Famous 19th Century German Leaders

Find out more about the greatest 19th Century German Leaders, including Adolf Hitler, Otto von Bismarck, Joseph Goebbels, Erwin Rommel and Hugo Boss.

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

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 1 George Patton

George Patton.
39
Famous As: Military Officer
Birthdate: November 11, 1885
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Gabriel, California, United States
Died: December 21, 1945

George Patton was a general of the US Army, remembered for his work as a commander of the Seventh United States Army during World War II. He is also remembered for commanding the Third Army in the Western Front in June 1944 after the Allied invasion of Normandy. His life and work inspired the 1970 epic biographical war film Patton.

 2 Otto von Bismarck

Otto von Bismarck.
28
Famous As: German Statesman
Birthdate: April 1, 1815
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Schönhausen
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.
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 3 Erich Ludendorff

Erich Ludendorff.
9
Famous As: General of German Army
Birthdate: April 9, 1865
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
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.

 4 Paul von Hindenburg

Paul von Hindenburg.
17
Famous As: President of Germany (1925-1934)
Birthdate: October 2, 1847
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Grand Duchy of Posen, 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.

 5 Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck

Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck.
4
Famous As: Politician, Writer, Officer
Birthdate: March 20, 1870
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saarlouis
Died: March 9, 1964

 6 Rudolf Hess

Rudolf Hess.
10
Famous As: Deputy Führer
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.

 7 Helmuth von Moltke the Elder

Helmuth von Moltke the Elder.
4
Famous As: General, Historian
Birthdate: October 26, 1800
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mecklenburg-Schwerin
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. 

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 8 Rosa Luxemburg

Rosa Luxemburg.
9
Famous As: Marxist Theorist
Birthdate: March 5, 1871
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Zamos'c'
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

 9 Hermann Goring

Hermann Goring.
18
Famous As: German Military Leader
Birthdate: January 12, 1893
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rosenheim, Kingdom of Bavaria, German Empire
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.

 10 Frederick III, German Emperor

Frederick III, German Emperor.
4
Famous As: King
Birthdate: October 18, 1831
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Palace, Potsdam, Germany
Died: June 15, 1888

Frederick III, German Emperor reigned as the king of Prussia and emperor of the German Empire from 9 March 1888 until his death on 15 June 1888. Although he played key roles during the Austro-Prussian, Second Schleswig, and Franco-Prussian wars, Frederick professed hatred for warfare and was willing to make the German Empire more liberal before his untimely death.

 11 Konrad Adenauer

Konrad Adenauer.
5
Famous As: Former Chancellor of Germany
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.

 12 Gerd von Rundstedt

Gerd von Rundstedt.
5
Famous As: Military Officer
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.

 13 Alfred Jodl

Alfred Jodl.
5
Famous As: Military Commander, Nazi War Criminal
Birthdate: May 10, 1890
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Würzburg
Died: October 16, 1946

Alfred Jodl was a German colonel-general who played an important role throughout World War II by serving as Chief of the Operations Staff of a German Armed Forces High Command called the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht. After the war, Jodl was tried at the Nuremberg trials and was found guilty on charges, such as crimes against humanity and war crimes.

 14 Franz von Papen

Franz von Papen.
4
Famous As: Former Vice-Chancellor of Germany
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.

 15 Friedrich Paulus

Friedrich Paulus.
7
Famous As: Military Officer
Birthdate: September 23, 1890
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Guxhagen, Germany
Died: February 1, 1957

Friedrich Paulus was a German field marshal who played a major role in World War II. He is best remembered for his role in the Battle of Stalingrad, where he commanded the 6th Army. As German General Staff's deputy chief, he also helped plan Operation Barbarossa, the code name for the invasion of the Soviet Union.

