Hitler's 'Desert fox' turned love rat for another woman

   Mar 23, 5:08 pm

London, Mar 23 (ANI): Adolf Hitler's favourite commander, Erwin Rommel, the "Desert Fox" who relentlessly fought allied forces across North Africa in World War Two, covered up love affair which led to illegitimate child for sake of his career, reveals his grandson.

Josef Pan, 72, from Bavaria, is to publish the story of his grandmother Walburga's love affair with Rommel.

Walburga committed suicide when Rommel left her for another woman.

Pan owns the 150 letters Rommel sent to Walburga, who committed suicide 15 years after she bore his child.

He also has a photo of the couple shortly before the First World War.

"Walburga gave birth to my mother Gertrud Stemmer, on December 8, 1913, but he turned away from her and married Lucie Mollin in 1916," the Daily Mail quoted Pan as saying.

"My grandmother died in 1928, a few months before Rommel had his son, Manfred, with Lucie," he said.

Rommel was delighted in the birth of Gertrud and wrote to her calling her his 'little mouse'.

He once said he would like to set up home with Walburga and Gertrud. "It's got to be perfect, this little nest of ours," he said.

However, he returned to Lucie, with whom he had had an affair, and married her in 1916.

Walburga never recovered from her rejection.

"Rommel was Walburga's only love. As long as Rommel and Lucie never had children, she held on to the conviction that he would return to her," Pan said.

Pan said that when Walburga knew Lucie was pregnant, she took an overdose.

"The explanation given was that she had died of pneumonia. Later the family doctor told my mother she had taken her own life," Pan recalled.

Gertrud exchanged hundreds of letters with her father and his wife knew about her.

She even knitted him a scarf, which he wore frequently at the battlefront.

Rommel, a decorated officer in the First World War, distinguished himself during the invasion of France in 1940 and later in North Africa where he earned his reputation as a skilful but honourable general prior to his defeat at El Alamein by Britain's Eighth Army - the Desert Rats. (ANI)

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