Famous 19th Century German Leaders

Right IconThis ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Find out more about the greatest 19th Century German Leaders, including Adolf Hitler, Otto von Bismarck, Joseph Goebbels, Erwin Rommel and Hugo Boss.
Vote for Your Favourite 19th Century German Leaders
 1 
Otto von Bismarck
(Chancellor of the German Empire (1871 - 1890))
Otto von Bismarck
45
Birthdate: April 1, 1815
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Schönhausen, Germany
Died: July 30, 1898
Otto von Bismarck was a German statesman. Bismarck is credited with masterminding the unification of Germany and served as its first chancellor. He is also credited with creating the first modern welfare state in the world. Regarded as a hero by German nationalists, Otto von Bismarck's life has inspired a couple of TV series.
 2 
Erich Ludendorff
(German General, Politician and Military Theorist)
Erich Ludendorff
16
Birthdate: April 9, 1865
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kruszewnia, Poland
Died: December 20, 1937

German military leader Erich Ludendorff gained fame with the victories at Liège and Tannenberg during World War I. He promoted the theory that Marxists, Jews, and Freemasons were responsible for Germany’s defeat in the war. He later became a military theorist, writing books such as The Total War.

 3 
Paul von Hindenburg
(President of Germany (1925-1934))
Paul von Hindenburg
25
Birthdate: October 2, 1847
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Poznań, Poland
Died: August 2, 1934
Paul von Hindenburg served as the second president of the German Weimar Republic, from 1925 to 1934. In 1933, he appointed Adolf Hitler as the Chancellor of Germany, and also signed the Enabling Act, which gave Hitler total administrative powers. Following his death, Hitler declared himself the Führer.
Recommended Lists:
 4 
Helmuth von Moltke the Elder
(Former Chief of the German General Staff (1871 - 1888))
Helmuth von Moltke the Elder
5
Birthdate: October 26, 1800
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Parchim, Germany
Died: April 24, 1891

Helmuth von Moltke the Elder was a Prussian field marshal who served as the chief of staff in the Royal Prussian Army for 30 years. Moltke, who commanded troops during Austro-Prussian War, Second Schleswig War, and the Franco-Prussian War, is credited with creating a new method of directing armies. He is also credited with pioneering the military usage of railways. 

 5 
Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher
(Prussian field marshal)
Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher
3
Birthdate: December 16, 1742
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Toitenwinkel, Rostock, Germany
Died: September 12, 1819
 6 
Konrad Adenauer
(Former Chancellor of Germany)
Konrad Adenauer
6
Birthdate: January 5, 1876
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cologne
Died: April 19, 1967

German politician, Konrad Adenauer, served as the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 to 1963. He was also the co-founder and the first leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). He played a key role in leading his country from the ruins of World War II to becoming a  prosperous nation.

 7 
Rosa Luxemburg
(Revolutionary Socialist, Marxist Philosopher & Anti-War Activist)
Rosa Luxemburg
17
Birthdate: March 5, 1871
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Zamosc, Poland
Died: January 15, 1919
Polish Marxist and socialist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg was a member of parties such as the SPD, the USPD, and the KPD. Luxemburg was an anti-war activist and taught economics and Marxism at SPD's Berlin training center. She was assassinated by the Freikorps troops during the German Revolution
 8 
Gerd von Rundstedt
(Military Officer)
Gerd von Rundstedt
6
Birthdate: December 12, 1875
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Aschersleben, Province of Saxony, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire
Died: February 24, 1953

Gerd von Rundstedt was a Nazi field marshal during World War II. His army was part of the German campaigns in France and Russia. He was defeated at the Battle of Normandy. Following the war, he was charged with war crimes but was not tried due to old age.

