List of chancellors of Germany

Wikimedia list article

The chancellor of Germany is the political leader of Germany. They choose all other members of the government and lead cabinet meetings.[1]

Portrait of Otto von Bismarck, sitting at desk
Portrait of Adolf Hitler, standing
Portrait of Konrad Adenauer by Katherine Young
Portrait of Helmut Kohl on a CDU election poster

The office first started in the North German Confederation in 1867.[2] Otto von Bismarck became the first chancellor. The unification of Germany and start of the German Empire in 1871 meant that the Confederation changed into a German country. Its leader was called chancellor of Germany.[3]

At first, the chancellor was only an advisor to the emperor. The emperor chose the chancellor. Later this changed. Under the 1919 Weimar Constitution, the elected President chose the chancellor.[4] In Nazi Germany, politicians ignored the constitution. The chancellor became a dictator under Adolf Hitler. During Allied occupation, there was no chancellor in East or West Germany. This changed after the 1949 Basic Law. This made the chancellor the most important job in the government. The president became less important.[5]

North German Confederation, Bundeskanzler (1867–1871)Edit

The North German Confederation started after the German Confederation ended. This happened because Prussia won the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. The Prussian king chose the Chancellor.[2]

Political party

  None

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Party
Took office Left office Duration
  Count
Otto von Bismarck
(1815–1898)
1 July
1867
21 March
1871
3 years, 263 days Non-partisan

German Empire, Reichskanzler (1871–1918)Edit

The German Empire started from the North German Federation because of the Franco-Prussian War. The new Emperor named the chancellor to advise him.[3]

Political parties

  Zentrum   None

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Party Cabinet
Took office Left office Duration
  Prince
Otto von Bismarck
(1815–1898)
21 March
1871
20 March
1890
18 years, 364 days Non-partisan Bismarck
  Count
Leo von Caprivi
(1831–1899)
20 March
1890
26 October
1894
4 years, 220 days Non-partisan Caprivi
  Prince
Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst
(1819–1901)
29 October
1894
17 October
1900
5 years, 353 days Non-partisan Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst
  Prince
Bernhard von Bülow
(1849–1929)
17 October
1900
14 July
1909
8 years, 270 days Non-partisan Bülow
  Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg
(1856–1921)
14 July
1909
13 July
1917
7 years, 364 days Non-partisan Bethmann-Hollweg
  Georg Michaelis
(1857–1936)
14 July
1917
1 November
1917
110 days Non-partisan Michaelis
  Count
Georg von Hertling
(1843–1919)
1 November
1917
30 September
1918
333 days Centre Party Hertling
  Prince
Max von Baden
(1867–1929)
3 October
1918
9 November
1918
37 days Non-partisan Baden

Revolutionary period, Reichskanzler (1918–1919)Edit

On 9 November 1918, chancellor Max von Baden gave his office to Friedrich Ebert. Ebert continued to be the head of government during the three months between the end of the German Empire in November 1918 and the start of the National Assembly in February 1919. He was Chairman of the Council of the People's Deputies together with USPD Leader Hugo Haase.[6]

Political party

  SPD

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Party Cabinet
Took office Left office Duration
  Friedrich Ebert
(1871–1925)
(Reichskanzler and
Vorsitz des Rates der Volksbeauftragten)
9 November
1918
13 February
1919
96 days Social Democratic Party of Germany Council of the People's Deputies

Weimar Republic, Reichskanzler (1919–1933)Edit

The Weimar Constitution of 1919 started the Weimar Republic. The chancellors often needed support from the President.[5][4]

