Duesterberg, Stahlhelm Leader, Candidate for President, Says He is of Jewish Origin
Menu JTA Search

Duesterberg, Stahlhelm Leader, Candidate for President, Says He is of Jewish Origin

Download PDF for this date

Lieutenant Colonel Theodor Duesterberg, a leader of the monarchist Steel Helmet Society of German war veterans, and defeated candidate of Dr. Alfred Hugenberg’s Nationalist Party for the presidency of Germany, today acknowledged that he comes from Jewish stock at a meeting of the praesidium of the “Stahlhelm” where he resigned his office in the leadership of the organization.

The Nationalist leader stated: “I actually originate from Jews, but I have only now learned that fact myself.”

The statement by Duesterberg comes after an attack upon him in yesterday’s edition of the Nazi organ, “Der Angriff,” and the organ of General Eric von Ludendorff, “Volkswarte,” where he is denounced as being descended from Jews.

It is learned that the father of Duesterberg was named Abraham Selig, while the father of his mother was Wolf Caspary, who served as the president of the Paderborn Jewish community.

“Der Angriff,” in its attack upon Duesterberg, declared that he was the grandson of a Jewish physician named Selig Abraham, who was an observing Jew at the time of his death, while Duesterberg’s father, who died in Paderborn in 1924, was the head of the Jewish Community there.

Franz Seldte, president of the “Steel Helmet,” denounced these allegations against Duesterberg as a deliberate Nazi attempt at provocation.

By other influential leaders of the “Steel Helmet” it is stated that if Duesterberg is of Jewish origin the absurdity of racial discrimination is proved inasmuch as Duesterberg was an outstanding officer on the war front and was delegated by true Germans as their candidate for president of the German republic.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund