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Franz Seldte
Franz Seldte
(29 June 1882 – 1 April 1947) was co-founder of the German Stahlhelm paramilitary organization, a Nazi politician, and Minister for Labour of the German Reich
German Reich
from 1933 to 1945.[1]

Contents

1 Life

1.1 Stahlhelm 1.2 Hitler Cabinet 1.3 After the War

2 References 3 Bibliography

Life[edit] Born in Magdeburg
Magdeburg
in the Prussian province of Saxony, Seldte was the son of an owner of a factory producing chemical products and soda water.[2] He attended the Wilhelm-Raabe-Gymnasium in Magdeburg
Magdeburg
and, after an apprenticeship as a salesman, he studied chemistry at the universities of Braunschweig and Greifswald. In 1908 he took over the business of his early deceased father.[3] As an officer of the German Army he was wounded in World War I
World War I
and lost his left arm.[4] He then became a front reporter. Awarded with the Iron Cross
Iron Cross
2nd and 1st class,[5] he also was promoted to the rank of a Hauptmann (captain) in the 7th Reserve Division.[citation needed] Stahlhelm[edit] As a reaction to the German Revolution of 1918–1919, Seldte founded the Stahlhelm organization of World War I
World War I
veterans on 25 December 1918, agitating against the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
and German war reparations. According to Seldte, the organization was to use the spirit of the Frontsoldaten against the ‘swinish revolution’ taking place in Germany under the Weimar government.[6] While he took charge of the Stahlhelm from 1923 onwards, he had to cope with the constant rivalry of his deputy leader, the militant Theodor Duesterberg. Seldte became a member of the national conservative German National People's Party (DNVP) and was a member of the Magdeburg
Magdeburg
city council (Stadtrat).[citation needed]

Seldte (r.) with Hugenberg and the Berlin Stahlhelm leader von Stephani at a rally against the Young-Plan, Berlin Sportpalast, 1929

During the later years of the Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
the Stahlhelm became increasingly anti-democratic and anti-republican. However, Seldte hoped that the organization could become a leading organ of a united right-wing movement. In 1929 it united its forces with the DNVP under Alfred Hugenberg, the Pan-German League
Pan-German League
and the Nazi Party
Nazi Party
to initiate a German referendum against the Young Plan
Young Plan
on World War I reparations.[7] The common goal was to denounce the Chancellor Hermann Müller and his ministers as traitors to their country, nevertheless the plebiscite failed to reach the quorum. In 1931 Seldte helped create the short-lived Harzburg Front,[8] a right-wing alliance against the government of Müller's successor Heinrich Brüning. Hitler Cabinet[edit] During the negotiations for the Chancellorship of Germany between Franz von Papen
Franz von Papen
and Hitler in mid-January 1933, Seldte threw his vote and the Stahlhelm behind Hitler, after which, Papen acquiesced to Hitler’s demands.[9] On the day of the Machtergreifung
Machtergreifung
on 30 January 1933, Seldte joined the Hitler Cabinet
Hitler Cabinet
as Reich Minister for Labour,[10] once again outdoing his long-time rival Duesterberg. In the run-up to the elections of March 1933 the Stahlhelm together with Hugenberg's national conservative German National People's Party (DNVP) attempted to make the Kampffront Schwarz-Weiß-Rot ("Black White Red Combat Front") into the dominant political camp on the right, but ultimately failed as it only gained 8.0% of the votes cast.[citation needed] Nevertheless, Seldte obtained a seat in the Reichstag parliament as a DNVP "guest".[citation needed] On 27 April 1933 Seldte finally joined the Nazi Party
Nazi Party
and merged the Stahlhelm into Ernst Röhm's Sturmabteilung
Sturmabteilung
(SA) militia – de facto placing it at the disposal of Hitler.[11] In August 1933, he was awarded the rank of SA- Obergruppenführer
Obergruppenführer
and later was appointed Reichskommissar
Reichskommissar
for the Freiwilliger Arbeitsdienst employment program, but was soon superseded by his state secretary Konstantin Hierl
Konstantin Hierl
as leader of the Reichsarbeitsdienst
Reichsarbeitsdienst
organization.[citation needed] In March 1934 Seldte was made the leader of the German League of Front Fighters, a successor organization of the Stahlhem, which however was soon disbanded.[citation needed] In 1935 he requested to be released from official responsibilities, but Hitler refused. Throughout his tenure as chief of the Labor Ministry, Seldte never enjoyed the full support of Hitler, who did not think he was worth much. As a result, members of the Nazi hierarchy began encroaching on his areas of responsibility and Seldte was marginalized accordingly.[12] For instance, Hermann Goering’s Four Year Plan which he began to implement in late 1936, ran roughshod over Seldte's Labor Ministry altogether.[13] Seldte, without substantial power, remained Reich Minister for Labour until the end of World War II
World War II
and was also a member of the Prussian government under Minister president Hermann Göring
Hermann Göring
as State Labour Minister. Even after Hitler’s suicide and the nomination of Grand-Admiral Dönitz as his successor, Seldte kept his post, being accordingly named Labour Minister.[14] After the War[edit] Seldte was captured and arrested in Mondorf-les-Bains
Mondorf-les-Bains
at the end of the war.[citation needed] During the Nuremberg trials, Seldt tried to exonerate himself by claiming that he had stood against the dictatorship of Hitler and that he advocated for a two-chamber system of parliamentary governance.[15] His story was not convincing. Seldte died in a US military hospital in April 1947 at Fürth, before the Nuremberg Tribunal had the chance to formally arraign him on charges.[16] During the time of Nazi Germany, streets were named after him in several German cities, among them his hometown Magdeburg
Magdeburg
and Leverkusen.[17] References[edit]