Political parties

  SPD   Zentrum   DVP   DDP   DNVP   None

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Party Cabinet Reichstag
Took office Left office Duration
  Philipp Scheidemann
(1865–1939)
(Reichsministerpräsident)[a]
13 February
1919
20 June
1919
127 days Social Democratic Party of Germany Scheidemann Nat.Ass.
(1919)
  Gustav Bauer
(1870–1944)
(Reichsministerpräsident;
from 14 August 1919
Reichskanzler)[a]
21 June
1919
26 March
1920
279 days Social Democratic Party of Germany Bauer
  Hermann Müller
(1876–1931)
27 March
1920
21 June
1920
86 days Social Democratic Party of Germany Müller I
  Constantin Fehrenbach
(1852–1926)
25 June
1920
4 May
1921
313 days Centre Party Fehrenbach 1
(1920)
  Joseph Wirth
(1879–1956)
10 May
1921
14 November
1922
1 year, 188 days Centre Party Wirth I
Wirth II
  Wilhelm Cuno
(1876–1933)
22 November
1922
12 August
1923
263 days Non-partisan Cuno
  Gustav Stresemann
(1878–1929)
13 August
1923
30 November
1923
109 days German People's Party Stresemann I
Stresemann II
  Wilhelm Marx
(1863–1946)
30 November
1923
15 January
1925
1 year, 46 days Centre Party Marx I
Marx II 2
(May.1924)
  Hans Luther
(1879–1962)
15 January
1925
12 May
1926
1 year, 117 days Non-partisan Luther I 3
(Dec.1924)
Luther II
  Wilhelm Marx
(1863–1946)
17 May
1926
12 June
1928
2 years, 26 days Centre Party Marx III
Marx IV
  Hermann Müller
(1876–1931)[b]
28 June
1928
27 March
1930
1 year, 272 days Social Democratic Party of Germany Müller II 4
(1928)
  Heinrich Brüning
(1885–1970)[c]
30 March
1930
30 May
1932
2 years, 61 days Centre Party Brüning I 5
(1930)
Brüning II
  Franz von Papen
(1879–1969)[c]
1 June
1932
17 November
1932
169 days Non-partisan Papen 6
(Jul.1932)
  Kurt von Schleicher
(1882–1934)[c]
3 December
1932
28 January
1933
56 days Non-partisan Schleicher 7
(Nov.1932)
  1. 1.0 1.1 The title of chancellor was not formally used until the Weimar Constitution took effect. Instead Scheidemann and Bauer were appointed as Reichsministerpräsident (Minister-President or Prime Minister).
  2. Müller was the last parliamentary chancellor until Konrad Adenauer in 1949
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Non-parliamentary chancellor, appointed by Reichpraesident Paul von Hindenburg after no majority parliamentary coalition could be formed

Nazi Germany, Reichskanzler (1933–1945)Edit

Adolf Hitler's Machtergreifung (taking power) was the end of the Weimar Republic. It was the beginning of Nazi Germany. Hitler was dictator and had all the power.

Political parties

  NSDAP

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Party Cabinet Reichstag[a]
Took office Left office Duration
  Adolf Hitler
(1889–1945)[b][c]
(Führer und Reichskanzler from 2 August 1934)
30 January
1933
30 April
1945
12 years, 90 days National Socialist
German Workers' Party
Hitler 8 (Mar. 1933)
9 (Nov. 1933)
10 (Mar. 1936)
11 (Apr. 1938)
  Joseph Goebbels
(1897–1945)[c][d]
30 April
1945
1 May
1945
1 day National Socialist
German Workers' Party
(Cabinet nominated in Hitler's testament but never convened)
  Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk
(1887–1977)
(Leading Minister at Flensburg)[e][f]
2 May
1945
23 May
1945
21 days National Socialist
German Workers' Party
Schwerin von Krosigk
  1. No elections held during World War II. Last convened on 26 April 1942.
  2. Non-parliamentary chancellor, appointed by Reichpraesident Paul von Hindenburg after no majority parliamentary coalition could be formed
  3. 3.0 3.1 Committed suicide in office.
  4. Appointed by Adolf Hitler in his Political Testament
  5. Appointed by Reichspräsident Karl Dönitz after the suicide of Goebbels
  6. Arrested; government dissolved.[7]

Federal Republic of Germany, Bundeskanzler (from 1949)Edit

In 1949, two separate German countries started: the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). The list below gives the chancellors of West Germany. The Chairman of the Council of Ministers controlled the government of East Germany.[8] In 1990, East Germany ended. It merged with West Germany. It kept the name "Federal Republic of Germany".[9]

Political parties

  CDU   SPD   FDP

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Party Cabinet Bundestag
Took office Left office Duration
  Konrad Adenauer
(1876–1967)
15 September
1949
20 October
1953
14 years, 30 days Christian Democratic Union
(CDU)
Adenauer I
CDU/CSUFDPDP
1 (1949)
20 October
1953
29 October
1957
Adenauer II
CDU/CSUFDP/FVPDPGB/BHE
2 (1953)
29 October
1957
14 November
1961
Adenauer III
CDU/CSUDP
3 (1957)
14 November
1961
13 December
1962
Adenauer IV
CDU/CSUFDP
4 (1961)
14 December
1962
15 October
1963
Adenauer V
CDU/CSUFDP
  Ludwig Erhard
(1897–1977)
16 October
1963
26 October
1965
3 years, 45 days No party membership;[10]
affiliated with the

