Manfred Rommel
Manfred Rommel, Hon. CBE
CBE and C.B.E. are abbreviations for "Commander of the Order of the British Empire", a grade in the Order of the British Empire.Other uses include:* Chemical and Biochemical Engineering...

 (born December 24, 1928) is a German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 politician (CDU
Christian Democratic Union (Germany)
The Christian Democratic Union of Germany is a Christian democratic and conservative political party in Germany. It is regarded as on the centre-right of the German political spectrum...

), who served as Lord Mayor
Lord Mayor
The Lord Mayor is the title of the Mayor of a major city, with special recognition.-Commonwealth of Nations:* In Australia it is a political position. Australian cities with Lord Mayors: Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle, Parramatta, Perth, Sydney, and Wollongong...

 of Stuttgart
Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million ....

 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
Erwin Rommel
Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel , popularly known as the Desert Fox , was a German Field Marshal of World War II. He won the respect of both his own troops and the enemies he fought....

 and Lucia Maria Mollin. At the age of 14, he entered service in the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

, 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
July 20 Plot
On 20 July 1944, an attempt was made to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Führer of the Third Reich, inside his Wolf's Lair field headquarters near Rastenburg, East Prussia. The plot was the culmination of the efforts of several groups in the German Resistance to overthrow the Nazi-led German government...

, he deserted from the Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

 and surrendered to General de Lattre de Tassigny
Jean de Lattre de Tassigny
Jean Joseph Marie Gabriel de Lattre de Tassigny, GCB, MC was a French military hero of World War II and commander in the First Indochina War.-Early life:...

's French First Army.

Rommel collaborated with Basil Liddell-Hart in the publication 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
Abitur is a designation used in Germany, Finland and Estonia for final exams that pupils take at the end of their secondary education, usually after 12 or 13 years of schooling, see also for Germany Abitur after twelve years.The Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife, often referred to as...

 in Biberach an der Riß
Biberach an der Riß
Biberach is a town in the south of Germany. It is the capital of Biberach district, in the Upper Swabia region of the German state of Baden-Württemberg...

 and went on to study law at the University of Tübingen
Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen is a public university located in the city of Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is one of Germany's oldest universities, internationally noted in medicine, natural sciences and the humanities. In the area of German Studies it has been ranked first among...

. In 1956, he started his career by becoming a high-ranking civil servant and later state secretary in the state government of Baden-Württemberg
Baden-Württemberg is one of the 16 states of Germany. Baden-Württemberg is in the southwestern part of the country to the east of the Upper Rhine, and is the third largest in both area and population of Germany's sixteen states, with an area of and 10.7 million inhabitants...


In 1974, Rommel succeeded Arnulf Klett
Arnulf Klett
Arnulf Klett was a German lawyer and politician...

 as Oberbürgermeister of Stuttgart by winning 58.5% of the votes in the second round of elections, defeating Peter Conradi
Peter Conradi
Peter Conradi is a British author and journalist.-Biography:He is the author of The Red Ripper: Inside the Mind of Russia's Most Brutal Serial Killer ; Mad Vlad: Vladimir Zhirinovksy and the New Russian Nationalism and Hitler's Piano Player...

 of the SPD
Social Democratic Party of Germany
The Social Democratic Party of Germany is a social-democratic political party in Germany...

. 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
Red Army Faction
The radicalized were, like many in the New Left, influenced by:* Sociological developments, pressure within the educational system in and outside Europe and the U.S...

 terrorists who had committed suicide at the Stuttgart-Stammheim prison
Stammheim Prison
Stammheim Prison is a prison in Stuttgart, Baden Württemberg, Germany. It is situated on the northern boundaries of Stuttgart in the city district of Stuttgart-Stammheim — right between fields and apartment blocks on the fringes of Stammheim...

 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
George S. Patton
George Smith Patton, Jr. was a United States Army officer best known for his leadership while commanding corps and armies as a general during World War II. He was also well known for his eccentricity and controversial outspokenness.Patton was commissioned in the U.S. Army after his graduation from...

, who was assigned to the nearby U.S. military headquarters. In addition to the relationship between their fathers, Rommel and Patton had a common birthday of December 24. He was also friends for nearly 30 years with David Montgomery, 2nd Viscount Montgomery of Alamein
David Montgomery, 2nd Viscount Montgomery of Alamein
David Bernard Montgomery, 2nd Viscount Montgomery of Alamein CMG, CBE is a British politician, businessman, and promoter of good relations with South America...

  the son of his father's other great adversary Field Marshal Montgomery
Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein
Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, KG, GCB, DSO, PC , nicknamed "Monty" and the "Spartan General" was a British Army officer. He saw action in the First World War, when he was seriously wounded, and during the Second World War he commanded the 8th Army from...


In a 1996 celebration at the Württemberg State Theatre, Manfred Rommel received the highest German civil distinction, the Bundesverdienstkreuz
The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany is the only general state decoration of the Federal Republic of Germany. It has existed since 7 September 1951, and between 3,000 and 5,200 awards are given every year across all classes...

. In his speech, Helmut Kohl
Helmut Kohl
Helmut Josef Michael Kohl is a German conservative politician and statesman. He was Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 and the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union from 1973 to 1998...

 put particular emphasis on the good relations that were kept and built upon between France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan 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 stirring speaker, despite suffering from Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system...

. He has written various political and humorous books. He is known for his down-to-earth and often funny sayings and quotations. Occasionally, he writes articles for the Stuttgarter Zeitung
Stuttgarter Zeitung
The Stuttgarter Zeitung is a German-language daily newspaper edited in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, with a run of about 200,000 sold copies daily....

. He has a daughter named Catherine.


Manfred Rommel has written about his many honours: "Die Zahl der Titel will nicht enden. Am Grabstein stehet: bitte wenden!" which translates as: "The number of honours seems to be endless. The inscription on my gravestone will read: Please turn over!"
  • Theodor-Heuss-Medaille (1978)
  • Orden des Großoffiziers im Orden von Oranien-Nassau (1982)
  • Ehrensenator der Fachhochschule für Technik Stuttgart (1982)
  • Honorary doctorate of the University of Missouri-St. Louis (1983)
  • General Lucius D. Clay-Medaille (1984)
  • President of the Freiherr-vom-Stein-Gesellschaft (1984–1990)
  • Chevalier of the Legion of Honour of the French Republic (1985)
  • Guardian of Jerusalem (1987)
  • Commander of the Order of the British Empire
    Order of the British Empire
    The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

  • Honorary doctorate of the University of Maryland (1992)
  • Honorary citizen of Stuttgart (1996)
  • Großes Verdienstkreuz mit Stern und Schulterband des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (1996)
  • Honorary doctorate of the University of Wales (1996)
  • Dolf Sternberger-Preis (1998)
  • Honorary citizen of the University of Stuttgart (2005)
  • Verdienstmedaille des Landes Baden-Württemberg
  • Heinz Herbert Karry-Preis
  • Honorary citizen of Cairo
    Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

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