^ Stackelberg (2007). The Routledge Companion to Nazi Germany, p. 243. ^ Stackelberg (2007). The Routledge Companion to Nazi Germany, p. 243. ^ Wistrich (2001). Who's Who In Nazi Germany, p. 232. ^ Stackelberg (2007). The Routledge Companion to Nazi Germany, p. 243. ^ Snyder (1976). Encyclopedia of the Third Reich, p. 320. ^ Snyder (1976). Encyclopedia of the Third Reich, p. 320. ^ Kershaw (2000). Hitler: 1889-1936, Hubris, p. 310, 356. ^ Zentner & Bedürftig, eds. The Encyclopedia of the Third Reich, vol. 2, (M-Z), p. 869. ^ Longerich (2012). Heinrich Himmler, p. 144. ^ Shirer (1990). The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, p. 184. ^ Bracher (1970). The German Dictatorship: The Origins, Structure, and Effects of National Socialism, p. 222. ^ Fischer (1995). Nazi Germany: A New History, p. 315. ^ Evans (2006). The Third Reich in Power, p. 358. ^ Mazower (2009). Hitler’s Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe, pp. 532–533. ^ Taylor & Shaw (2002). Dictionary of the Third Reich, p. 261. ^ Snyder (1976). Encyclopedia of the Third Reich, p. 320. ^ Franz-Seldte-Str. (ehemalig)

Bibliography[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Franz Seldte.

Bracher, Karl D. The German Dictatorship: The Origins, Structure, and Effects of National Socialism. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970. Evans, Richard J. The Third Reich in Power. New York: Penguin, 2006. Fischer, Klaus. Nazi Germany: A New History. New York: Continuum, 1995. Kershaw, Ian. Hitler: 1889-1936, Hubris. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2000. Longerich, Peter. Heinrich Himmler. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. Mazower, Mark. Hitler’s Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe. New York: Penguin, 2009. Shirer, William L. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. New York: MJF Books, 1990, [1959]. Snyder, Louis L. Encyclopedia of the Third Reich. London: Robert Hale, 1976 Stackelberg, Roderick. The Routledge Companion to Nazi Germany. New York: Routledge, 2007. Taylor, James, and Warren Shaw. Dictionary of the Third Reich. New York: Penguin, 2002. Wistrich, Robert S. Who's Who In Nazi Germany. New York: Routledge, 2001. Zentner, Christian, and Friedemann Bedürftig, eds. The Encyclopedia of the Third Reich, vol. 2 (M-Z). New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1991.

v t e

Members of the Hitler Cabinet

Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
(Chancellor / Führer) Hermann Göring
Hermann Göring
(President of the Reichstag) Ernst Röhm
Ernst Röhm
(Stabschef-SA) Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
(Reichsführer-SS) Rudolf Hess
Rudolf Hess
(Deputy Führer)1 Franz von Papen
Franz von Papen
(Vice-Chancellor)

Acting officeholders shown in italics

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Konstantin von Neurath Joachim von Ribbentrop

Minister of the Interior

Wilhelm Frick Heinrich Himmler

Minister of Finance

Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk

Minister of Justice

Franz Gürtner Franz Schlegelberger Otto Georg Thierack

Minister of the Reichswehr

Werner von Blomberg Wilhelm Keitel

Minister of Economics

Alfred Hugenberg Kurt Schmitt Hjalmar Schacht Hermann Göring Walther Funk

Minister for Food and Agriculture

Alfred Hugenberg Richard Walther Darré Herbert Backe

Minister for Labour

Franz Seldte

Minister for Postal Affairs

Paul Freiherr von Eltz-Rübenach Wilhelm Ohnesorge

Minister for Transport

Paul Freiherr von Eltz-Rübenach Julius Dorpmüller

Minister of Aviation

Hermann Göring

Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda

Joseph Goebbels

Minister for Science and Education

Bernhard Rust

Minister for Church Affairs

Hanns Kerrl Hermann Muhs

Minister for Armaments and Ammunition

Fritz Todt Albert Speer

Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories

Alfred Rosenberg

Minister of State for Bohemia and Moravia

Karl Hermann Frank

Minister without portfolio

Hans Frank Otto Meissner Arthur Seyss-Inquart Martin Bormann Hans Lammers Konstantin Hierl

1 Until May 1941.

v t e

Schwerin von Krosigk Cabinet (2–23 May 1945)

Graf Schwerin von Krosigk (Chief Minister, independent) Wilhelm Stuckart
Wilhelm Stuckart
(NSDAP) Albert Speer
Albert Speer
(NSDAP) Franz Seldte
Franz Seldte
(NSDAP) Otto Georg Thierack
Otto Georg Thierack
(NSDAP) Grand Admiral Dönitz (independent)1 Julius Heinrich Dorpmüller (NSDAP) Herbert Backe
Herbert Backe
(NSDAP)

1 In his capacity as Reichskriegsminister.

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 18000957 LCCN: n83182500 ISNI: 0000 0000 8361 4040 GND: 117473847 N

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