The Afrika Korps takes Palestine

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by jmc247, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. jmc247 Well-Known Member

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    There has been a big push by revisionist historians in Germany in recient years to argue that Rommel wanted to take the Final Solution to Palestine. The notion has made it into recient books and even TV shows in Germany.

    Now, I personally consider this to be a BS attempt for anti-war Germans to turn Rommel who is still a military hero to many Germans into a Himmler like figure. The reality is that Rommel fought mostly successfully to keep the SS out of Africa and according to most sources only learned about the Final Solution in late 43 early 44 after returning from Africa and recovering from his illness and was not the least bit happy to learn fellow Germans were mass killing innocent people.

    However, had the Afrika Korps managed to remove the UK's hold on Palestine in Rommel's drive to Iraq leaving a security vacuum I do wonder what would have happened. I suspect there would have been mass killings of Jews, but by locals not by Germans and civil war in Palestine. As for who wins I suspect that will be up to how big a resistance the Jewish population of Palestine put up against the Afrika Korps. If they blew their weapons and manpower fighting a futile battle against the Germans while the Arabs watch and wait the local Jewish population loses badly. If not then they have a shot of not being killed off or forced into slavery.

    With the fight going badly in Russia I don't see Himmler or Hitler sending SS divisions to the area to help the Arabs. But, other Arab states like the new German friendly Egypt might send forces to the area. If that happens the Jewish population loses as they didn't have the numbers or the support that they had by the 1948 war.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  2. Shogo Well-Known Member

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    Rommel would have certainly intervened in order to attempt any kind of massacre of the Jews in Palestine.

    It goes against everything we know about him and the people responsible for this so called documentary are patently retarded.
     
  3. Meadow but see, when Meadow does that, Monthly Donor

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    Ah, but they'll probably pull the old 'but this is NEW evidence that CHANGES what we know about him' trick, before being imprisoned for fraud when it is revealed that the so-called 'evidence' is little more than a series of papier maché models of barnyard animals.
     
  4. altamiro Well-Known Member

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    He might not have aimed to conquer Palestine specifically to implement Final Solution there - but it would have been too large a temptation for Himmler to let it slip. Unless Rommel was in better graces with Hitler than Himmler (which he wasn't), he would be simply shunted aside, transferred to another theatre of war and then told to simply concentrate on his task on hand or else.
     
  5. Aelita In ur means of production...

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    Hitler's genocidal ambitions were clear to everyone well before the war began. Regardless of his own feelings on the subject, Rommel was still aiding and abetting the Nazis' genocidal aims. You can't tell me he was simply unaware of this. The Final Solution was only the final act of the Holocaust.
     
  6. jmc247 Well-Known Member

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    huh?

    Rommel certainly knew the Nazi regime was anti semitic he sent a letter to Nazi High Command in 1937 telling them "This business with the Jews has got to stop" and in 1940 he personally asked Hitler to reinstate Jewish soldiers and officers who had been fired a request that went nowhere. Its clear when you read the Rommel Papers (mostly his own papers) and interviews with his trusted allies and family he did not know until quite late in the war that the regime was genocidal.

    Alot of that has to do with the fact in early part of the war when say he was moving through France in 1940 there wasn't the mass execution of civilians (Jews or others) as it was mainly the army leading the charge, by the time the SS entered to do their dirty work he was long gone from France. Then he spent much of 1941 to 1943 fighting in Africa or in hospitals for various ailments for being in the desert too long.

    By the time he was healthy again and back in Germany in late 1943 he starts being told by his sources (most evidence points to his sources being fellow high ranking officers who have been fighting in the Eastern Front) that the Waffen SS has been organizing horrific mass killings.

    Now the SS as we know is run by Himmler and Rommel at this point knows Hitler's mental health is deteriorating (he is becoming demented) so he is unsure for awhile according to most sources if Hitler is in on this thing. By early 1944 he got his confirmation on that and also managed to get some idea as to the scope of the killings that were going on. Its at this point in Rommel's notes and discussions with other generals he starts supporting various ideas (all high treason) to end Nazi rule without giving Germany up to Stalin someone he considered as evil as Himmler.

    I know its hard for many today to believe that so many Germans were so blind and many like you don't believe it, but none of us has lived in a true totalitarian state where the state controls everything that is reported and people are afraid for their lives to pass on information that could get them killed.

    Erwin Rommel's son served as mayor of Stuttgart for two decades and in 1990 was awarded by the Queen of England the prestigious title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire for improving German and English relations. However, he very well could have ended up a war criminal as he planned on signing up for the Waffen SS in late 1943, but his father absolutely refused him.

