Famous German Political Leaders

Unlike the other super powers like America and Great Britain, Germany’s political system is relatively new. It was in 1949 that the current political system of Germany was developed after the country was consolidated as the Federal Republic of Germany. Germany is a democratic, federal parliamentary republic with the Chancellor as the executive head. The role of the Chancellor is equivalent to that of a Prime Minister as in other countries. Ever since its independence, Germany has had numerous political leaders donning the role and responsibility of the Chancellor, right from its first Chancellor Konrad Adenauer who was followed by Ludwig Erhard to Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt, Helmut Kohl, Gerhard Schorder and the current and three times Chancellor in a row Angela Merkel. Merkel created history in 2005 by becoming the first female Chancellor to head Germany. However, before the Federal Republic of Germany was formed, the German empire witnessed the rule of some of historical Chancellors who through their deeds and misdeeds, exerted great influence in the world over. Adolf Hitler is one such name. A fanatical leader and initiator of World War II, he led Germany and many other countries into the abyss. Others include Catherine the Great, Martin Bormann, Joseph Goebbels and like. Explore in details about the life and works of German political leaders with this segment.

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 Otto von Bismarck

Otto von Bismarck.
9
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.

 2 Karl Dönitz

Karl Dönitz.
4
Famous As: Naval Officer
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.
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 3 Max Weber

Max Weber.
4
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: April 21, 1864
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Erfurt, Germany
Died: June 14, 1920

Max Weber was a German historian, political economist, jurist, and sociologist. Widely regarded as one of the most influential and important theorists, Weber's ideas had a profound influence on social research and social theory. Although he did not see himself as a sociologist, Weber is often counted among the fathers of sociology alongside Émile Durkheim, Auguste Comte, and Karl Marx.

 4 Rudolf Hess

Rudolf Hess.
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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.

 5 Martin Bormann

Martin Bormann.
6
Famous As: Private Secretary of Adolf Hitler
Birthdate: June 17, 1900
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wegeleben, Germany
Died: May 2, 1945

Martin Bormann was a Nazi Party official. Bormann headed the Nazi Party Chancellery, and gained immense power after he was accepted into Adolf Hitler's inner circle. In 1935, he became Hitler's personal secretary and served as the minister of the Nazi Party after Hitler's suicide in 1945.

 6 Helmut Kohl

Helmut Kohl.
4
Famous As: Former Chancellor of Germany
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.

 7 Ursula von der Leyen

Ursula von der Leyen.
5
Famous As: President of the European Commission
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.
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 8 Joachim von Ribbentrop

Joachim von Ribbentrop.
4
Famous As: Nazi Minister
Birthdate: April 30, 1893
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wesel
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.

 9 Konrad Adenauer

Konrad Adenauer.
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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.

 10 Joseph Goebbels

Joseph Goebbels.
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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.

 11 William I, German Emperor

William I, German Emperor
4
Famous As: King
Birthdate: March 22, 1797
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: March 9, 1888

William I, German Emperor reigned as the king of Prussia from 1861 until his death in 1888. He also reigned as the first German emperor from 1871 to 1888. He is credited with overseeing the unification of Germany and establishing the German Empire. William's reign also witnessed the brilliance of Otto von Bismarck, who served as the former's minister president.

 12 Willy Brandt

Willy Brandt.
4
Famous As: Former Chancellor of Germany
Birthdate: December 18, 1913
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lübeck
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.

 13 Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel.
22
Famous As: Chancellor of Germany
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.

 14 Kurt Georg Kiesinger

Kurt Georg Kiesinger
4
Famous As: Politician, Lawyer, Judge
Birthdate: April 6, 1904
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ebingen
Died: March 9, 1988

Kurt Georg Kiesinger was a German politician. Nicknamed Silver Tongue, Kiesinger is best remembered for his outstanding skills as a mediator and orator. While serving as Baden-Württemberg's Minister President, Kiesinger founded the universities of Ulm and Konstanz. He is also credited with writing several books and poetry.

 15 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.

 16 Erich Honecker

Erich Honecker.
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Famous As: General Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany
Birthdate: August 25, 1912
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Neunkirchen, Germany
Died: May 29, 1994
Erich Honecker led East Germany from 1971 until prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. He had been the General Secretary of the SED and had chaired the National Defense Council. He was pardoned from a human rights abuses trial due to his struggle with liver cancer.

 17 Frank-Walter Steinmeier

Frank-Walter Steinmeier
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 5, 1956
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Detmold, Germany

 18 Helmut Schmidt

Helmut Schmidt.
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Famous As: Politician
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.

