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They seem very grateful. What a bunch of morons.

I found this interview in Spiegel Online with Erwin Rommels son. Its is an interesting point of view of D day. Plus, he has some positive words concerning the US and the war in Iraq.


Could somebody PLEASE translate that interview woth Rommel's son for those of us who don't speak German?

Well, Georgie said we stand by our friends.

Friends come and go.

Isn't one complaint about America that we're superficial when it comes to friendships?

Maybe this time we'll be really, really, really late.

maybe I'll get to that after office hours, so if you have the patience and if it is not translated in 10 hours, I'll give it a chance, because Rommel is such a wise man.
As you might know he is a very reputable man and the former (really popular) mayor of Stuttgart.

First part of a very fast translation of the interview:

(please forgive my sloppyness)

Manfred Rommel about D-Day

"Like Waterloo - on a global scale"

MR, 75, ex Mayor of Stuttgart and son of Generalfeldmarschall Erwin
Rommel remembers D-Day. In the interview with SPON he describes the
role of his father and assesses the participation of chancellor
Schröder at the celbrations of the 60th anniverary this weekend.

SPON: Mr. Rommel, June 6th 1944, the day of the invasion, you have
been 15 years old and lived in Herrlingen near Ulm. Your father was
at home for vacation.

MR: I remember that this morning my father was called of a chief of
staff. General Speidel told him the disembarkment may already have
taken place - in one hour the situation should clarify. My father
called again at 9 or 10 and it turned out that the invasion has
taken place.

SPON: What was the reaction of your father?

MR: He immediately went to his car and drove to France to the HQ
which he reached in the afternoon. His original plan was to talk to
Hitler concerning the positions of the German troups in France which
my father consider insufficient.

SPON: Did your father report to his home about the situation of the

MR: We only heard about that later. When my father arrived the main
things were already over. 120 km south of the front 2 tank divisions
were stationed. They were summoned not earlier than afternoon June
6th when it was already too late.

SPON: Could the Germans have repelled the allied attack with these

MR: Difficult to say. Sure was that infantry in the mined positions
on the beach was not capable to repell the invasion. One relied on
the arrival of the tank divisions in time. In German staffs there
was a big discussion about the defense strategy already before the
invasio. The "Russian" Generals had the opinion theat it was
necessary to let the allied forces into France in order to kick them
out later in a big tank battle. My father said the allied air force
was so superior that every attempt to to this would be crashed. That'
s how it came then.

SPON: Today there is hapiness that the invasio suceeded because the
Allies liberated Germany and Europe from national sozialism.

MR: That is not completely incorrect. If the Allies had not landed,
sometime later the Russians would have destroyed [?] Germany. But:
At that time it was not known that the German army fighted their own
interests. The Germans feared at that time the unconditional
surrender. They feared that the complete people could be held
accountable for the commands of Adolf Hitler. Many wanted a peace
with conditions. A lot of military men thought that in case of a
victory in the normandy more troups could be sent to the East to
stop the Russians.

SPON: But instead ot that there was the complete defeat.

MR: If one knew that in 1944 that there would be German democratic
gouvernments in the western part of the country as early as 1946,
that US secretary Byrnes would deliver the "speech of hope" here in
Stuttgart and that the Germans would return o the community of
nations - the fighting spirit would have not been that big.

SPON: How did your father evaluate D-Day - as liberation or as
defeat? [[Peter: see how stupid the question is - Rommel died 1944]]

MR: He didn't evaluate it - because it was not clear yet what the
Allies would do. If he had seen it as liberation he wouldn't have
put as much in it in France. But when it was clear that the invasion
couldn't be repelled he had the opinion that the war must be ended
at any cost in order to avoid unneccessary casualties - which in
fact happened after Hitler managed to fight the war to its bitter
end. Even 1945 we tried a counterattack at Crailsheim to save our

SPON: 4 months after D-Day you experienced how your father (wounded
in Fance) was picked up by two generals...

MR: ...they told him he is convicted to have knowledge about the
assassination attempt on Hitler. They told him if he used the poison
the usual measures against his family and his
staff wouldn't be taken. Because my father was convinced that Hitler
would not be so stupid to present him before the Volksgerichtshof he
said to himself it would be better to concede. At least there would
be hope that his family and co-conspirators would get away. He also
wanted to avoid being interviewed like the conspirators in order to
avoid interviewers find even more names.

