Famous German Historical Personalities

When you talk of German history, what is the first name that strikes the mind? Without a doubt, almost everyone would come up with the name Adolf Hitler and why not, for his tyranny and totalitarianism ended up in World War II that was detrimental for the society and its people. But did you know that Hitler wasn’t a German-born? Yes, as surprising as it may seem to be, Hitler in fact was an Austrian but had such a profound influence on German history that he was counted as a German. German history is filled with such influential personalities whose contribution led to the literary, technological, spiritual and political development of the world. Imagine how far would mankind have gone without the discovery of Einstein’s theory of relativity? What if Johannes Gutenberg never existed? Who would have introduced printing to Europe? Karl Marx and his work in economics have laid the basis for the current understanding of labor and its relation to capital. He is indisputably one of the most influential figures of human history. But these names are just the handful of the numerous German figures whose immeasurable contribution transformed the way the world worked. Delve deeper into the segment and find out in details about famous German historical personalities and their contribution for the development of mankind.

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 Charlemagne

Charlemagne
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Famous As: King of the Frank
Birthdate: April 2, 0742
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: German
Died: January 28, 0814

Also known as Charles the Great, Charlemagne ruled as the king of the Franks, king of the Lombards, and emperor of the Romans at different time periods. Not surprisingly, he had a major impact during the Early Middle Ages as he went about uniting the majority of central and western Europe, for which he is called the Father of Europe.

 2 Wilhelm II

Wilhelm II
2
Famous As: Emperor of Germany
Birthdate: January 27, 1859
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: German
Died: June 4, 1941

Wilhelm II reigned as the King of Prussia and German emperor from 1888 to 1918. He is credited with promoting scientific innovation and building a blue-water navy, which strengthened Germany’s position as a great power. However, he was also responsible for getting his country involved in World War I, which eventually brought an end to the Hohenzollern dynasty’s rule.

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 3 Anne of Cleves

Anne of Cleves
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Famous As: Former Queen of England
Birthdate: September 22, 1515
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: German, British
Died: July 16, 1557

Anne of Cleves was the Queen of England for 6 months in 1540, as the fourth wife of King Henry VIII. Their unconsummated marriage deprived led to the annulment of the marriage, following which she received a settlement and came to be known as the King's Beloved Sister.

 4 George I of Great Britain

George I of Great Britain
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Famous As: King of Britain
Birthdate: May 28, 1660
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: German
Died: June 11, 1727
George I ruled as the king of Great Britain and Ireland from 1714 to 1727. He also ruled the Duchy and Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg from 1698 to 1727. He was the House of Hanover’s first British monarch. George's reign witnessed the rise of Robert Walpole and the cabinet government. 

 5 Alexandra Feodorovna

Alexandra Feodorovna
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Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: June 6, 1872
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: German
Died: July 17, 1918

Alexandra Feodorovna, wife of Emperor Nicholas II, was the last Russian tsarina and reigned from 1894 to 1917. She suffered from hemophilia. Alexandra and her entire family were murdered by the Bolshevik revolutionaries. In 2000, the Russian Orthodox Church canonized her as Saint Alexandra the Passion Bearer.

 6 Frederick The Great

Frederick the Great
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Famous As: King of Prussia
Birthdate: January 24, 1712
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: German, Prussian
Died: August 17, 1786
Prussian king Frederick II, also known as Frederick the Great and The Old Fritz, was the longest-reigning Hohenzollern king. He is known for his involvement in the Silesian Wars and the Partitions of Poland. He also supported art and culture, and reformed the judicial system of Prussia.

 7 Ludwig II of Bavaria

Ludwig II of Bavaria
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Famous As: King
Birthdate: August 25, 1845
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: German
Died: June 13, 1866
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 8 Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld

Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
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Famous As: Princess
Birthdate: August 17, 1786
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: German
Died: March 16, 1861

Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, mother of Queen Victoria of the U.K., was a German princess who became the Duchess of Kent and Strathearn by virtue of her marriage to Prince Edward. She was initially married to Charles, Prince of Leiningen. The Royal Chapel of All Saints was dedicated to her.