Christian Democratic Union
(CDU)
Erhard I
CDU/CSUFDP
26 October
1965
30 November
1966
Erhard II
CDU/CSUFDP
5 (1965)
  Kurt Georg Kiesinger
(1904–1988)
1 December
1966
21 October
1969
2 years, 324 days Christian Democratic Union
(CDU)
Kiesinger
CDU/CSUSPD
  Willy Brandt
(1913–1992)
22 October
1969
15 December
1972
4 years, 197 days Social Democratic Party of Germany
(SPD)
Brandt I
SPDFDP
6 (1969)
15 December
1972
7 May
1974
Brandt II
SPDFDP
7 (1972)
  Walter Scheel
(1919–2016)
Acting Chancellor[a]
7 May
1974
16 May
1974
9 days Free Democratic Party
(FDP)
(acting)
  Helmut Schmidt
(1918–2015)
16 May
1974
14 December
1976
8 years, 138 days Social Democratic Party of Germany
(SPD)
Schmidt I
SPDFDP
16 December
1976
4 November
1980
Schmidt II
SPDFDP
8 (1976)
6 November
1980
1 October
1982
Schmidt III
SPDFDP
9 (1980)
  Helmut Kohl
(1930–2017)
1 October
1982
29 March
1983
16 years, 26 days Christian Democratic Union
(CDU)
Kohl I
CDU/CSUFDP
30 March
1983
11 March
1987
Kohl II
CDU/CSUFDP
10 (1983)
12 March
1987
18 January
1991
Kohl III
CDU/CSUFDP
11 (1987)
18 January
1991
17 November
1994
Kohl IV
CDU/CSUFDP
12 (1990)
17 November
1994
27 October
1998
Kohl V
CDU/CSUFDP
13 (1994)
  Gerhard Schröder
(1944–)
27 October
1998
22 October
2002
7 years, 26 days Social Democratic Party of Germany
(SPD)
Schröder I
SPDGreen
14 (1998)
22 October
2002
22 November
2005
Schröder II
SPDGreen
15 (2002)
  Angela Merkel
(1954–)
22 November
2005
28 October
2009
14 years, 298 days Christian Democratic Union
(CDU)
Merkel I
CDU/CSUSPD
16 (2005)
28 October
2009
17 December
2013
Merkel II
CDU/CSUFDP
17 (2009)
17 December
2013
14 March
2018
Merkel III
CDU/CSUSPD
18 (2013)
14 March
2018
Incumbent Merkel IV
CDU/CSUSPD
19 (2017)
  1. As Vice Chancellor under Brandt, Scheel served as acting Chancellor following Brandt's resignation.[11]

TimelineEdit

1867–1945Edit

Lutz Graf Schwerin von KrosigkJoseph GoebbelsAdolf HitlerKurt von SchleicherFranz von PapenHeinrich BrüningHans LutherWilhelm MarxGustav StresemannWilhelm CunoJoseph WirthConstantin FehrenbachHermann MüllerGustav BauerPhilipp ScheidemannFriedrich EbertMaximilian of BadenGeorg von HertlingGeorg MichaelisTheobald von Bethmann-HollwegBernhard von BülowChlodwig zu Hohenlohe-SchillingsfürstLeo von CapriviOtto von Bismarck

Since 1949Edit

Angela MerkelGerhard SchröderHelmut KohlHelmut SchmidtWalter ScheelWilly BrandtKurt Georg KiesingerLudwig ErhardKonrad Adenauer

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Tasks of the Federal Chancellor". bundeskanzlerin.de. The Press and Information Office of the Federal Government. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 (in German)   Verfassung des Norddeutschen Bundes. Wikisource. 26 June 1867. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 (in English)   Constitution of the German Empire. Wikisource. 16 April 1871. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "The Seeds of Evil: The Rise of Hitler — The Constitution of the Weimar Republic". schoolshistory.org.uk. 2004. Archived from the original on 20 August 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Neuland Grundgesetz | Abkehr von Weimarer Verfassung – Reaktion auf Nazi-Deutschland" [Virgin Soil "Basic Law" | Departure from Weimar Constitution - Reaction to Nazi Germany] (in German). Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung. 1 September 2008. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  6. "Biografie Friedrich Ebert 1871-1925" [Biography of Friedrich Ebert]. www.dhm.de/lemo (in German). LeMO/Deutsches Historisches Museum. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  7. Hillmann, Jörg; Zimmermann, John (2014) [2002]. "Die »Reichsregierung« in Flensburg" [The "Government" in Flensburg]. Kriegsende 1945 in Deutschland (in German). Munich: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG. pp. 35–65. ISBN 978-3-486-83332-4.
  8. "Entstehung der DDR: Verfassung und Führungsrolle der SED" [Formation of the GDR: Constitution and the SED's Leadership Role]. www.hdg.de/lemo (in German). LeMO/Haus der Geschichte. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  9. "Vertrag zwischen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik über die Herstellung der Einheit Deutschlands (Einigungsvertrag)" [Unification Treaty between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic]. Treaty of 31 August 1990 (in German). Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  10. Jörges, Hans Ulrich; Wüllenweber, Walter (25 April 2007). "CDU-Altkanzler: Ludwig Erhard war nie CDU-Mitglied" (in German). Der Stern. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  11. McFadden, Robert D. (24 August 2016). "Walter Scheel, Leading Figure in West German Thaw With the East, Dies at 97". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 March 2018.