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Franz Seldte

(1882 - 1947)

Franz Seldte was born in Magdeburg and, after studying in Braunschweig, he fought for Germany in World War I. He lost his arm in battle, and his injury inspired him to found the Stahlhelm, a veterans' organization. The Stahlhelm quickly transformed into an engaged military organization. Men within the organization were not considered veterans, but rather, they were seen as potential soldiers to fight for the Nazi Party.

Seldte quickly became a supporter of the NSDAP, and contributed to Hitler's rise to power. He had a very extreme perception of Germany's future, and he, like many Nazi officials, believed that the Versailles Treaty was the source of the country's problems. Seldte was appointed Reich Minister of Labour. He was also a member of the Reichstag and a Labour Minister for Prussia.

Eventually, Seldte helped to destroy the Stahlhelm, his own organization. He worked for the Third Reich for the remainder of his life.

Franz Seldte died in April 1947.

Sources: Wistrich, Robert S. Who's Who in Nazi Germany. NY: Routledge Press, 1995.