"The development of the situation has not helped me to calm down again, mainly due to the injury of shattered nerves."

    Erwin Rommel Typed Letter Signed to Captain Hellmuth Lang. One page, 8.25" x 11.75", in German, n.p. [Herrlingen, Germany], September 18, 1944. On July 17, two months before writing this letter, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was returning from a meeting with Waffen-SS General Josef "Sepp" Dietrich when his staff car was strafed by a British plane. In the car with Rommel was Hauptmann Hellmuth Lang (his aide-de-camp), Major Neuhaus, spotter Feldwebel Holke, and the driver, Corporal Karl Daniel. Daniel was struck and the car careened off the road, striking the stump of a tree. Rommel was thrown into the windshield, fracturing his skull in four places and cutting up the left side of his face. Lang and Holke carried the unconscious Rommel to safety and, within the hour, another car took them to a nearby hospital. He was transported to a Luftwaffe hospital. Corporal Daniel died during the night, but Rommel survived.

    Rommel eventually recovered enough to return to his home in Germany. It was from Herrlingen, near the town of Ulm, that he wrote this letter to Hauptmann Lang, in full and in translation:

    "Dear Lang!

    "Many thanks for your detailed letter of September 9 and your and the officers and men's good wishes for my recovery. The latter makes tolerable progress. This coming Thursday, my head will be in Tübingen to be X-rayed again. Unfortunately, the first X-ray images are not yet available; maybe Surgeon Dr. Scheunig will know where they are placed. It would, of course, be important to give these images to the Tübingen professors to compare. My left eye has now opened and can also make a difference. However, reading is still very difficult and mostly the letters are obscured. After all, it is hoped to get there and later perhaps to use properly again.

    "The development of the situation has not helped me to calm down again, mainly due to the injury of shattered nerves. The changes in the staff do not help. I do not know whether in these circumstances your journey here will be possible.

    "Cordial greetings to you and the comrades, especially General Meise and Colonel Lattman.

    "Hail to the Führer!



    Less than one month later, implicated in the July 20 assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler, Rommel was forced to take his own life. With the original transmittal envelope postmarked from Herrlingen.

    Condition: Folds with nearly imperceptible spots of foxing.

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