Manfred Rommel, a mayor who focused on the future

Manfred Rommel was a man of many words. Words that stood for tolerance and integration. Words that also turned Stuttgart into one of the most economically successful cities in Germany. Rommel always made his own way – not only when he was elected mayor of Stuttgart in 1974, but also in 1977, when he permitted three notorious terrorists (Gudrun Ensslin, Andreas Baader and Jan-Carl Raspe) to be buried together in the face of public protest.

Manfred Rommel’s vision for Stuttgart was to turn Baden-Württemberg’s capital into a modern and open-minded economic center. With Rommel’s support, Stuttgart’s suburban railway system was established in 1978. By initiating the building of Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle, an indoor arena, in 1983 and securing Stuttgart as the home for the World Championships in Athletics in 1993, Rommel aimed to bring people together. By also focusing on the future development of the city, Rommel is credited with considerably reducing the debt of the city, approving the major railway and urban development known as Stuttgart 21 and supporting the modernization of the runway at Stuttgart’s airport. In 2013, Manfred Rommel died at the age of 84. The memory of this popular politician remains strong even after his death, for example, through the Manfred-Rommel-Scholarship for young researchers. Stuttgart’s airport was named after Rommel in 2014.

 

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Manfred Rommel (picture: Stadt Stuttgart)