Famous German Leaders

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 1 
Otto von Bismarck
(Chancellor of the German Empire (1871 - 1890))
Otto von Bismarck
56
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 
Erwin Rommel
(General)
Erwin Rommel
67
Birthdate: November 15, 1891
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Heidenheim an der Brenz, Germany
Died: October 14, 1944

Known as The Desert Fox, Nazi field marshal Erwin Rommel led the Axis forces during World War II. For his plot to assassinate Hitler in 1944, he was given a choice to either commit suicide by consuming a cyanide pill or face a trial and execution. He chose the former.

 3 
Charlemagne
(1st Emperor of the Romans from 800 to 814)
Charlemagne
21
Birthdate: April 2, 0747
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Aachen, Germany
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.

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 4 
Karl Dönitz
(German Admiral Who Briefly Succeeded Adolf Hitler as Head of State)
Karl Dönitz
18
Birthdate: September 16, 1891
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Grünau, Berlin, Germany
Died: December 24, 1980
Karl Dönitz was the supreme commander of the German Navy and played a crucial role in World War II. Hitler made Dönitz his successor before committing suicide. Dönitz officially surrendered after Germany’s loss in World War II and was convicted as a war criminal at the 1946 Nuremberg Trials.
 5 
Erich Ludendorff
(German General, Politician and Military Theorist)
Erich Ludendorff
17
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.

 6 
Claus von Stauffenberg
(German Army Officer Who Failed in His Attempt to Assassinate Adolf Hitler)
Claus von Stauffenberg
13
Birthdate: November 15, 1907
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Jettingen, Germany
Died: July 1, 1944

German army officer Claus von Stauffenberg, a significant figure of the German Resistance Movement within the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany, attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler in July 1944, but failed. He was executed by a firing squad soon after Operation Valkyrie. He had earlier actively participated in World War II.

 7 
Helmut Kohl
(Former Chancellor of Germany)
Helmut Kohl
21
Birthdate: April 3, 1930
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ludwigshafen
Died: June 16, 2017
Christian Democratic Union politician Helmut Kohl was the Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998. He had also served as the chairman of the CDU earlier. His tenure witnessed the end of the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the formation of the European Union.
 8 
Paul von Hindenburg
(President of Germany (1925-1934))
Paul von Hindenburg
26
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.
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 9 
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.
 10 
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.

 11 
Heinz Guderian
(German General During World War II and Inspector of Motorized Troops)
Heinz Guderian
21
Birthdate: June 17, 1888
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chełmno, Poland
Died: May 14, 1954

German military general Heinz Guderian was part of World War II and led the successful invasions of Poland and France. He was dismissed after the failed Operation Typhoon. He used the blitzkrieg approach and was in charge of training the panzer forces. He wrote a bestselling memoir, following the war.

 12 
Erich Hartmann
(Aviator, Officer)
Erich Hartmann
6
Birthdate: April 19, 1922
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Weissach
Died: September 20, 1993

Remembered as the most successful fighter pilot in the history of aerial warfare, Erich Hartmann completed 1,400 missions in his Messerschmitt Bf 109 and shot down 352 Allied planes. Known for his dogfighting strategy, he inspired the popular biography The Blond Knight of Germany and became a flight instructor post-retirement.

 13 
Friedrich Paulus
(German Field Marshal Best Known for Commanding the 6th Army During the Battle of Stalingrad)
Friedrich Paulus
9
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.

 14 
Louis The Pious
(King of Aquitaine, King of Franks & Co-Emperor (Holy Roman Empire))
Louis The Pious
6
Birthdate: April 16, 0778
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chasseneuil-du-Poitou
Died: June 20, 0840
Son of Charlemagne, Louis The Pious, became the king of Aquitaine at age 3. He crowned himself the emperor of the Franks immediately after his father’s death. His reign was riddled with three civil wars, while his death caused another civil war, which finally culminated in the Treaty of Verdun.
 15 
Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben
(German Military Officer Who Served as a Major General of the Continental Army During the American Revolutionary War)
Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben
10
Birthdate: September 17, 1730
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Magdeburg, Germany
Died: November 28, 1794
At a time when homosexuality was illegal, Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben was openly gay. The Prussian military officer and hero of the American Revolutionary War, reportedly had a romantic relationship with his fellow military man Benjamin Walker. He is also known as someone who singlehandedly trained the Continental Army.
 16 
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. 

