledging Hailey and her family after receiving 700 signatures begging for movement in Hailey's case.

"Had her life RIPPED from her"

Personal, internal, subjective dictionary?.

The capitals at the begging of the statement were not added by me. I did capitalize the word "Ripped" for emphasis.

Anonymous said...


Statement analysis fans may find the quotes in this article amusing :) Look at the father's expression in the picture.

Tania Cadogan said...

Good grief, he doesn't look happy, how much of his scowl is down to having an unexpected baby and how much is down to the hair on his head migrating south for the winter?

GeekRad said...

Thanks John. Regarding Hailey... It sure doesn't hurt that the Texas Attorney General's office and Criminal Justice Department are involved but I am not holding my breath that it will help. With all the agencies involved currently we still can't get anyone to admit to taking the lead. With no-one accountable I feel it dilutes the effort. I hope that isn't the case but I know in my business the only way something gets done is for someone to be the lead and be accountable for getting it done.

Anonymous said...

President oh balmer is at fort hood,a shooting at army camp.

Kellie said...


Holly Bobo murder suspect faces new charge

GeekRad said...

Thanks for the link Kellie.

"An inmate told TBI investigators that when Adams learned that inmate was going to be transferred to the Obion County Jail, where Adams' brother is being held, he asked the inmate to pass a message along to his brother, according to the affidavit. The station reports that the message said, in part, "He's the one who started this s*** and if he don't shut his mouth he will be in the hole beside her."

In the hole beside her. And threatening his brother. If the inmate he asked to pass the message to his brother isn't lying. Adam's lawyer better statr talking to him about a plea bargain if he tells LE where to find the body. I cannot imagine how Holly's family must feel after reading that statement. Surely someon can convince Adams to tell them where she is.

Mary said...

I couldn't imagine. What really stto out was how stoic each one was. We've surely become a nation is whimps, because I just know I'd be crying.

Do you remember a blog entry, titled something close to 'Cindy Anthony is a Serpent?' (Haha) If I'm not mistaking, it was the third time you'd put a SA article online. To date, it is still my favorite SA entry you've done. If you happen to still have it, would you mind posting it once more, even if only temporary? I know others here would enjoy it, as well. Also, are you still working on your book? Inquiring minds wanna know!

Thank you!

Unknown said...

Hi Geekrad-

Do you know if the message was verbal or if it was a letter or note to deliver?

The way it is worded, 'the message said, in part' makes it sound like part of a written correspondence. (to me)

I hope this brings a resolution to this terrible situation for Holly's family and friends.

GeekRad said...

The news article said that he asked an inmate to tell his brother and a third inmate overheard them and alerted authorities. That is a very alarming statement. Not just the threat to his brother but the reference to joining her in the hole. His lawyer should be talking to him about a plea bargain. Those must be some pround parents- one son in prison and another in jail.

Unknown said...

His face made me laugh Hobs. He looks like the mother SHOULD look, shell shocked, lol.

These women always say there was no change in their bodies, and no indication at all that they were 9mos pregnant with a 9lb 3oz baby!! That is SO hard to believe, but every time I hear a story like this, I realize how much our mind influences our reality.

A woman who knows she is pregnant experiences and contributes EVERY symptom imaginable to the pregnancy...but a woman who doesn't know she is pregnant experiences a total lack of symptoms, even to the point of ignoring labor pains until she delivers in an ambulance or a bathtub!

I guess what my dad always said IS's all about your attitude, and your perspective!

Unknown said...

Indeed Geek, and their mother was STILL defending Adam!

trustmeigetit said...

Holly Bobo suspect arrested and charged with no body

Heather Elvis suspects arrested and charged with no body

Jhessye Shockley suspect arrested and charged with no body

Small progress but it gives me hope.

AND, I hope it causes sleepless nights for Justin, Becky and Sergio, Gerry and Kate, Greg and Ericka, Billie and Shawn etc etc etc etc

Doty said...

I am very sceptical of jail house snitches. There is too great n incentive to lie in order to gain something from the system. I also think it shows how weak the states case must be if they are going to need a criminal's assistance (the snitch) to convict.
I think its good that a person can be convicted without a body or else anyone could get away with murder simply by being able to effectively hide the body. That said, there must be some very compelling evidence lest innocent people get wrongly convicted.

somanyways said...

rape interrogation tapes -- maybe something good to analyze.

