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.

Vote for Your Favourite 19th Century German Leaders

 1 
Otto von Bismarck
(Chancellor of the German Empire (1871-1890))

Otto von Bismarck
43
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
(General of German Army (1916-18))

Erich Ludendorff
14
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
24
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.
Recommended Lists:

 4 
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.

 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 
Hermann Goring
(German Military Leader)

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.

You May Like

 8 
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

 9 
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.

 10 
Helmuth von Moltke the Elder
(Chief of staff of the Prussian Army (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. 

 11 
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. 

 12 
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

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

 14 
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.

 15 
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.

 16 
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.

 17 
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.

 18 

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

 19 
Ludwig Beck
(General and Chief of the German General Staff during the early years of the Nazi regime in Germany before World War II)

Ludwig Beck
4
Birthdate: June 29, 1880
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Biebrich, Wiesbaden, Germany
Died: July 20, 1944

Initially the head of the Truppenamt and then the Chief of Army General Staff, Ludwig Beck tried to influence Adolf Hitler’s foreign policy, although never an official Nazi Party member. He was part of a plot to assassinate Hitler and bring about an alternate power but was shot dead after it failed.

 20 
Gregor Strasser
(Politician, Pharmacist)

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

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

 22 
Walter Ulbricht
(Politician)

Walter Ulbricht
8
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.

 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 
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). 

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.

 26 

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.

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

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

 29 
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.

 30 
Georgy Lvov
(Politician)

Georgy Lvov
3
Birthdate: November 2, 1861
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dresden, Germany
Died: March 7, 1925

Russian statesman Georgy Lvov created history by becoming the first prime minister of the Russian provisional government formed during the 1917 February Revolution. A qualified lawyer, he worked in civil service for a few years, before joining the Kadet Party, or the Constitutional Democratic Party.

 31 

Karl Liebknecht
5
Birthdate: January 13, 1871
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
Died: January 15, 1919

German socialist radical Karl Liebknecht is best remembered for co-founding the Spartacus League, an underground group that was declared illegal but later led to the formation of the Communist Party of Germany. He was shot to death on the orders of German commander Waldemar Pabst in the 1919 Spartacus Revolt.

 32 

Prince Maximilian of Baden
4
Birthdate: July 10, 1867
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Baden-Baden, Germany
Died: November 6, 1929

Prince Maximilian of Baden was a German politician and general. Maximilian, who belonged to the German aristocracy, was the last chancellor of the German Empire. He also played an important role in the events leading up to the creation of the Weimar Republic.

 33 
Otto Strasser
(Journalist, Politician, Writer)

Otto Strasser
3
Birthdate: September 10, 1897
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bad Windsheim
Died: August 27, 1974

 34 
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.

 35 
Theodor Heuss
(Politician)

Theodor Heuss
3
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.

 36 

Ferdinand von Zeppelin
3
Birthdate: July 8, 1838
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Died: March 8, 1917

 37 
Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen
(Military officer, Aircraft pilot)

Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen
3
Birthdate: October 10, 1895
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bartoszówek, Poland
Died: July 12, 1945

Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen was a German army officer. A flying ace in World War I, Richthofen was promoted to the rank of Generalfeldmarschall while serving in Luftwaffe, Wehrmacht's aerial warfare branch, during World War II. Widely regarded as a visionary in aerial warfare, Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen was honored with several prestigious awards, such as the Eastern Front Medal.

 38 
Emil Maurice
(Politician)

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

 39 
Alfred von Tirpitz
(Politician, Officer)

Alfred von Tirpitz
3
Birthdate: March 19, 1849
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kostrzyn nad Odrą
Died: March 6, 1930

 40 

Carl Friedrich Goerdeler
3
Birthdate: July 31, 1884
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Piła, Poland
Died: February 2, 1945

Born to Prussian parents, Carl Friedrich Goerdeler grew up to be part of the German army during World War I. He later served as the mayor of Leipzig and strongly condemned the Holocaust. He was eventually hanged by the Gestapo for being part of the 20th July coup against Adolf Hitler.

 41 
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.

 42 

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

 44 
Walther Rathenau
(Foreign Minister of Germany)

Walther Rathenau
3
Birthdate: September 29, 1867
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: June 24, 1922

 45 
Carl Schurz
(Politician)

Carl Schurz
3
Birthdate: March 2, 1829
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Erftstadt, Germany
Died: May 14, 1906

Carl Schurz was a German-born American statesman, reformer, and journalist. After immigrating to the USA during the German revolutions of 1848–49, Schurz became an important member of the Republican Party. He also helped found the Liberal Republican Party which was organized to oppose the reelection of Ulysses S. Grant.  

 46 
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.

 47 
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

 48 
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.

 49 
Johannes Blaskowitz
(Military personnel)

Johannes Blaskowitz
4
Birthdate: July 10, 1883
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: East Prussia
Died: February 5, 1948

 50 
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.