The German weekly Der Spiegel reported Friday that Wolfgang Seibert, a leader of a local Jewish community, is a fraud.
By David Isaac, World Israel News
The German weekly Der Spiegel reported Friday that Wolfgang Seibert, chairman of the Reform Jewish community of Pinneberg near Hamburg, is an imposter.
Seibert has served as leader of the Pinneberg community for 15 years. However, the newspaper says Seibert fabricated his family history and was actually born to a protestant family in Frankurt on August 16, 1947. At age 3, he was baptized.
More damning, Der Spiegel revealed that Seibert’s father and paternal grandfather fought in the Wehrmacht during World War II.
Seibert had claimed that his grandmother was a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, that his father fled to England and that his mother hailed from the Ukraine. In an interview, Seibert reported that he was the only family member his grandmother confided in about her experiences during the Holocaust.
“I think I wanted to have a Jewish history to match my feeling of having a Jewish identity,” Seibert reportedly said when presented with the evidence of his actual background.
However, Seibert has backtracked from any sort of confession and said he will consult an attorney about the magazine’s allegations. He says he has no plans to resign from his position as leader of the Pinneberg Jewish community.
Der Spiegel also reported that Seibert has been convicted multiple times for fraud and embezzlement, having stolen funds from the local branch of the Green Party.