 19 Kurt von Schleicher

Kurt von Schleicher.
4
Famous As: Former Chancellor of Germany
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.

 20 Paul Schäfer

Paul Schäfer
4
Famous As: Medic
Birthdate: December 4, 1921
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Troisdorf, Germany
Died: April 24, 2010

Paul Schäfer Schneide was a Nazi era German colonel, who at the end of WWII founded an orphanage in West Germany. Charged with child molestation, he fled to Chile, where he established an isolated colony. But charged with child abuse, he had to flee once more before being arrested and convicted on twenty-five counts. He died while serving his term.

 21 Anton Drexler

Anton Drexler.
4
Famous As: Political Leader
Birthdate: June 13, 1884
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: February 24, 1942

Anton Drexler was a German political leader who founded the anti-Semitic and pan-German German Workers' Party (DAP), which served as a precursor to the Nazi Party (NSDAP). Drexler is best remembered for mentoring Adolf Hitler when the latter was still learning the tricks of the trade.

 22 Friedrich Ebert

Friedrich Ebert.
3
Famous As: Politician
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.

 23 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

 24 Lina Heydrich

Lina Heydrich
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 14, 1911
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Fehmarn
Died: August 14, 1985

 25 Martin Schulz

Martin Schulz
3
Famous As: Politician, Bookseller, Non-fiction writer
Birthdate: December 20, 1955
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Eschweiler

 26 Baldur von Schirach

Baldur von Schirach.
3
Famous As: Nazi Leader
Birthdate: May 9, 1907
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: August 8, 1974

Baldur von Schirach was a Nazi German politician. He is best remembered for his work as the national youth leader of the Nazi Party. From 1931 to 1940, he also served as the head of an organization called Hitler Youth. After the Second World War, Schirach was found guilty of crimes against humanity and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

 27 Manfred Rommel

Manfred Rommel
3
Famous As: Writer, Politician, Jurist
Birthdate: December 24, 1928
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Stuttgart
Died: November 7, 2013

 28 Alice Weidel

Alice Weidel
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: February 6, 1979
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Gütersloh, Germany

 29 Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: August 9, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Völklingen, Saarland, Germany

 30 Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk

Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk
3
Famous As: Politician, Jurist, Diplomat, Economist
Birthdate: August 22, 1887
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rathmannsdorf
Died: April 3, 1977

 31 Wolfgang Schäuble

Wolfgang Schäuble
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: September 18, 1942
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Freiburg

 32 Joachim Gauck

Joachim Gauck
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 24, 1940
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rostock, Germany

 33 Walter Ulbricht

Walter Ulbricht
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: June 30, 1893
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
Died: August 1, 1973

 34 Emil Maurice

Emil Maurice
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 19, 1897
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Westermoor
Died: February 6, 1972

 35 Wilhelm Frick

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

 36 Frauke Petry

Frauke Petry
3
Famous As: Member of the German Bundestag
Birthdate: June 1, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dresden, Germany

 37 Robert Ley

Robert Ley
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: February 15, 1890
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Niederbreidenbach
Died: October 26, 1945

 38 Gregor Strasser

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

 39 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.

 40 Ludwig III of Bavaria

Ludwig III of Bavaria
3
Famous As: King
Birthdate: January 7, 1845
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Munich
Died: October 18, 1921

 41 Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor

Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor
3
Birthdate: November 11, 1050
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Goslar
Died: August 7, 1106

 42 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

 43 Annalena Baerbock

Annalena Baerbock
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: December 15, 1980
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hanover, Germany

 44 Egon Krenz

Egon Krenz
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: March 19, 1937
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kolberg, Poland

 45 Gerhard Schröder

Gerhard Schröder
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: April 7, 1944
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Blomberg, Free State of Lippe, Nazi Germany

 46 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

 47 William Joyce

William Joyce.
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: April 24, 1906
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: January 3, 1946

American-born fascist politician William Joyce was a Nazi propaganda broadcaster to UK during World War II. He later became a German citizen. As a young man, he joined the British Union of Fascists (BUF) and rose through the ranks to become the BUF's Director of Propaganda. Following the end of World War II, he was arrested for treason and executed.

 48 Augustus II the Strong

Augustus II the Strong
3
Famous As: Elector of Saxony
Birthdate: May 12, 1670
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dresden, Germany
Died: February 1, 1733

 49 Gisela Stuart

Gisela Stuart
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: November 26, 1955
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Velden, Bavaria, West Germany

 50 Ludwig Erhard

Ludwig Erhard
3
Famous As: Economist, Politician, University teacher
Birthdate: February 4, 1897
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fürth
Died: May 5, 1977