John Mc Gowan said...

Hi somanyways,

Very interesting, i'm going to watch 20/20 and do some more research on this to see if there are more first hand accounts/statements on what allegedly happened.

Tania Cadogan said...

off topic

The mother of missing Baby Kate testified today as the first witness at a hearing to determine if the child's father should stand trial for murder.

Sean Phillips, 23, from northern Michigan, is charged with murder in the disappearance of four-month-old Katherine Phillips, who is known as 'Baby Kate'. She hasn’t been seen since 2011 and her body has never been found.

The baby's mother Ariel Courtland took the stand on Thursday, where she clutched the tiny pink shorts and floral dress that she had last seen her daughter wearing.
Miss Courtland told judge that she did not believe in her heart that her former partner could deliberately harm his infant daughter, according to a WZZM report.

However she said that Phillips would not acknowledge his daughter, hiding birth announcements with his name in his car so that his parents would not find them

Prosecutors said previously that Phillips took the baby from her mother because he feared a court-ordered paternity test would show he was the father.

The court hearing started on Thursday in Ludington, about 80 miles northwest of Grand Rapids, and is expected to last for two days.

Phillips has been in prison since 2012 for a crime related to the case. He was sentenced to 10 years behind bars for unlawful imprisonment for failing to return the child to her mother.

Investigators have tried to find a body by examining seeds and other plant material on Phillips’ shoes. There have been extensive searches in Mason County.

Baby Katherine was four-and-a-half months old when last seen June 29, 2011, in the Ludington area, about 80 miles northwest of Grand Rapids.

Baby Kate's mother Ariel Courtland testified last year that she last saw her daughter in a car seat in the back of Phillips' vehicle.

Police found Phillips about three hours after Ms Courtland reported her daughter's disappearance.

Officers found an empty car seat and diaper bag in the trunk and found the infant’s balled-up, inside-out clothing in his pocket.

Investigators have said that seeds and other material on Phillips' shoes could be crucial to locating a body.

Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola said that since Phillips' conviction on the related charge, detectives have spent ‘countless hours’ on the case.

‘This continuing investigation has included review of biological evidence, site visits, and the enlistment of experts from all over the world who are preeminent in their fields,’ Mr Spaniola said.

In July 2012, Phillips wrote a shocking letter from behind bars to Baby Kate's mother, confessing to killing the child in a fit of rage and then dumping her body in the middle of nowhere.

Kate Phillips - known in the area as Baby Kate - disappeared on July 29, 2011, and Phillips was arrested the same day.

In his letter published last September, the convict wrote how he ripped the child's car seat from the vehicle without realizing she was sitting in it, fatally injuring Baby Kate as she is thrown to the ground.

The open murder charge means a jury can consider both first- and second-degree murder.

Read more:

If i remember correctly we have covered this case and Peter analysed his letter.

Deception was indicated, he murder the baby and dumped her remains

Kellie said...

You're welcome GeekRad !

Should I post entire articles here in the future or just the link? Since it's not a statement for analysis I thought it's better to just post the link. But maybe not?

Skeptical said...

Such an absorbing account of what happened to Field Marshall Rommel. It is interesting to note that it is written consistently in the past tense. It sounds as if his son is recalling from memory what happened that day.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting how the son describes his father's pale face while giving the news, the sound of walking to the car on the gravel, etc. Those last moments with his father were burned into his memory and it show by the way he describes it

Red Ryder said...

Hobnob said, "Good grief, he doesn't look happy, how much of his scowl is down to having an unexpected baby and how much is down to the hair on his head migrating south for the winter?"

I had to go see for myself after reading your comment Hobs. The visual of that shock of black hair sticking straight up on top of his head is too much! He would look like a character from a Tarantino movie! Cute baby:)

John Mc Gowan said...

OT Update.

Myrtle Beach area newspaper group appeals judge's denial of Heather Elvis warrants.

Doty said...

I'm an ex con.

C5H11ONO said...

"It's fatal in three seconds."
I gather they must have lied to him. His death must have been longer and more painful.