 16 William, German Crown Prince

William, German Crown Prince
5
Famous As: Military commander
Birthdate: May 6, 1882
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Marmorpalais, Potsdam, Germany
Died: July 20, 1951

 17 Klemens von Metternich

Klemens von Metternich.
4
Famous As: Former Chancellor of the Austrian Empire
Birthdate: May 15, 1773
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Koblenz, Germany
Died: June 11, 1859
After being appointed the Austrian ambassador to France, Klemens von Metternich met Napoleon many times and apparently had a brief affair with Napoleon’s sister, Caroline, too. He duped Napoleon into thinking he supported France against Russia, and secretly made an alliance with Russia, Prussia, and Britain, to eventually overthrow Napoleon.

 18 Julius Streicher

Julius Streicher.
5
Famous As: A Member of National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP)
Birthdate: February 12, 1885
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fleinhausen, Kingdom of Bavaria, German Empire
Died: October 16, 1946
Julius Streicher went from being an elementary school teacher to establishing the anti-semitic Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer. He led an adulterous life and even spread rumors about his rival party members, which eventually led him to lose all party posts. He was eventually hanged after the Nuremberg trials.

 19 Walter Model

Walter Model.
6
Famous As: Military Officer
Birthdate: January 24, 1891
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Genthin, Germany
Died: April 21, 1945

One of Hitler’s favorite military generals during World War II, Walter Model is remembered for his defensive warfare and for his exploits in Operation Market Garden. The commander of the Ninth Army, he guarded the Eastern Front, but after Germany’s defeat in the Battle of the Bulge, he committed suicide.

 20 Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher

Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher
3
Famous As: Prussian field marshal
Birthdate: December 16, 1742
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Toitenwinkel, Rostock, Germany
Died: September 12, 1819

 21 Friedrich Ebert

Friedrich Ebert.
3
Famous As: 1st President of Germany (1919-1925)
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.

 22 Frederick William III of Prussia

Frederick William III of Prussia
3
Famous As: King
Birthdate: August 3, 1770
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Potsdam, Germany
Died: June 7, 1840

 23 August von Mackensen

August von Mackensen.
3
Famous As: Military Leader
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. 

 24 Gustav Stresemann

Gustav Stresemann.
3
Famous As: Chancellor of Germany
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.

 25 Emil Maurice

Emil Maurice
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 19, 1897
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Westermoor
Died: February 6, 1972

 26 Franz Halder

Franz Halder
4
Famous As: Soldier, Writer, Diarist
Birthdate: June 30, 1884
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Würzburg
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.

 27 Wilhelm Frick

Wilhelm Frick
3
Famous As: Politician, Diplomat, Lawyer
Birthdate: March 12, 1877
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Alsenz
Died: October 16, 1946

 28 Günther von Kluge

Günther von Kluge
4
Famous As: Officer
Birthdate: October 30, 1882
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Poznań
Died: August 17, 1944

 29 Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk

Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk
6
Famous As: Politician, Jurist, Diplomat, Economist
Birthdate: August 22, 1887
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rathmannsdorf
Died: April 3, 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.

 30 Alfred Rosenberg

Alfred Rosenberg.
5
Famous As: Nazi Party Ideologue, Author
Birthdate: January 12, 1893
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tallinn
Died: October 16, 1946
Alfred Rosenberg led the NSDAP Office of Foreign Affairs in Nazi Germany. Known for his work The Myth of the Twentieth Century, which explored the Nazi ideology, he was hanged as a war criminal after the Nuremberg trials. He was also one of the proponents of Positive Christianity.

 31 Carol I of Romania

Carol I of Romania
3
Famous As: Monarch
Birthdate: April 20, 1839
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sigmaringen, Germany
Died: October 10, 1914

 32 Gregor Strasser

Gregor Strasser
3
Famous As: Politician, Pharmacist
Birthdate: May 31, 1892
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Geisenfeld
Died: July 1, 1934

 33 Helmuth von Moltke the Younger

Helmuth von Moltke the Younger
5
Famous As: officer
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.

