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Egypt revamps cave museum devoted to Nazi general

Desert Fox

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Salwa Samir September 2, 2017

An old field telephone from the 1940s, a Nazi flag and a map of Tobruk greet visitors to the newly reopened Rommel Cave Museum in Marsa Matrouh, one of Egypt's lesser known tourist destinations. The items belonged to Erwin Rommel, one of the most celebrated generals of Nazi Germany until he was implicated in a plot to kill the Fuhrer in 1944. Rommel has long been remembered as one of the few "decent" Nazi commanders, though there is debate over his legacy of chivalry.

Rommel was known to the Germans as “the people’s marshal” and to the outside world as the “Desert Fox” for his surprise attacks and unbroken string of successful campaigns. He defeated the British at Gazala in May 1942, followed by his taking of Tobruk and promotion to field marshal. When the German troops entered El-Alamein, a town in the northern Matrouh governorate and 106 kilometers (66 miles) west of Alexandria, Rommel selected a site in the area’s cliffs as his headquarters, where he plotted military operations against the British forces. The two battles of El-Alamein would end with a German defeat on Nov. 4, after which Rommel dispatched his troops to Tunisia.

Rommel remained a highly regarded figure in the eyes of the Matrouh residents because he respected the customs and traditions of the Bedouins and did not violate the sanctity of their homes, keeping his troops at least 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from their houses at all times. He also refused to poison the wells against Allied forces on the grounds that doing so would harm the local population. The people of Matrouh honored him by naming a nearby beach after him.

On Aug. 25, Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities and the Matrouh governorate reopened the Rommel Cave Museum after seven years of closure, following a restoration that cost 2.5 million Egyptian pounds (about $142,000).

In 1977, Egypt and Germany agreed to open a museum that would pay tribute to Rommel and display historical items such as clothing, personal photos, war plans and files on soldiers. Rommel’s son, Manfred, who served as the mayor of Stuttgart from 1974 until 1996, donated some of Rommel's personal belongings as well as weapons and military equipment to the museum. It opened in 1988 and was enriched with new donations in 1991. It was closed in 2010 for extensive renovations.

Ismail Saeed, a restoration specialist with the Supreme Council of Antiquities, who worked on the restoration, said that most of the cracks inside the cave had been fixed. He told Al-Monitor that the cave's historical importance dates back much further than Rommel's time. In the Roman era, it was used to store grain waiting to be loaded onto ships in an ancient Mediterranean seaport nearby.

Matrouh is a destination for many Egyptians and foreign residents who enjoy summer holidays on its soft white sand beaches and clear blue water. Saeed said the museum's reopening will enrich beach vacationers' experiences with history.

The museum's director Mohamed el-Sharkawy told Al-Monitor, “The museum will boost tourism and create archaeological awareness among Matrouh residents.” Matrouh includes other sites such as ruins of the ancient Coptic chapel, but it is far less popular than other Egyptian Mediterranean towns.

Sharkawy said that every October, many Germans and Italians come to visit Matrouh to commemorate the battle of El-Alamein and lay bouquets of roses on their relatives' tombs. He added that the reopening of the museum this year is expected to stir more interest than usual.

The ministry and the local residents hope that the reopening will help boost both domestic and international tourism in Matrouh. At the opening ceremony, Minister of Antiquities Khaled el-Anani lauded plans to develop many of Egypt's other archaeological areas in Egypt and enhance their role in the tourism industry.

But challenges include the many land mines from two world wars that continue to litter the area, including near the Rommel museum.

With an estimated 23 million land mines clustered in very high concentrations, Egypt is one of the world's most mine-riddled countries. “Unfortunately, the land mines impede the development efforts in this area,” Sharkawy said. “So we have to take advantage of any chance to provide income to Matrouh.”