    This discussion between Manfred Rommel and his father below from the Rommel Papers will hopefully give you a better idea of what your average (well Manfred was actually above average and had better contacts then your average German) knew about what was going on. It also provides insight into what Rommel himself knew.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  7. BlairWitch749 Banned

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    Rommel was someone who was an extremely distinguished person, he rode his men hard, but he stayed in bounds. Treatment of POW's in the africa corps was above reproach; and he was quite outspoken against what the party hatchetmen where doing both to the jews AND to the church. The german officer corps of the 33-45 period had a lot of the worst slime of hummanity in it (People like Schoerner) but Rommel was one of the true "decent" Germans caught up in the horrors of what Hitler turned the country into
     
  8. grdja83 Well-Known Member

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    How could have they ever gotten into Palestine? They would have to crush British in Egypt completely, capture Alexandria and Cairo, secure crossing of Suez and cross the Sinai.

    But on other hand, if Nazis somehow did win all that and occupy Palestine it is without any doubts that SS would march in and start doing that thing they so much liked doing. "Squishing Zionists in their heart", no way Nazis would pass over that opportunity.

    And still leaves Rommel with much cleaner hands than most of commanders from East Front, if he remains personally uninvolved.
     
  9. BlairWitch749 Banned

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    Africa is not Germany's theater, they had a taskforce and where guests of the Italians. Hitler might want to send SS detachments to go ethnically cleanse Palestine; but that would only happen if Benny the moose wanted to play which isn't assured
     
  10. grdja83 Well-Known Member

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    Musolini didn't have much problems with Italian Jews being "processed"; I don't think he will shed a tear for Jews of Palestine, if Germans pay all expenses ofc.
     
  11. Japhy Second Best Poster on the Site Banned

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    Honestly if the Germans were somehow able to make it to Palestine, and I doubt that they could, I don't see any way how if Berlin wants to send Einzatgruppen to Palestine Rommel is in a position to stop them if he opposes it or not.

    That said he has to breakthough at El Al, across the Delta, Through Cairo and Alexandria, Across Suez, and across the Sinai and the Negev for it to be an issue, and I doubt that when he was thinking of pushing past El Al, he was thinking it was going to be to kill the Jews.

    It's just that he was the Following Orders type and didn't think about the issue. How much blood goes on his hands for that is a topic that will always be debatable with him due to his legend.
     
  12. grdja83 Well-Known Member

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    There are not only AH.com TLs but real published books of respectable SF authors where Rommel manages to get all the way to Caucasus, by '42 to add; and the Soviets get crushed in a HoI2 like mega pincer movement.
    (Yes Philip K Dick, "Man In High Castle". Yes he is extremely respected SF author with more high budget movies made on his books than all other "Great Ones" together)
     
  13. jmc247 Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't call Rommel the following orders type as you can see below. The only time Jews ever even came up in Rommel's many papers on his battle in Africa was him refusing what he considered outrageous orders to kill captured Jewish Allied POWs.

    As of November 1942 he was voted by Gallup's world poll the most able general of the war, just imagine what they would have thought of him in Germany if he took Egypt. Now in 1944 in France at a time he had far less lets call it street cred with the German High Command he still managed to stop Waffen SS units from killing French civilians by threatening to resign. I would think a threat to resign from Rommel if he took Egypt would be enough to remove the SS from Palestine at least until Rommel was busy far away fighting the Russians in the Caucasus.
     
  14. grdja83 Well-Known Member

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    Yes it is all silly revisionism. But you can make a Devil's Advocate argument for it. Fact is that Rommel was a rather decent person, especially for someone in his place. And that Desert War was incomparably "clean" compared to rest of WWII on land.

    But too often has it been used (in ignorance or malign intent I don't know) by "history" pop documentaries to white wash all of Wermacht and place all the blame for nasty stuff on SS. Its stupid but its done; hell the "squeaky clean Wermacht, bad evil SS" is believed in by a huge ammount of people in 'Murka.

    But falsifying history and demonizing Rommel won't change anything; it would come 40 years to late. Nationalism everywhere has elements that lean right enough that siegrunnen and black uniforms start looking oh so attractive. And that is on top of huge neonazi movement and holocaust deniers that plague American culture.

    And its not just USA. Most of former WarPac countries (now all proud democratic EU members, Dubya's New Europe) have gone so far in hating communism that they all have extreme far right groups and political parties doing rather well.
     