 9 
William, German Crown Prince
(Military commander)
William, German Crown Prince
5
Birthdate: May 6, 1882
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Potsdam, Germany
Died: July 20, 1951
 10 
Rudolf Hess
(Deputy Führer)
Rudolf Hess
15
Birthdate: April 26, 1894
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Alexandria
Died: August 17, 1987
Nazi Party member Rudolf Hess was Hitler’s Deputy Führer and helped in the passage of the Nuremberg Laws. While on a trip to Scotland to initiate peace talks with the U.K. during World War II, he was arrested, and then convicted of war crimes. He eventually committed suicide in prison.
 11 
Sepp Dietrich
(Military Officer)
Sepp Dietrich
4
Birthdate: May 28, 1892
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hawangen, Germany
Died: April 21, 1966
Initially a butcher’s apprentice, Sepp Dietrich later rose to be one of Hitler’s most trusted men, commanding his bodyguard and eventually becoming the SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer. His association with the Malmedy massacre and Hitler’s purge of 1934 got him convicted. He apparently also frequented the infamous Nazi brothel Salon Kitty.
 12 
August von Mackensen
(Military Leader)
August von Mackensen
3
Birthdate: December 6, 1849
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Trossin, Germany
Died: November 8, 1945

August von Mackensen was a German field marshal during the First World War. He was considered one of the German Empire's most prominent military leaders. Following his retirement, he became a Prussian state councilor. He supported right-wing monarchists and nationalist groups. His attitude towards the Nazi regime was ambiguous. He died in 1945 at the age of 95. 

 13 
Friedrich Ebert
(1st President of Germany (1919 - 1925))
Friedrich Ebert
3
Birthdate: February 4, 1871
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Heidelberg, Germany
Died: February 28, 1925

Friedrich Ebert was a German politician who served as the president of Germany from 1919 to 1925. He played an important role during the German Revolution of 1918–19, which helped replace the federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary republic, which came to be known as the Weimar Republic. Friedrich Ebert also worked towards restoring peace in Germany.

 14 
Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck
(Was a general in the Imperial German Army)
Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck
4
Birthdate: March 20, 1870
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saarlouis, Germany
Died: March 9, 1964
 15 
Erich Raeder
(Admiral)
Erich Raeder
4
Birthdate: April 24, 1876
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wandsbek, Hamburg, Germany
Died: November 6, 1960

Erich Raeder was a German admiral best remembered for his role in World War II. In 1939, Raeder became the first person since Henning von Holtzendorff to hold the rank of Grand Admiral, the highest possible naval rank. Raeder led the Kriegsmarine, the navy of Nazi Germany, for the first half of the Second World War before resigning in 1943.

 16 
Hermann Goring
(German Nazi Party Leader and Convicted War Criminal)
Hermann Goring
21
Birthdate: January 12, 1893
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rosenheim, Germany
Died: October 15, 1946

Hermann Goring was a German military and political leader. One of the most influential personalities in the Nazi Party, Göring oversaw the creation of the Gestapo. He also played a key role in the Holocaust, for which he was later convicted of crimes against humanity and crimes against peace.

 17 
Franz Halder
(Former general, chief of staff of the Army High Command (OKH) in Nazi Germany from 1938 until September 1942)
Franz Halder
4
Birthdate: June 30, 1884
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Würzburg, Germany
Died: April 2, 1972

Franz Halder, the son of an army officer, became the Chief of General Staff of the German army, replacing General Ludwig Beck. He later became the Commander in Chief but was replaced due to disagreements with Hitler. He later testified against major Nazi officials in the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial.

 18 
Friedrich Engels
(German Philosopher Who Developed 'Marxism' Together With Karl Max)
Friedrich Engels
6
Birthdate: November 28, 1820
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Barmen, Germany
Died: August 5, 1895

Friedrich Engels was a German philosopher, political scientist, and revolutionary socialist. Along with Karl Marx, Engels helped develop Marxism, which has had a profound impact on fields like philosophy and anthropology. Engels is credited with helping Marx publish Das Kapital, a foundational theoretical work in politics, economics, and materialist philosophy. He also co-authored influential political documents like The Communist Manifesto.

 19 
Gustav Stresemann
(Chancellor of Germany)
Gustav Stresemann
3
Birthdate: May 10, 1878
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Berlin
Died: October 3, 1929

Gustav Stresemann was the only one of his siblings to complete university education. He grew up to serve as the chancellor of the Weimar Republic briefly, before becoming the foreign minister. He shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the French foreign minister Aristide Briand for an agreement of reconciliation.