@Nilgiri @The Sandman @Psychic @Gomig-21 @Hamartia Antidote @Vergennes @flamer84
 
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Gomig-21

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Rommel was known to the Germans as “the people’s marshal” and to the outside world as the “Desert Fox”
Now I know where you got your username from! :-)

In 1977, Egypt and Germany agreed to open a museum that would pay tribute to Rommel
Really, Germany? Wow, I thought anything to do with the Nazis (even the "good" ones) was taboo for the German gov. Apparently times have changed.

But challenges include the many land mines from two world wars that continue to litter the area, including near the Rommel museum.
That's been a huge problem in that area. The Egyptian government has actually delineated many areas as minefields for the protection of the locals and Bedouins. They know where many of the fields are, they just haven't gotten around to clearing them out. Maybe someday they'll make it a priority.

If you ever get a chance to visit the war museum in El Alamein, it's really terrific. There's a cemetery for many who died in that great battle.















https://www.google.com/search?q=el+...4CYKHa2JCLYQ_AUICygC&biw=1600&bih=794#imgrc=_

Marsa Matrouh.
https://www.google.com/search?q=mar...JCYKHUZcC2AQ_AUICygC&biw=1600&bih=794#imgrc=_

 

Desert Fox

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Now I know where you got your username from! :-)
Haha that's right!


Really, Germany? Wow, I thought anything to do with the Nazis (even the "good" ones) was taboo for the German gov. Apparently times have changed.
I guess as long as it was not in Germany itself. However today the German gov.t doesn't endorse recognizing the valour of German soldiers from WW2 regardless if it's on foreign territory.

That's been a huge problem in that area. The Egyptian government has actually delineated many areas as minefields for the protection of the locals and Bedouins. They know where many of the fields are, they just haven't gotten around to clearing them out. Maybe someday they'll make it a priority.
That should be priority #1 but of course gov.t officials have other priorities (like anywhere in the Muslim world unfortunately).

If you ever get a chance to visit the war museum in El Alamein, it's really terrific. There's a cemetery for many who died in that great battle.















https://www.google.com/search?q=el+...4CYKHa2JCLYQ_AUICygC&biw=1600&bih=794#imgrc=_

Marsa Matrouh.
https://www.google.com/search?q=mar...JCYKHUZcC2AQ_AUICygC&biw=1600&bih=794#imgrc=_

God willing I will visit one day. That is something I intend to do, visit the major battlefields of the second world war and the museums. But I'm not sure if there are any museums of that time period specifically dedicated to the German armed forces of that time (besides this one in Egypt) unlike all of the other beligerents of that war.

My first battlefield visit was in highschool when I went to the Gettysburg battlefield and that experience has left a lasting impression on me of being on the very soil where thousands of men gave their lives (regardless of the cause they fought for). I still have my Confederate battle flag from that trip back before they were banned from sale.

And if course I visited a few more American civil war landmarks. Great times. Hope to relive them on a greater scale by visiting WW2 battlefields in Europe and elsewhere.
 
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Hamartia Antidote

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Salwa Samir September 2, 2017

An old field telephone from the 1940s, a Nazi flag and a map of Tobruk greet visitors to the newly reopened Rommel Cave Museum in Marsa Matrouh, one of Egypt's lesser known tourist destinations. The items belonged to Erwin Rommel, one of the most celebrated generals of Nazi Germany until he was implicated in a plot to kill the Fuhrer in 1944. Rommel has long been remembered as one of the few "decent" Nazi commanders, though there is debate over his legacy of chivalry.

Rommel was known to the Germans as “the people’s marshal” and to the outside world as the “Desert Fox” for his surprise attacks and unbroken string of successful campaigns. He defeated the British at Gazala in May 1942, followed by his taking of Tobruk and promotion to field marshal. When the German troops entered El-Alamein, a town in the northern Matrouh governorate and 106 kilometers (66 miles) west of Alexandria, Rommel selected a site in the area’s cliffs as his headquarters, where he plotted military operations against the British forces. The two battles of El-Alamein would end with a German defeat on Nov. 4, after which Rommel dispatched his troops to Tunisia.