 17 
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
 18 
Otto Skorzeny
(German SS - Obersturmbannführer During World War II)
Otto Skorzeny
6
Birthdate: June 12, 1908
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: July 5, 1975
Austrian-born German SS-Obersturmbannführer Otto Skorzeny served in the Waffen-SS during World War II. He led the Gran Sasso raid that rescued Benito Mussolini. He also headed Operation Greif that had German soldiers attacking Allied forces by using uniforms of their enemies. He later spent time in Egypt and Argentina.
 19 
Karl Von Clausewitz
7
Birthdate: July 1, 1780
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Burg bei Magdeburg
Died: November 16, 1831

Carl von Clausewitz was a Prussian military theorist and general. As a theorist, Clausewitz stressed the political aspects of war. His book Vom Kriege, which talks about military strategy, has been very influential despite the fact that it was unfinished at the time of his death. His ideas also influenced personalities like Karl Marx, Mao Zedong, and Leon Trotsky.

 20 
Ursula von der Leyen
(President of the European Commission )
Ursula von der Leyen
20
Birthdate: October 8, 1958
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ixelles, Belgium
Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen is currently serving as the first president of the European Commission. Named to Time 100 in 2020, she has previously been the first female defense minister of Germany, and has held positions such as the deputy leader of the CDU and the minister of labor.
 21 
Helmut Schmidt
(Politician)
Helmut Schmidt
6
Birthdate: December 23, 1918
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: November 10, 2015

Helmut Schmidt, who had once been the chancellor of Germany, was also an avid art connoisseur and a talented pianist. The SPD member had also been associated with the DIE ZEIT magazine and is remembered for his efficient management of the Hamburg storm flood as the police senator of Hamburg.

 22 
Willy Brandt
(Chancellor of Germany (1969 - 1974))
Willy Brandt
7
Birthdate: December 18, 1913
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lübeck, Germany
Died: October 8, 1992

Willy Brandt was a German statesman and politician. From 1964 to 1987, he led the Social Democratic Party of Germany. From 1969 to 1974, Brandt served as chancellor of West Germany. In 1971, he was honored with the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to achieve reconciliation between the countries of Eastern Europe and West Germany.

 23 
Klemens von Metternich
(Chancellor of the Austrian Empire from 1821 to 1848)
Klemens von Metternich
4
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.
 24 
Wilhelm Canaris
(5th Chief of the Abwehr (1935 - 1944))
Wilhelm Canaris
7
Birthdate: January 1, 1877
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Germany
Died: April 9, 1945

While Wilhelm Canaris became one of Hitler’s most trusted secret agents, he was actually supplying information to Britain all along. He went down in history as a man who was hanged twice for treason, first as part of torture for a few moments, and then for good.

 25 
Kurt von Schleicher
(German General and the Last Chancellor of Germany—Before Adolf Hitler—During the Weimar Republic)
Kurt von Schleicher
5
Birthdate: April 7, 1882
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brandenburg, Germany
Died: June 30, 1934

German general Kurt von Schleicher was the last Chancellor of the German Reich, or Weimar Republic, before Adolf Hitler came to power. He was killed on Hitler’s orders during the purge called the Night of the Long Knives. He had attempted to form an anti-Hitler coalition called the Querfront.

 26 
Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor
(Holy Roman Emperor (962 - 973))
Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor
4
Birthdate: November 23, 0912
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wallhausen, Germany
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.

 27 
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
(President of Germany (Since 2017))
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
11
Birthdate: January 5, 1956
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Detmold, Germany

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the current president of Germany, has also been his nation’s Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs. A Social Democratic Party of Germany member, he went from being a factory worker’s son to studying law and politics and then eventually stepping into politics. He has also worked for the German military.

 28 
Rosa Luxemburg
(Revolutionary Socialist, Marxist Philosopher & Anti-War Activist)
Rosa Luxemburg
28
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
 29 
Wilm Hosenfeld
(Army Officer)
Wilm Hosenfeld
6
Birthdate: May 2, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mackenzell, Prussia, German Empire
Died: August 13, 1952

Wilm Hosenfeld was a German Army officer, best remembered for rescuing many Polish people in Nazi-German occupied Poland. His efforts to help save the life of Jewish composer and pianist Władysław Szpilman were depicted in the 2002 biographical war drama film, The Pianist, in which Hosenfeld was portrayed by actor Thomas Kretschmann.