 20 
Frederick William IV of Prussia
(Former King of Prussia (1840 - 1861))
Frederick William IV of Prussia
3
Birthdate: October 15, 1795
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: January 2, 1861

Frederick William IV of Prussia was the King of Prussia from 1840 until his death in 1861.  He was the eldest son of Frederick William III of Prussia and his wife, Queen Louise. He was a staunch Romanticist and was a patron of several great German artists. He ascended to the throne upon the death of his father in 1840.

Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria
3
Birthdate: May 18, 1869
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: August 2, 1955
 22 
Gregor Strasser
(Politician, Pharmacist)
Gregor Strasser
3
Birthdate: May 31, 1892
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Geisenfeld
Died: July 1, 1934
 23 
Ernst Thälmann
(Politician, Worker, Revolutionary, Trade unionist)
Ernst Thälmann
3
Birthdate: April 16, 1886
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hamburg
Died: August 18, 1944
 24 
Franz von Papen
(Former Vice-Chancellor of Germany)
Franz von Papen
4
Birthdate: October 29, 1879
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Werl, Westphalia, Prussia, Germany
Died: May 2, 1969

Franz von Papen was a German politician, Prussian nobleman, diplomat, and General Staff officer. From 1933 to 1934, he served under Adolf Hitler as the Vice-Chancellor of Germany. After World War II, Franz von Papen was indicted alongside other war criminals in the Nuremberg trials. However, he was later acquitted of all charges.

 25 
Erich von Falkenhayn
(Former Minister of War of Prussia (1913 - 1915))
Erich von Falkenhayn
3
Birthdate: September 11, 1861
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Białochowo, Poland
Died: April 8, 1922

Erich von Falkenhayn was a war leader who played a major role during World War I where he served as the Chief of the German General Staff from 1914 to 1916. He also served as the Prussian Minister of War from 1913 to 1915. Although his reputation was attacked by certain groups, many regard Falkenhayn as a great German general.

 26 
Frederick William III of Prussia
(King of Prussia (1797 - 1840))
Frederick William III of Prussia
3
Birthdate: August 3, 1770
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Potsdam, Germany
Died: June 7, 1840

The son of Frederick William II, Prussian king Frederick William III mostly kept himself aloof from important decisions. He also hampered Prussia’s image by maintaining neutrality in the Wars of the Second and Third Coalitions. He mostly remained under the shadow of his wife, Queen Louise.

Helmuth von Moltke the Younger
5
Birthdate: May 23, 1848
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Parchim
Died: June 18, 1916

Helmuth von Moltke the Younger was a German military officer who served as a general. Moltke the Younger became the Chief of the German General Staff and led the German Army between 1906 and 1914. His influence on Germany's decision to enter World War I has tarnished his legacy. The failure of his Schlieffen Plan has also earned him criticisms.

Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick
3
Birthdate: November 17, 1887
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Penzing, Vienna, Austria
Died: January 30, 1953
 29 
Ferdinand von Zeppelin
(A Pioneer in Development of Rigid Airship and Founder of Aircraft Manufacturing Company ‘Luftschiffbau Zeppelin’)
Ferdinand von Zeppelin
3
Birthdate: July 8, 1838
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Died: March 8, 1917
 30 
Kurt Student
(Aviator, Officer)
Kurt Student
3
Birthdate: May 12, 1890
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Birkholz
Died: July 1, 1978

A pioneer in developing airborne operations, Kurt Student was a German general and commander of the Luftwaffe's paratroop branch. Assigned to military research and development in interwar years, he became interested in gliders and paratroopers, eventually helping to develop Germany's airborne forces. He masterminded airborne attacks in places like Netherlands and Crete, forcing the Allies to develop their own airborne troops.

 31 
Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk
(Senior government official who served as the minister of Finance of Germany from 1932 to 1945)
Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk
6
Birthdate: August 22, 1887
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rathmannsdorf, Germany
Died: March 4, 1977
Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk was a German politician who served as Germany's Finance Minister from 1932 to 1945. Krosigk and his ministry were largely responsible for the persecution of European and German Jews. One of the most important members of the Nazi Party, Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk was also among the few members of the Hitler cabinet.
 32 
Otto Strasser
(Journalist, Politician, Writer)
Otto Strasser
3
Birthdate: September 10, 1897
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bad Windsheim
Died: August 27, 1974
 33 
Günther von Kluge
(Former field marshal during World War II who held commands on both the Eastern and Western Fronts)
Günther von Kluge
4
Birthdate: October 30, 1882
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Poznań, Poland
Died: August 19, 1944

Günther von Kluge was a German field marshal who played a critical role during the Second World War, commanding both the Western and Eastern Fronts of the war. Günther von Kluge played significant roles during the invasion of Poland (1939), the Battle of France (1940), the invasion of the Soviet Union (1941), and the Battle for Moscow (1941). 