Rommel remained a highly regarded figure in the eyes of the Matrouh residents because he respected the customs and traditions of the Bedouins and did not violate the sanctity of their homes, keeping his troops at least 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from their houses at all times. He also refused to poison the wells against Allied forces on the grounds that doing so would harm the local population. The people of Matrouh honored him by naming a nearby beach after him.

On Aug. 25, Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities and the Matrouh governorate reopened the Rommel Cave Museum after seven years of closure, following a restoration that cost 2.5 million Egyptian pounds (about $142,000).

In 1977, Egypt and Germany agreed to open a museum that would pay tribute to Rommel and display historical items such as clothing, personal photos, war plans and files on soldiers. Rommel’s son, Manfred, who served as the mayor of Stuttgart from 1974 until 1996, donated some of Rommel's personal belongings as well as weapons and military equipment to the museum. It opened in 1988 and was enriched with new donations in 1991. It was closed in 2010 for extensive renovations.

Ismail Saeed, a restoration specialist with the Supreme Council of Antiquities, who worked on the restoration, said that most of the cracks inside the cave had been fixed. He told Al-Monitor that the cave's historical importance dates back much further than Rommel's time. In the Roman era, it was used to store grain waiting to be loaded onto ships in an ancient Mediterranean seaport nearby.

Matrouh is a destination for many Egyptians and foreign residents who enjoy summer holidays on its soft white sand beaches and clear blue water. Saeed said the museum's reopening will enrich beach vacationers' experiences with history.

The museum's director Mohamed el-Sharkawy told Al-Monitor, “The museum will boost tourism and create archaeological awareness among Matrouh residents.” Matrouh includes other sites such as ruins of the ancient Coptic chapel, but it is far less popular than other Egyptian Mediterranean towns.

Sharkawy said that every October, many Germans and Italians come to visit Matrouh to commemorate the battle of El-Alamein and lay bouquets of roses on their relatives' tombs. He added that the reopening of the museum this year is expected to stir more interest than usual.

The ministry and the local residents hope that the reopening will help boost both domestic and international tourism in Matrouh. At the opening ceremony, Minister of Antiquities Khaled el-Anani lauded plans to develop many of Egypt's other archaeological areas in Egypt and enhance their role in the tourism industry.

But challenges include the many land mines from two world wars that continue to litter the area, including near the Rommel museum.

With an estimated 23 million land mines clustered in very high concentrations, Egypt is one of the world's most mine-riddled countries. “Unfortunately, the land mines impede the development efforts in this area,” Sharkawy said. “So we have to take advantage of any chance to provide income to Matrouh.”


@Nilgiri @The Sandman @Psychic @Gomig-21 @Hamartia Antidote @Vergennes @flamer84
As @Gomig-21 would probably agree we have no problem with statues and museums to military men on the "other side". Of course the alt-left people would consider it an outrage.
 

Gomig-21

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As @Gomig-21 would probably agree we have no problem with statues and museums to military men on the "other side". Of course the alt-left people would consider it an outrage.
It is a bit of a blurry line, TBH. Like many, I do have my opinion about the Confederate statues and I did say that I don't think it should be an issue to have them erected in areas like West Virginia where the major battles of the Civil War took place, or their hometowns. I am empathetic to people of color who would have a tough time explaining to their children who these men were as they walk by them, but in the context of history and within the proximity of these relevant battlefields, I personally think they should be allowed to remain for those reasons.

On the other hand, I guess Rommel could be viewed as a military historical figure from the "other side," but so wasn't Montgomery who essentially represented British colonialism in Egypt. So commemorating those two who fought on Egyptian soil, I have no problem with that whatsoever as they represent a critical part of history in Egypt that should remain and be visible for everyone to see.

But as far as military men on the other side, I don't think you'll see any statues of Moshe Dayan or Ariel Sharon anywhere on Egyptian soil anytime soon or even ever, for that matter! :lol: I'm not sure you'll even see anything pertaining to them besides maybe a few photos in the Cairo military museum.

