publication date: Dec 9, 2023
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BAD TOLZ, Germany, Aug. 4
(AP) — Germany's “Desert Fox,”
Field Marshal Gen. Erwin Rom-
mel, committed suicide to escape
trial on charges of complicity in
the July 20, 1944, bomb plot
against Hitler, his son told United
States Army officers today.

“My father preferred suicide,”
said 17-year-old Manfred Rommel
in a sworn statement released by
United States Third Army Head-
quarters. _

The Germans announced last
Oct. 15 that Marshal Rommel had
died of wounds, but his son's state-
ment declared he was recovering
from a skull fracture and shell
splinters in his face when two gen-
erals called for him and took him
for an auto ride, from which he
did not return.

[Allied officers at Wiesbaden
said June 25 they had been told
by Lieut. Gen. Fritz Bayerlein,
‘Rommel’s former Chief of Staff,
that Rommel had committed sui-
cide to avoid the death penalty
for alleged participation in- the
~ plot on Hitler's life.]

Marshal Rommel, his son con-
firmed, was wounded in an Ameri-
can air attack at Livarot, France,
on July 17, 1944, but after treat-
ment in a Paris hospital was con-
valescing near Ulm.

General Maisel and General
Burgdorff called on his father Oct.
14, young Rommel said.

“Three-quarters of an hour later
he came from mother's room and
told me he had just said good-by
to her—that Hitler had given him
a choice of poisoning himself or
being imprisoned and later con-
demned by a people's court,” the
youth related.

The New York Times

Published: August 5, 1945


Trump Floats the Idea of Executing
Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley

The former president is inciting
violence against the nation’s top
general. America’s response is
distracted and numb.

By Brian Klaas

September 25, 2023

Late Friday night, the former president
of the United States—and a leading
candidate to be the next president—
insinuated that America’s top general
deserves to be put to death.

That extraordinary sentence would be
unthinkable in any other rich democracy.
But Donald Trump, on his social-media
network, Truth Social, wrote that
Mark Milley’s phone call to reassure
China in the aftermath of the storming
of the Capitol on January 6, 2021,
was “an act so egregious that, in
times gone by, the punishment
would have been DEATH.” (The phone
call was, in fact, explicitly authorized
by Trump-administration officials.)
Trump’s threats against Milley came
after The Atlantic’s publication of a
profile of Milley, by this magazine’s
editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg, who
detailed the ways in which Milley
attempted to protect the
Constitution from Trump.

And yet, none of the nation’s front
pages blared “Trump Suggests
That Top General Deserves Execution”
or “Former President Accuses
General of Treason.” Instead,
the post barely made the news.
Most Americans who don’t follow
Trump on social media probably
don’t even know it happened.

Trump’s rhetoric is dangerous,
not just because it is the exact
sort that incites violence against
public officials but also because
it shows just how numb the
country has grown toward
threats more typical of broken,
authoritarian regimes. The
United States is not just
careening toward a significant
risk of political violence
around the 2024 presidential
election. It’s also mostly
oblivious to where it’s headed.

Trump loves to hide behind the
thin veneer of plausible deniability,
but he knows exactly what he’s
doing. If a mob boss were to say,
“In times gone by, people like
you would have had their legs
broken,” nobody would mistake
that for a historical observation.
The suggestion is clear, and it
comes from a man who has
one of America’s loudest
megaphones—one that is
directed squarely at millions
of extremists who are well
armed, who insist that the
government is illegitimate,
and who believe that people
like Milley are part of a
“deep state” plot against
the country.

Academics have a formal term
for exactly this type of
incitement: stochastic terrorism.
An influential figure with a
large following demonizes
a person or a group of people.
The likelihood is strong that
some small number of
followers will take those
words literally—when
Trump implies that Milley
deserves to be put to death,
some of his disciples might
take it as a marching order.
The number of those who
take action does not have
to be large for the result
to be horrific.

Already, one of Trump’s
minions in Congress has
echoed the incitement to
violence. The Republican
Paul Gosar of Arizona wrote—
in his taxpayer-funded
newsletter, no less—that
“in a better society, quislings
like the strange sodomy-
promoting General Milley
would be hung.” The
meaning is not ambiguous:
Gosar is explicitly saying
that killing Milley would
be desirable.

[Remainder snipped]

The Atlantic

Published: September 25,

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