SPON: When your father was picked up you yourself have been flak
aide in Hitlers army. What went on inside you?

MR: Thank god I experienced happier days in my life.

SPON: You once said that you would have liked to ask your father how
it was possible that this war was waged - against the interests of
the German people. Do you have an answer for yourself?

MR: It is evident: It was the result of propaganda and bondage and
continous brain washing. Ther was no right of free speech but the
obligation to shut up and to follow commands. My father e.g. was
permanently monitored. Bormanns files say that he was a pessimist
and defetist. Many didn't see any perspective any more and only
feared the soviet union - which surely had her reasons because of
the Gemran polcies. One has to concede that to the Soviets.

Part 2: (fast and sloppy again)

SPON: That sounds like your father was a permanently monitored command receiver. But in fact he was one of the highest commanders in the Wehrmacht.

MR: One does not exclude the other.

SPON: You were coordinator for German-French coordination. What was your motivation?

MR: German-French friendship was always a concern of me. I also have very good relations to the UK. The offer of reconciliation from the Americans, Britons and French has to be seen as historical piece of luck. There is no precedence for this in world history that the winners in only a short time did not call on her victory than for a good relation with the defeated.

SPON: 1984 and 1994 the then chancellor Kohl did not want to participate at the anniversaries - and President Mitterand was releived about that.

MR: I fully understand that. A German head of government is in a dilemma: He welcomes the end of Nazi tyrrany but cannot celebrate and pretend to belong to the winners and at the same time forget thousands of German war dead.

SPON: Chancellor Schröder has accepted the invitation of J. Chirac.

MR: I think it's right for Schröder to attend. He has been invited by the Allies and does good if he accepts the gesture of reconcilation.

SPON: US and UK vets have sharply criticised his participation.

MR: Because of the successful landing in the Normandy we live in a free world. As a consequence we have to live with criticism of our behaviour. BTW I war invited by US vets but can't attend because of helth reasons. I am convinced that the majority of Americans welcome the invitation of Schröder.

SPON: In spite of the non-support of the chancellor of the Iraq war.

MR: Even more becaouse of this Schroeder has to use every opportunity to reconstruct the old solidarity between USA, UK, F and D. There is a lot to repair. The continuous snif[ing?] about the Americans schould make place for a more differtiated kind of view.

SPON: [German phrase making fun about the USA reportedly having some problems in Iraq]

MR: The torture things are horrible but you can be 100% sure that the American democracy will take care of these cases and find a solution.

SPON: Along the beaches Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha and Utah there are planned 17 official celebrations at the weekend. 1 Million visitors and 17 heads of states and governments are expected. Is this dimension adequate to the event?

MR: Yes, because it has been a world scale event. Like Waterloo, only in world format.

[German phrase making fun about the USA reportedly having some problems in Iraq]

Can this phrase be translated?

@Edward Yee

"Can this phrase be translated?"

The meaning is, "The Americans haven't exactly covered themselves with glory in Iraq."

Thanks Helian,

I hope I came close to the point - I was in kind of a hurry.

From a soldier here in OIF, thank you. The day the French institute sharia (not that far off, it seems) we need to remove our war dead from the fields in France and bring them home.

Thank you for translating.

Peter - thanks for the translation - I appreciate it.

Nothing like the French love of liberte, fraternite, egalite. As so lovingly demonstrated in Haiti, Algeria, Cochin China, etc...

I am truly ashamed that my last name
is of French origin.

Tony LaVanway
South Haven, MI

Thanks so much for the translation of the interview with Manfred Rommel. Your readers might be interested to know that he is one of the very few Germans who have been designated an Honorary Citizen of Jerusalem.

Man, you have some serious luntics over there in France.

And lunatics too!

Peter, thanks a lot for the Rommel interview translation, it's much more clear than google's translator which was incomplete anyway.

What a waste it was, saving their sorry asses.

Don't be ashamed, Tony. You're just further proof that the French shipped all their brains and their balls overseas long ago.

Diggs, 60% are already out wherever W was yesterday. Read that yesterday.

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