 34 
Emil Maurice
(Politician)
Emil Maurice
4
Birthdate: January 19, 1897
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Westermoor
Died: February 6, 1972
 35 
Alfred von Tirpitz
(Politician, Officer)
Alfred von Tirpitz
3
Birthdate: March 19, 1849
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kostrzyn nad Odrą
Died: March 6, 1930
 36 
Walther Rathenau
(Foreign Minister of Germany)
Walther Rathenau
3
Birthdate: September 29, 1867
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: June 24, 1922
 37 
Otto of Bavaria
3
Birthdate: April 27, 1848
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Munich Residenz, Munich, Germany
Died: October 11, 1916
Prince Henry of Prussia
3
Birthdate: August 14, 1862
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: April 20, 1929
 39 
Hans von Seeckt
(Politician, Officer)
Hans von Seeckt
3
Birthdate: April 22, 1866
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Schleswig
Died: December 27, 1936

Hans von Seeckt was a German military officer. He played an important role in the First World War where he was a key figure in planning the victories achieved by August von Mackensen during World War I.

Prince George, Duke of Cambridge
3
Birthdate: March 26, 1819
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hanover, Germany
Died: March 17, 1904
 41 
Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist
(Military commander)
Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist
4
Birthdate: August 8, 1881
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Braunfels, Germany
Died: November 13, 1954
 42 
Werner von Blomberg
(First Minister of War in Adolf Hitler's government)
Werner von Blomberg
3
Birthdate: September 2, 1878
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Stargard, Poland
Died: March 13, 1946

Werner von Blomberg was a German military officer who served as a German General Staff officer. Blomberg also served as Nazi Germany's first Minister of War. As the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, Werner von Blomberg played a key role in Germany's preparation in the years leading to the Second World War.

 43 
Robert Ritter von Greim
(Aviator, Military personnel)
Robert Ritter von Greim
3
Birthdate: June 22, 1892
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bayreuth
Died: May 24, 1945
 44 
Eduard Bernstein
(Former social democratic Marxist theorist)
Eduard Bernstein
3
Birthdate: January 6, 1850
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: December 18, 1932

Though a staunch socialist and Marxist, Eduard Bernstein was also one of the biggest critics of Marxist theory and thus gained the nickname The Father of Revisionism. He spotted many loopholes in Karl Marx’s tenets, such as the eventual collapse of the capitalist economy. He also represented Brandenburg in the Reichstag.

Prince Eitel Friedrich of Prussia
3
Birthdate: July 7, 1883
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Potsdam, Germany
Died: December 8, 1942
 46 
Erhard Milch
(Politician, Military personnel)
Erhard Milch
3
Birthdate: March 30, 1892
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wilhelmshaven
Died: January 25, 1972

Known for playing a key role in establishing Luftwaffe, Erhard Milch joined civil aviation industry after a brief army career during WWI and eventually became State Secretary of Reich Ministry of Aviation. Soon, he started building up Luftwaffe and quickly reaching a high position. Tried as war criminal after WWII, he was sentenced to life imprisonment, but was released within seven years.

Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine
3
Birthdate: July 15, 1823
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Darmstadt, Hesse, Germany
Died: December 15, 1888
 48 
Ernst Udet
(Pilot)
Ernst Udet
3
Birthdate: April 26, 1896
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany
Died: November 17, 1941
 49 
Gotthard Heinrici
(Officer, Military personnel)
Gotthard Heinrici
4
Birthdate: December 25, 1886
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gusev
Died: December 13, 1971
German military general Gotthard Heinrici had been part of battles in both the Western Front and the Eastern Front during World War II. He was part of Operation Barbarossa in the Soviet Union and later developed innovative strategies to tackle the Red Army, such as withdrawing before counterattacking.
 50 
Herbert von Bismarck
3
Birthdate: December 28, 1849
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: September 18, 1904