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.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.