 34 Walter Ulbricht

Walter Ulbricht
7
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: June 30, 1893
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
Died: August 1, 1973

Walter Ulbricht was a German politician who played a major role in the establishment of the Communist Party of Germany. He also played a key role in the establishment and development of the German Democratic Republic. from 1950 to 1971, Walter Ulbricht was the most influential person in East Germany, serving as the Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party.

 35 Joseph Goebbels

Joseph Goebbels.
27
Famous As: German Nazi politician
Birthdate: October 29, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rheydt, Mönchengladbach, Germany
Died: May 1, 1945

As one of Adolf Hitler's most devoted and closest associates, Joseph Goebbels played an important role in making the Holocaust happen. He even urged Hitler to introduce measures, such as the shutting down of businesses which were not useful to the war effort, that eventually gave rise to total war. Subsequently, Hitler appointed him as Reich Plenipotentiary for Total War.

 36 Erich von Falkenhayn

Erich von Falkenhayn
3
Famous As: General
Birthdate: September 11, 1861
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Białochowo, Poland
Died: April 8, 1922

 37 Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria

Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria
3
Famous As: Prince
Birthdate: May 18, 1869
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: August 2, 1955

 38 Ludwig Erhard

Ludwig Erhard
4
Famous As: Economist, Politician, University teacher
Birthdate: February 4, 1897
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fürth
Died: May 5, 1977

Ludwig Erhard was a German politician best remembered for his efforts to recover the economy in West Germany after the Second World War while serving as the Minister of Economic Affairs. From 1963 to 1966, he served as West Germany's chancellor. Although he was an influential politician, Erhard lacked support from former Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, leading to Ludwig Erhard's resignation.

 39 Ernst Thälmann

Ernst Thälmann
3
Famous As: Politician, Worker, Revolutionary, Trade unionist
Birthdate: April 16, 1886
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hamburg
Died: August 18, 1944

 40 Erwin von Witzleben

Erwin von Witzleben
4
Famous As: Military personnel, Officer
Birthdate: December 4, 1881
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wrocław
Died: August 8, 1944

German field marshal Erwin von Witzleben was one of the main conspirators of the 20 July plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Arrested for his crimes, he was later forced to appear in court without his false teeth and eventually executed and hung from a meat hook by a piano wire.

 41 Prince George, Duke of Cambridge

Prince George, Duke of Cambridge
3
Famous As: Field marshal
Birthdate: March 26, 1819
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hanover, Germany
Died: March 17, 1904

 42 Robert Ritter von Greim

Robert Ritter von Greim
3
Famous As: Aviator, Military personnel
Birthdate: June 22, 1892
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bayreuth
Died: May 24, 1945

 43 Erhard Milch

Erhard Milch
3
Famous As: Politician, Military personnel
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.

 44 Sepp Dietrich

Sepp Dietrich.
4
Famous As: Military Officer
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.

 45 Ernst Udet

Ernst Udet
3
Famous As: Pilot
Birthdate: April 26, 1896
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany
Died: November 17, 1941

 46 Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick

Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick
3
Famous As: Duke
Birthdate: November 17, 1887
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Penzing, Vienna, Austria
Died: January 30, 1953

 47 Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist

Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist
4
Famous As: Military commander
Birthdate: August 8, 1881
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Braunfels, Germany
Died: November 13, 1954

 48 Pyotr Stolypin

Pyotr Stolypin
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: April 14, 1862
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dresden, Germany
Died: September 18, 1911

 49 Theodor Heuss

Theodor Heuss
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 31, 1884
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brackenheim, Germany
Died: December 12, 1963

Apart from being the first president of West Germany, Theodor Heuss, the Free Democratic Party leader, also framed the new constitution of West Germany after World War II. Previously, he was a political journalist and was targeted by Hitler. Even his books were burned for being against German interests.

 50 Erich Raeder

Erich Raeder.
4
Famous As: Admiral
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.