Erwin Rommel was a German Field Marshall who refused to follow orders to kill Jewish soldiers and civilians. Hitler forced him to commit suicide in 1944
Erwin Rommel was a German Field Marshall in World War II.
He was nicknamed 'the Desert Fox' because his leadership during the North African campaign established him as one of the most skilled commanders of desert warfare.
Enemy soldiers captured during his African campaign were treated humanely and units under Rommel's command had never been accused of war crimes.
He was a highly efficient and professional officer, but he refused to follow orders to kill Jewish soldiers, civilians and captured commandos and was therefore very much respected by soldiers of both sides.
When he was suspected of being part of a conspiracy to assassinate Hitler late in the War, Hitler was aware of his popularity. He needed to get rid of Rommel quietly, but the man had become a national hero.
Hitler forced Rommel to commit suicide with a cyanide pill in exchange for his family safety and pardon from persecution after his death. He died on 14 October 1944 and received a state funeral. The public was informed that he succumbed to injuries he sustained in Normandy.
For decades after the war had ended, veterans from both sides would visit Rommel's grave site. Erwin Rommel is the only member of the Third Reich that has a museum dedicated to him.