 9 Ernest II

Ernest II
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Famous As: Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
Birthdate: June 21, 1818
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: German
Died: August 22, 1893

 10 Frederick III, German Emperor

Frederick III, German Emperor
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Famous As: King
Birthdate: October 18, 1831
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: German
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 Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor

Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor
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Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: 1122 AD
Nationality: German
Died: June 10, 1190
Frederick Barbarossa, or Frederick I, reigned as the Holy Roman Emperor from 1155 to 1190. He had been the king of Germany and the king of Burgundy, too, and had earned the name Barbarossa for his red beard. He died while fighting in the Third Crusade in 1190.

 12 Wilhelm I

Wilhelm I
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Famous As: King
Birthdate: March 22, 1797
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: German
Died: March 9, 1888

 13 William I, German Emperor

William I, German Emperor
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Famous As: King
Birthdate: March 22, 1797
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: German
Died: March 9, 1888

 14 Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor

Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
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Famous As: Holy Roman Emperor
Birthdate: December 8, 1708
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: German
Died: August 18, 1765
Married to Maria Theresa, Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, was often outshone by his wife. Their marriage was a political step of Maria’s father, Emperor Charles VI. An art connoisseur, Francis was not as much interested in the administrative affairs of his kingdom as he was in the cultural aspects.

 15 Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor

Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor
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Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: November 23, 0912
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: German
Died: May 7, 0973

Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, known for his ruthlessness, not only united the German empire by crushing all rebellious vassals, but also put an end to the attacks by the Magyars of Hungary. His strategy of making the German bishops feudal lords helped his cause of stabilizing his empire.

 16 Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor

Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor
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Famous As: King of Hungary
Birthdate: February 14, 1368
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: German
Died: December 9, 1437

Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor reigned as the king of Hungary and Croatia from 1387 to 1437. He also served as the king of Germany, king of Bohemia, king of Italy, and emperor of the Romans. Sigismund is best remembered for playing a key role in bringing about the Council of Constance, which ended the Papal Schism.   

 17 Charles the Fat

Charles the Fat
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Famous As: Emperor of the Carolingian Empire
Birthdate: June 13, 0839
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: German
Died: January 13, 0888

Charles the Fat reigned as the emperor of the Carolingian Empire between 881 and 887. During the same time period, he also served as the king of West Francia and Aquitaine, king of Italy, and king of East Francia and Alemannia. Although he was considered lethargic, Charles managed to reunite the entire Carolingian Empire after inheriting all of West Francia.

 18 Frederick William III of Prussia

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

 19 Frederick William I of Prussia

Frederick William I of Prussia
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Famous As: King
Birthdate: August 14, 1688
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: German
Died: May 31, 1740

The Soldier King Frederick William I of Prussia is remembered for transforming his nation into a prosperous state. He was known for his simple lifestyle, as opposed to his father’s kingly excesses. His experience at the War of the Spanish Succession led him to strengthen Prussia militarily, too.

 20 Viktoria Luise of Prussia

Viktoria Luise of Prussia
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Famous As: Princess
Birthdate: September 13, 1892
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: German
Died: December 11, 1980

 21 George V of Hanover

George V of Hanover
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Famous As: King
Birthdate: May 27, 1819
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: German
Died: June 12, 1878

Though completely blind since childhood, George V of Hanover, the only son of King Ernest Augustus, exerted his influence by constantly being at conflict with the Hanoverian parliament. His rejected of Prussia’s demands of unarmed neutrality led to Prussia’s invasion of Hanover. He spent his final years in exile.

 22 Frederick William II of Prussia

Frederick William II of Prussia
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Famous As: King
Birthdate: September 25, 1744
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: German
Died: November 16, 1797

Though he wasn’t a politically experienced ruler, Frederick William II’s reign as the king of Prussia proved to be beneficial for the country in terms of expansion. However, his excesses and his affinity for Protestantism made him unpopular. He patronized art and culture and even played the cello.

 23 Frederick William IV of Prussia

Frederick William IV of Prussia
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Famous As: King of Prussia
Birthdate: October 15, 1795
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: German
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.