  15. jmc247 Well-Known Member

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    Actually I think the Wehrmacht have been black washed if anything since the Cold War ended. Its good and acceptable now to show teenage German Army conscripts being scalped or beaten to death by U.S. soldiers in a big budget Hollywood film... because 'they are Nazi's'. Few Americans today even know there is a difference between the German Army, the SS and the Waffen SS. They are all just genocidal Nazis to them.

    I personally know a German Wehrmacht soldier very well who still lives who fought in the battle of Stalingrad. He is one of the toughest men I have ever met. His unit never rounded up and executed POWs or civilians. He heard of such things happening, but in three years fighting never saw German troops executing civilians and I believe him. He did see German soldiers shooting Red Army troops that he believes should have been taken as POWs one time.

    He was an apolitical teen and was drafted. His brother was strongly and openly anti Nazi so much so he got in trouble with the SS and almost was taken away. He was drafted as well and ended up being captured by the Soviet's and died in the 1950s in a Soviet slave labor camp.

    The brother who survived was saved by U.S. troops who refused to turn them over when the Soviet's were rounding up German soldiers to put on trains for their slave labor camps in Siberia. So with nothing left he came to America after the war. He put up with a life time of abuse in the U.S. from people calling him a Nazi and a Jew killer for being conscripted in the German Army and forced to fight in a complete hell hole and he was given summer attire during the Russian winter and nearly froze to death.

    If you are looking for people whose actions before, during and after the war have been white washed you should take a look at the NKVD and the Red Army.
     
  16. freodhoric the Ignored

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    AFAIK, no Italian Jews were rounded up until after Italy surrendered. Further, they didn't even allow deportations from Italian occupied areas.
     
  17. Typo Banned

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    They can't be "black washed" if they were guilty of a incredible large amount of war crimes in the first place
    Cherry-Picking much?
    I feel this is gonna turn into a Tu quoque
     
  18. ranoncles Marshal of the Empire

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    It seems a number of associated issues have been raised.
    One of them being the reputation of the Wehrmacht. And as always, the truth lies in the middle but leaning towards the `Nazi butchers´side of the equation.
    As early as 1939, Wehrmacht soldiers were committing atrocities and helping the SS in mass razzia´s and executions. At the same time, German officers were protesting this, most notably von Blaskowitz.

    By 1940, German soldiers were killing French colonial POW´s who had the temerity to fight hard. And by 1941, all restraints had been loosened in Russia.

    The only exception being Africa, partly because Rommel seems to have instilled discipline and because it mostly was a war between armies with little civilian interaction. Mostly unchallenged academic research has made it clear that (with a few notable exceptions), the Wehrmacht in general both supported atrocties (by rounding up civilians for processing by the SS) and committed them themselves.

    Could the Africa Corps have taken Palestina? Only a fool would argue otherwise. Certainly it would have taken more resources but the British were hard pressed to defeat 3 run down German divisions supported by the Italians as it was. Had the resources poured into Tunesia been given to Rommel (and Malta neutralized etc.) for example, he could very well have won. And the British were ready to abandon Egypt if El Alamein was overrun....

    What then for the Jews living in the region? Certainly Himmler would have loved to get his hands on them and he would have spared no expenses in men or resources to do so, even if that wasn't the most efficient way of making use of his resources. It seems equally certain that Rommel would have opposed this, given their earlier actions. Himmler was unwilling to push the issue for Libya but what would he have done regarding Palestina, the "birthnest" of the Jews, so to speak?

    The answer lies with the Italians. The Med was the Italian sphere of influence and the Italians wouldn't have been interested in any genocidal butchery, as proven OTL. With Rommel and the Italians succesful, the Germans would have little leverage over them to push throught an anti-Jew program.
     
  19. Frentanus Banned

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    The problem is: it is true that the Regio Esercito protected jews in occupied areas. But Egypt would be occupied by both german and italian soldiers. Like in greece, germans (and bulgarians were happy to help them) murdered the jews in the lands they occupied (athens, thessalonika) even if italians protected the jews in the south.
    And if egypt becomes an axis puppet (mussolini once said this was the plan), it is likely that it would be controlled by germans, and not italian. So we could have a new croatia-like country, eager to please germans letting them kill its jews.
    The same thing could happen in Palestine. Rommel could do little to avoid this, he was a soldier, not a politician.
     
  20. jmc247 Well-Known Member

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    I am well aware of the reality of what many German soldiers did. Especially those who went through the 1930s Hitler Youth brainwashing program.

    Does that mean every Wehrmacht soldier or even most Wehrmacht soldiers executed civilians? I don't at all believe that is the case so depicting it as if it was would be black washing them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011