 30 
Heinrich Müller
(German Police Officer)
Heinrich Müller
9
Birthdate: April 28, 1900
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: April 30, 1945
 31 
Julius Streicher
(German Nazi Politician, Founder and Publisher of the Virulently Antisemitic Newspaper ‘Der Stürmer’)
Julius Streicher
6
Birthdate: February 12, 1885
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dinkelscherben, Germany
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.
 32 
Prince Rupert of the Rhine
(German-English Army Officer, Admiral, Scientist and Colonial Governor)
Prince Rupert of the Rhine
3
Birthdate: December 17, 1619
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia
Died: November 29, 1682

Prince Rupert of the Rhine was a German-English admiral, army officer, colonial governor, and scientist. Renowned for his energy and quick-thinking, Rupert made long-lasting and impressive contributions to the doctrine and development of the Royal Navy. He is also credited with shaping modern Canada's political geography. 

 33 
Friedrich Ebert
(1st President of Germany (1919 - 1925))
Friedrich Ebert
4
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.

 34 
Adolf Galland
(Military Leader)
Adolf Galland
5
Birthdate: March 19, 1912
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Herten, Germany
Died: February 9, 1996

Adolf Galland was a German flying ace and Luftwaffe general who served during World War II in Europe. He flew as much as 705 combat missions and fought in the Defence of the Reich and on the Western Front. During the course of his illustrious career, Adolf Galland achieved 104 aerial victories against the Western Allies.

 35 
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. 

 36 
Henning von Tresckow
(Military Officer)
Henning von Tresckow
4
Birthdate: January 10, 1901
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Magdeburg, Germany
Died: July 21, 1944

Henning von Tresckow was a German Army officer who played a key role in organizing German  resistance against Adolf Hitler. He drafted the Valkyrie plan for a coup against the German government and even attempted to assassinate Hitler in 1943. The next year, he once again plotted to kill Hitler and failed again, upon which he committed suicide. 

 37 
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.

 38 
Angela Merkel
(First Female Chancellor of Germany (2005 - 2021))
Angela Merkel
64
Birthdate: July 17, 1954
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany

The current chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel is widely described as the world's most powerful woman. Also considered the de facto leader of the European Union (EU), Angela Merkel has played an important role in strengthening international trade agreements. In 2020, she was named in Time magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People.

 39 
Adolf Hitler
(Nazi Dictator and Chancellor of Germany (1933-1945))
Adolf Hitler
254
Birthdate: April 20, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Braunau am Inn, Austria
Died: April 30, 1945

One of the most powerful leaders of the 20th century, Adolf Hitler was a German dicator whose policies started the WWII that resulted in the death of millions of people. He had a visceral hatred for Jews and during his regime nearly six million Jews were killed in Holocaust.

 40 
Sepp Dietrich
(Military Officer)
Sepp Dietrich
5
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.
 41 
Manfred Rommel
(Writer, Politician, Jurist)
Manfred Rommel
5
Birthdate: December 24, 1928
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Stuttgart
Died: November 7, 2013
 42 
Hermann Goring
(German Nazi Party Leader and Convicted War Criminal)
Hermann Goring
22
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.

 43 
Joachim von Ribbentrop
(Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nazi Germany (1938 - 1945))
Joachim von Ribbentrop
8
Birthdate: April 30, 1893
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wesel, Germany
Died: October 16, 1946

German politician Joachim von Ribbentrop was Nazi Germany’s minister of foreign affairs from 1938 to 1945. He let Hitler use his summer house, Schloss Fuschl, for secret Nazi meetings. Ribbentrop was eventually convicted of war crimes and became the first Nuremberg defendant to be hanged to death.

 44 
Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor
4
Birthdate: November 11, 1050
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Goslar
Died: August 7, 1106
 45 
Erich von Manstein
(German Field Marshal During World War II)
Erich von Manstein
5
Birthdate: November 24, 1887
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: June 9, 1973

Erich von Manstein was a German commander of the Wehrmacht, Nazi Germany's armed forces. He joined the army at a young age and was active during both World War I and World War II. Following Germany’s defeat in World War II, he was taken prisoner by the British. He was tried for war crimes and convicted on several counts.

 46 
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.

 47 
Gregor Strasser
(Politician, Pharmacist)
Gregor Strasser
3
Birthdate: May 31, 1892
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Geisenfeld
Died: July 1, 1934
 48 
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
 49 
Franz Halder
(Chief of the General Staff of the German Army High Command)
Franz Halder
5
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.

 50 
Friedrich Engels
(German Philosopher Who Developed 'Marxism' Together With Karl Max)
Friedrich Engels
9
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.