Theodor Steltzer

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Theodor Hans Friedrich Steltzer (born December 17, 1885 in Trittau , † October 27, 1967 in Munich ) was a German politician ( CDU ). In 1946/47 he was the Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein appointed by the British military governor .


After graduating from high school in 1902 at the Johanneum in Lüneburg , Steltzer joined the Prussian army in 1904 as an officer candidate . In 1907 he began to study political science in Munich , but in 1909 he continued his military career as a battalion adjutant in Göttingen . From 1912 to 1914 he attended the War Academy in Berlin . After the outbreak of World War I , he was deployed first in Liège and then in East Prussia , Prague and Łódź . On New Year's Eve 1914 he was badly wounded. In 1915 he resumed service as an officer in the General Staff of the Field Railways in Mézières-Charleville and in 1917 became General Staff Officer for special use in the field of field railways in the Great Headquarters of the Supreme Army Command in Spa .

Since 1920 he was district administrator of the Rendsburg district . He was removed from this position in 1933 and arrested for alleged embezzlement of public funds. Shortly after his release he was accused of high treason , but acquitted in the second instance. He was one of the participants in the labor camps organized by the Löwenberger Arbeitsgemeinschaft .

1936/38 Steltzer was secretary of the Evangelical Michael Brotherhood in Marburg .

Steltzer was reactivated as a transport officer in Poland at the beginning of the Second World War and was then employed as a staff officer in Bonn . On August 1, 1940, he was transferred to the General Staff of the Armed Forces Commander- in- Chief Norway in Oslo . In 1941 he helped organize a mass exodus of Norwegian and Danish Jews to neutral Sweden. At this time Steltzer also made connections to the Kreisau circle around Helmuth James von Moltke . He was arrested after the assassination attempt on July 20, 1944 and sentenced to death by the People's Court on January 15, 1945 . The advocacy of Finnish and Swedish friends obtained a postponement of his execution. Steltzer was released from prison on April 24, 1945. In autumn 1945 he was temporarily assigned the office of district administrator in Rendsburg for six weeks.

In 1947 and 1948 Steltzer took part in meetings of the Imshausen Society , which aimed to renew Germany out of the spirit of resistance. From 1950 to 1952 he headed the Institute for the Promotion of Public Affairs in Frankfurt am Main . From 1955 to 1960 he was President of the German UNESCO Commission and Executive President of the German Society for Foreign Policy ; he co-founded the DGAP. He was married since 1909.


In June 1945 Steltzer was one of the founders of the CDU in Berlin. After his return to Schleswig-Holstein in autumn 1945, he was also one of the co-founders of the CDU. On November 15, 1945, he was appointed by the British occupation authorities as the successor to Otto Hoevermann as high president of the then province of Schleswig-Holstein and was commissioned to build a provincial administration. Hugh Vivian Champion de Crespigny appointed him Prime Minister on August 23, 1946 . His cabinet was composed of representatives from the CDU, SPD and KPD. The day before the state elections in Schleswig-Holstein in 1947 , he gave this office on April 19, 1947 to the previous Minister of the Interior, Hermann Lüdemann ( SPD ). In 1946/47 Steltzer sat in the appointed state parliament of Schleswig-Holstein .


  • From German politics. Documents, essays and lectures , Knecht, Frankfurt am Main 1949.
  • Sixty years of contemporary. List Verlag, Munich 1966 (autobiography).
  • Speeches, speeches, thoughts 1945–1947 . Basic remarks by the last senior president and first prime minister of Schleswig-Holstein (edited by Kurt Jürgensen), Wachholtz, Neumünster 1986 (sources and research on the history of Schleswig-Holstein, volume 88), ISBN 3-529-02188-1 .


  • Klaus Alberts: Theodor Steltzer. Scenarios of his life. A biography. Heath 2009.
  • Kurt Jürgensen: The founding of the state of Schleswig-Holstein after the Second World War. The establishment of the democratic order in Schleswig-Holstein under the first Prime Minister Theodor Steltzer 1945–1947. Wachholtz, Neumünster 1969 (History of Schleswig-Holstein, Volume 8 / Supplement).
  • Wilhelm Ernst Winterhager : The Kreisau Circle. Portrait of a resistance group. Accompanying volume to an exhibition of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. Berlin 1985, ISBN 3-7758-1106-0 .
  • Willy Brandt : memories. Spiegel-Verlag, Hamburg 2006/207, ISBN 978-3-87763-015-0 , p. 142 f.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Theodor Hans Friedrich Steltzer, History of the CDU, Konrad Adenauer Foundation . In: Konrad Adenauer Foundation . ( [accessed November 30, 2017]).