BTW, speaking of Nazi Germany, Sadat was quite the fan of Hitler. He would quote passages from Mein Kampt once in a while. His admiration of Hitler was not based on ethnicity or his views on Jews or any of that unfortunate part. It was solely based on his charisma and how he drew the huge and powerful following that led to his powerful leadership.

Another fun anecdote was his familiarity with Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, which he brought up and quoted parts of to Jimmy Carter during the Camp David Peace Accords. Menachin Begin was also familiar with it. Just shows how long lasting and impactful many of these figures were, controversial or heroic.
 

Brutas

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Just curious, Egypt doesn't have General of it's own to celebrate. Every Russian knows, Nazi's were responsible for death of nearly 27 million soviet citizens.
Strange indeed, 3rd world states celebrating individuals shunned by the civilized world. Even majority Germans would take offense to such (nearly 4.5 million died in the war !) .Then came decades of foreign dominance over west and east Germany.
 

Mahmoud_EGY

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It is a bit of a blurry line, TBH. Like many, I do have my opinion about the Confederate statues and I did say that I don't think it should be an issue to have them erected in areas like West Virginia where the major battles of the Civil War took place, or their hometowns. I am empathetic to people of color who would have a tough time explaining to their children who these men were as they walk by them, but in the context of history and within the proximity of these relevant battlefields, I personally think they should be allowed to remain for those reasons.

On the other hand, I guess Rommel could be viewed as a military historical figure from the "other side," but so wasn't Montgomery who essentially represented British colonialism in Egypt. So commemorating those two who fought on Egyptian soil, I have no problem with that whatsoever as they represent a critical part of history in Egypt that should remain and be visible for everyone to see.

But as far as military men on the other side, I don't think you'll see any statues of Moshe Dayan or Ariel Sharon anywhere on Egyptian soil anytime soon or even ever, for that matter! :lol: I'm not sure you'll even see anything pertaining to them besides maybe a few photos in the Cairo military museum.

BTW, speaking of Nazi Germany, Sadat was quite the fan of Hitler. He would quote passages from Mein Kampt once in a while. His admiration of Hitler was not based on ethnicity or his views on Jews or any of that unfortunate part. It was solely based on his charisma and how he drew the huge and powerful following that led to his powerful leadership.

Another fun anecdote was his familiarity with Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, which he brought up and quoted parts of to Jimmy Carter during the Camp David Peace Accords. Menachin Begin was also familiar with it. Just shows how long lasting and impactful many of these figures were, controversial or heroic.
i dont think taking down statues will remove some historical events there was a civil war soldiers fought and died for a cause they think is right one side fighting to protect the union and the other want the right of local states to govern themselves

Haha that's right!



I guess as long as it was not in Germany itself. However today the German gov.t doesn't endorse recognizing the valour of German soldiers from WW2 regardless if it's on foreign territory.


That should be priority #1 but of course gov.t officials have other priorities (like anywhere in the Muslim world unfortunately).



God willing I will visit one day. That is something I intend to do, visit the major battlefields of the second world war and the museums. But I'm not sure if there are any museums of that time period specifically dedicated to the German armed forces of that time (besides this one in Egypt) unlike all of the other beligerents of that war.

My first battlefield visit was in highschool when I went to the Gettysburg battlefield and that experience has left a lasting impression on me of being on the very soil where thousands of men gave their lives (regardless of the cause they fought for). I still have my Confederate battle flag from that trip back before they were banned from sale.

And if course I visited a few more American civil war landmarks. Great times. Hope to relive them on a greater scale by visiting WW2 battlefields in Europe and elsewhere.
if you are in Germany be careful i heard of a Japanese tourist got arrested for giving the nazi salute
 

Desert Fox

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if you are in Germany be careful i heard of a Japanese tourist got arrested for giving the nazi salute
Yeah I heard about that Japanese (or was it a Chinese?) guy who gave the Nazi salute and got arrested. That's insane.

