19

I'm looking for the original German version of Erwin Rommel's letter to his wife Lucie Rommel from November 16, 1942. You can find the English translation on page 354 of "The Rommel Papers". The English translation starts like this:

Dearest Lu, Another good step back. To cap it all it's now raining, which makes it all the more difficult to move. Shortage of petrol! It's enough to make one weep. Let's hope the British are having equally bad weather...

I want to find these two sentences in Rommel's original words: "Shortage of petrol! It's enough to make one weep." Google translate comes up with:

Mangel an Benzin! Es ist genug, um einen zum Weinen bringen.

My German is OK, and the above seems like a pretty good translation to me, but does anyone have the original?

I am giving a public lecture on Monday about the worldwide primary energy supply. I'm using the quote as evidence of the importance of oil in war. The book was first published in 1953; the editor and translator worked directly with Rommel's son Manfred, who had collected and organized the papers. So there were no archives consulted, per se. From what I've seen there's no note in the book indicating what was done with the originals after the book was written

  • 3
    @SamuelRussell No, that's referring to questions like "what are some good books on WW1?". This question is fine as is. – American Luke Nov 30 '13 at 21:28
  • 4
    @PieterGeerkens I am giving a public lecture on Monday about the worldwide primary energy supply. I'm using the quote as evidence of the importance of oil in war. The book was first published in 1953; the editor and translator worked directly with Rommel's son Manfred, who had collected and organized the papers. So there were no archives consulted, per se. From what I've seen there's no note in the book indicating what was done with the originals after the book was written. – Douglas B. Staple Dec 1 '13 at 2:13
  • 4
    You could try contacting someone at the State Library of Wurttemberg in Stuttgart: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W%C3%BCrttembergische_Landesbibliothek. Rommel was born nearby at Heidenheim, and his son was Lord Mayor of Stuttgart for many years (1974-1996!). The library is also part of the University of Stuttgart library system, if you have any contacts there who could look something up for you on a Sunday. – Pieter Geerkens Dec 1 '13 at 19:58
  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is a resource request. – Samuel Russell May 12 '15 at 1:35
  • 4
    I would say that this is a request for a canonical reference, which is within the scope of H:SE. OP has done the preliminary research, and what he is asking is part of the normal practice of history. – Mark C. Wallace May 4 '16 at 15:38
12
+50

"Benzinmangel! Es ist genug, um zu weinen."

This is what is written in the book. My granddaddy has this german book which was gifted to him by a friend of his. I went through the book as soon as I saw this question. I don't know for sure if this was his original text but as it is german and matches exactly what you asked for by google translate, I think this is authentic.

  • 1
    Looks like you just solved the second most upvoted question without answer here. Well done. Enjoy your rep, +50 :) – Brasidas Feb 8 '17 at 13:14
  • 2
    I am very sorry for my late response, sir. I hope my answer was helpful.:) – Mansha Mannan Ul Haque Feb 8 '17 at 14:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.