Rommel's last moments before committing suicide revealed in son's letter

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 31, 2012 09:10 hrs

German general Erwin Rommel, who was accused of plotting to kill Hitler, told his teenage son he had been ordered to kill himself by the Nazi dictator, a newly discovered letter has revealed.

In a revealing letter, Manfred tells of his father's last moments after he was ordered to commit suicide by Adolf Hitler, the Daily Mail reported.

His father explained to him he had to poison himself after being implicated in a plot to assassinate the German leader.

The 15-year-old described watching Rommel, known as the 'Desert Fox', being led into a staff car by two German generals minutes later.

Manfred's account then details how his mother took a phone call from a local hospital just 15 minutes later to inform her that her husband had died.

Field marshal Rommel died within five seconds of biting on a cyanide capsule while he sat in the back of the car as it drove away from his home to the hospital.

Manfred's typed-written account was made on April 27, 1945, when the Allies had all but won the war in Europe, and is believed to have been dictated by him as it is in English.

The two-page document has come to light after it sold at auction as part of an archive of other wartime mementoes.

Rommel was forced into the 'honourable' suicide in October 1944 to spare his family suffering.

He was accused of plotting against Hitler and given the choice of suicide or a court trial which would have led to his conviction and execution and pain for his family.

Hitler was keen to avoid the public show trial of his most famous general and it seems that a deal was done in order to eliminate Rommel quietly.

Rommel died 'of his wounds' on October 14, 1944. He was given a state funeral but it was later revealed he committed suicide.

He agreed to kill himself by taking a cyanide pill, in return for assurances that his family would not be punished. (ANI)

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