Which is why I'm glad I don't live in Germany (never intended to anyway, might visit as a tourist some day though).

With all the stuff I have posted on this forum the Stasi would have gotten me a long time ago if I were in Germany.
 

HAIDER

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It's war history museum. Don't politicize. Allied forces accepted Rommel was great war planner. And Egypt has right to preserve the war history , which fought on there land.
 

Hack-Hook

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Just curious, Egypt doesn't have General of it's own to celebrate. Every Russian knows, Nazi's were responsible for death of nearly 27 million soviet citizens.
Strange indeed, 3rd world states celebrating individuals shunned by the civilized world. Even majority Germans would take offense to such (nearly 4.5 million died in the war !) .Then came decades of foreign dominance over west and east Germany.
Just let show you how an uncivilized person from an uncivilized third world country see it. UK and ussr violated Iran neutrality in ww2 and occupied Iran at the time its the result
The effects of the war were very disruptive for Iran. Much of the state bureaucracy had been damaged by the invasion and food and other essential items were scarce.[27] The Soviets appropriated most of the harvest in northern Iran, leading to food shortages for the general public. The British and Soviet occupiers used the delivery of grain as a bargaining chip and the food crisis was exacerbated because foreign troops needed to eat and use the transport network to move military equipment. The British pressured the Shah to appoint Ahmad Qavam to be the prime minister, who proceeded to mismanage the entire food supply and economy. In 1942, bread riots took place in Tehran, Martial law was declared and several rioters were killed by the police. inflation increased by 450 percent, imposing great hardship on the lower and middle classes. In some areas there were famine deaths but there was virtually no armed resistance against the occupation.[4]
In ww1 Iran was neutral but again Russia and Uk violated Iran neutrality . and this was the result

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_famine_of_1917–1918

Now let see what German was doing in Iran at the time.
When Iran first modern school(Dar-Al-Fonon) was made the foreign professors were from Germany at the time of ww2 it was Germany which was helping us building road , bridges ,factories and rail roads .it was Germany who helped us to open air and sea communication to the rest of the world in modern time .it was Germany technologies that our steel industries built upon it around 60 years ago .

Now tell me why an uncivilized and uncultured person like me must like UK and USSR over Germany for their action in ww2.

By the way don't forget the one who is responsible for the start of ww2 are the ones who made Germany to agree to that unfair piece treaty after ww1 . if it was not for that treaty there was no third Reich and no Hitler and no ww2.
 

The Sandman

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Salwa Samir September 2, 2017

An old field telephone from the 1940s, a Nazi flag and a map of Tobruk greet visitors to the newly reopened Rommel Cave Museum in Marsa Matrouh, one of Egypt's lesser known tourist destinations. The items belonged to Erwin Rommel, one of the most celebrated generals of Nazi Germany until he was implicated in a plot to kill the Fuhrer in 1944. Rommel has long been remembered as one of the few "decent" Nazi commanders, though there is debate over his legacy of chivalry.

Rommel was known to the Germans as “the people’s marshal” and to the outside world as the “Desert Fox” for his surprise attacks and unbroken string of successful campaigns. He defeated the British at Gazala in May 1942, followed by his taking of Tobruk and promotion to field marshal. When the German troops entered El-Alamein, a town in the northern Matrouh governorate and 106 kilometers (66 miles) west of Alexandria, Rommel selected a site in the area’s cliffs as his headquarters, where he plotted military operations against the British forces. The two battles of El-Alamein would end with a German defeat on Nov. 4, after which Rommel dispatched his troops to Tunisia.

Rommel remained a highly regarded figure in the eyes of the Matrouh residents because he respected the customs and traditions of the Bedouins and did not violate the sanctity of their homes, keeping his troops at least 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from their houses at all times. He also refused to poison the wells against Allied forces on the grounds that doing so would harm the local population. The people of Matrouh honored him by naming a nearby beach after him.