 24 Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor

Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor
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Famous As: Holy Roman Emperor
Birthdate: September 21, 1415
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: German
Died: August 19, 1493

Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor reigned as the Holy Roman Emperor from 1452 to 1493. He also ruled as the king of the Romans from 1440 until his death in 1493. Although he struggled to make prompt decisions, for which he was mocked during his lifetime, Frederick is now widely regarded as an effective ruler.

 25 Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor

Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor
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Birthdate: November 11, 1050
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: German
Died: August 7, 1106

 26 Caroline of Ansbach

Caroline of Ansbach
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Famous As: Queen
Birthdate: March 1, 1683
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German
Died: November 20, 1737

The wife of King George II, Caroline of Ansbach served as the queen consort of Great Britain and Ireland from 1727 until her death in 1737. She also became the electress consort of Hanover upon George II's accession in 1727. Caroline is credited with bolstering the House of Hanover's place during a difficult period of political instability in Britain.

 27 Ferdinand I of Romania

Ferdinand I of Romania
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: August 24, 1865
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: German, Romanian
Died: July 20, 1927

 28 Ferdinand I of Bulgaria

Ferdinand I of Bulgaria
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Famous As: Ruler
Birthdate: February 26, 1861
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German
Died: September 10, 1948

 29 Ludwig III of Bavaria

Ludwig III of Bavaria
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Famous As: King
Birthdate: January 7, 1845
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: German
Died: October 18, 1921

 30 Frederica of Hanover

Frederica of Hanover
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Famous As: Queen
Birthdate: April 18, 1917
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: German
Died: February 6, 1981

 31 Carol I of Romania

Carol I of Romania
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Famous As: Monarch
Birthdate: April 20, 1839
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: German, Romanian
Died: October 10, 1914

 32 Augustus II the Strong

Augustus II the Strong
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Famous As: Elector of Saxony
Birthdate: May 12, 1670
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: German
Died: February 1, 1733

 33 Sophia Dorothea of Celle

Sophia Dorothea of Celle
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Famous As: Princess
Birthdate: September 15, 1666
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: German
Died: November 13, 1726

 34 Cerdic

Cerdic
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Famous As: King of Wessex
Birthdate: 0467 AD
Nationality: German, Portuguese
Died: 0534 AD

 35 Henry I of Germany

Henry I of Germany
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Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0876 AD
Nationality: German
Died: July 2, 0936

 36 Elizabeth of Hungary

Elizabeth of Hungary
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Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: July 7, 1207
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: German, Hungarian
Died: November 17, 1231

 37 Maria Alexandrovna of Hesse

Maria Alexandrovna of Hesse
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Famous As: Empress of Russia
Birthdate: August 8, 1824
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: German, Russian
Died: June 3, 1880

 38 Sophie, Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein

Sophie, Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein
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Famous As: Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein
Birthdate: September 28, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: German

 39 Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor

Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor
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Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: August 6, 1697
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: German
Died: January 20, 1745

 40 Henry the Lion

Henry the Lion
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Famous As: Prince
Birthdate: 1129 AD
Nationality: German
Died: August 6, 1195

 41 Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia

Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia
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Famous As: King
Birthdate: February 26, 1361
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German
Died: August 16, 1419

 42 Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden

Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden
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Famous As: King
Birthdate: May 14, 1710
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: German, Swedish
Died: February 12, 1771

 43 Alexandra Fyodorovna

Alexandra Fyodorovna
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Famous As: Empress of Russia
Birthdate: July 13, 1798
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: German
Died: November 1, 1860

 44 Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor

Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor
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Famous As: monarch, writer, composer
Birthdate: October 31, 1165
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: German, Dutch
Died: September 28, 1197

 45 Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
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Famous As: Queen
Birthdate: March 10, 1776
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German, Prussian
Died: July 19, 1810

 46 Louis the German

Louis the German
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Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0804 AD
Nationality: German
Died: August 28, 0876

 47 Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor

Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor
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Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: August 11, 1086
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: German
Died: May 23, 1125

 48 Augustus III of Poland

Augustus III of Poland
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Famous As: King
Birthdate: October 17, 1696
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: German, Lithuanian, Polish
Died: October 5, 1763

 49 Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor

Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor
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Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: April 1, 1282
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: German
Died: October 11, 1347

 50 Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor

Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor
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Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: October 28, 1017
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: German
Died: October 5, 1056