Historical records matching Manfred Rommel
About Manfred Rommel
Manfred Rommel, Hon. CBE (born December 24, 1928) is a German politician (CDU), who was Oberbürgermeister (Lord Mayor) of Stuttgart from 1974 until 1996. He is one of the most popular local politicians of the CDU.
Rommel was born in Stuttgart, the only son of WWII Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and Lucia Maria Mollin. At the age of 14, he entered service in the Luftwaffe, serving at an anti-aircraft battery. Later, Manfred considered joining the Waffen SS, but his father opposed it. After his father was forced to commit suicide for his alleged complicity in the July 20 Plot, he deserted from the Wehrmacht and surrendered to General de Lattre de Tassigny's French First Army.
Rommel collaborated with Basil Liddell-Hart in the edition of The Rommel Papers, a collection of diaries, letters and notes that his father wrote during and after his military campaigns. In 1947, he took his Abitur in Biberach an der Riß and went on to study law at the University of Tübingen. In 1956, he started his career by becoming a high ranking civil servant and later state secretary in the state-government of Baden-Württemberg.
In 1974, Rommel succeeded Arnulf Klett as Oberbürgermeister of Stuttgart by winning 58.5% of the votes in the second round of elections, defeating Peter Conradi of the SPD. He was re-elected after the first round of elections in 1982 with 69.8% and in 1990 with 71.7% of the votes. As the mayor of Stuttgart, he was also known for his effort to give the Red Army Faction terrorists who had committed suicide at the Stuttgart-Stammheim prison a proper burial, despite the concern that the graves would become a pilgrimage point for radical leftists. While Oberbürgermeister, he entered a much publicised friendship with U.S. Army Major General George S. Patton IV, the son of his father's World War II adversary, George S. Patton, who was assigned to the nearby U.S. military headquarters. In addition to relationship between their fathers, Rommel and Patton had a common birthday of December 24. He was also friends of nearly 30 years with David Montgomery, 2nd Viscount Montgomery of Alamein son of his father's other great adversary Field Marshal Montgomery.
In a 1996 celebration at the Württemberg State Theatre, Manfred Rommel received the highest German civil distinction, the Bundesverdienstkreuz. In his speech, Helmut Kohl put particular emphasis on the good relations that were kept and built upon between France and Germany during Rommel's tenure as Oberbürgermeister of Stuttgart. A few days after this distinction was given to Rommel, the city of Stuttgart offered him the Honorary Citizen Award.
Having retired from politics in 1996, Rommel is still in demand as an author and speaker, despite suffering from Parkinson's disease. Occasionally, he writes articles for the Stuttgarter Zeitung. He has a daughter named Catherine