On Aug. 25, Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities and the Matrouh governorate reopened the Rommel Cave Museum after seven years of closure, following a restoration that cost 2.5 million Egyptian pounds (about $142,000).

In 1977, Egypt and Germany agreed to open a museum that would pay tribute to Rommel and display historical items such as clothing, personal photos, war plans and files on soldiers. Rommel’s son, Manfred, who served as the mayor of Stuttgart from 1974 until 1996, donated some of Rommel's personal belongings as well as weapons and military equipment to the museum. It opened in 1988 and was enriched with new donations in 1991. It was closed in 2010 for extensive renovations.

Ismail Saeed, a restoration specialist with the Supreme Council of Antiquities, who worked on the restoration, said that most of the cracks inside the cave had been fixed. He told Al-Monitor that the cave's historical importance dates back much further than Rommel's time. In the Roman era, it was used to store grain waiting to be loaded onto ships in an ancient Mediterranean seaport nearby.

Matrouh is a destination for many Egyptians and foreign residents who enjoy summer holidays on its soft white sand beaches and clear blue water. Saeed said the museum's reopening will enrich beach vacationers' experiences with history.

The museum's director Mohamed el-Sharkawy told Al-Monitor, “The museum will boost tourism and create archaeological awareness among Matrouh residents.” Matrouh includes other sites such as ruins of the ancient Coptic chapel, but it is far less popular than other Egyptian Mediterranean towns.

Sharkawy said that every October, many Germans and Italians come to visit Matrouh to commemorate the battle of El-Alamein and lay bouquets of roses on their relatives' tombs. He added that the reopening of the museum this year is expected to stir more interest than usual.

The ministry and the local residents hope that the reopening will help boost both domestic and international tourism in Matrouh. At the opening ceremony, Minister of Antiquities Khaled el-Anani lauded plans to develop many of Egypt's other archaeological areas in Egypt and enhance their role in the tourism industry.

But challenges include the many land mines from two world wars that continue to litter the area, including near the Rommel museum.

With an estimated 23 million land mines clustered in very high concentrations, Egypt is one of the world's most mine-riddled countries. “Unfortunately, the land mines impede the development efforts in this area,” Sharkawy said. “So we have to take advantage of any chance to provide income to Matrouh.”


@Nilgiri @The Sandman @Psychic @Gomig-21 @Hamartia Antidote @Vergennes @flamer84
That's a great news man!!! kudos to Egyptian authorities for this they're doing a really good job!! will definitely try to visit this place in my lifetime!
Those are some really awesome pics buddy! thanks for the share!
 

Gomig-21

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Now tell me why an uncivilized and uncultured person like me must like UK and USSR over Germany for their action in ww2.
Not only are you and I uncivilized and uncultured, we're unworthy 3rd world country gillies, Eskandari. :lol:

Monty is also commemorated.



The cemetery has been there since the end of the battle and the museum for at least 60+ years IIRC. It's important to have a representation of one of the most critical WWII battles which forced the Germans to retreat back to Libya and then Tunisia instead of advancing on to Cairo and then Jerusalem. And how do you do that without showing the people who were involved in that battle?
 

Asim B.

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BTW, speaking of Nazi Germany, Sadat was quite the fan of Hitler. He would quote passages from Mein Kampt once in a while. His admiration of Hitler was not based on ethnicity or his views on Jews or any of that unfortunate part. It was solely based on his charisma and how he drew the huge and powerful following that led to his powerful leadership.
I believe that Saddam Hussein also read Mein Kampf. Even Turkey's Erdogan has read the book. Apparently the book was a best seller in Turkey and India.

Within the Arab world Hitler does have a strong base of admirers. I think this is due to Hitler's image as a strong leader and Arab societies tend to be very leader based (do correct me if I'm wrong). Many prominent Nazis took refuge in Arab countries like Syria and Egypt if I'm correct.
 

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