History UsefulNotes / TheChancellorsOfGermany

10th Dec '16 7:16:48 PM Chytus
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'''[[ImperialGermany German Empire]]''' (1871-1918)

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'''[[ImperialGermany '''[[UsefulNotes/ImperialGermany German Empire]]''' (1871-1918)



* UsefulNotes/OttoVonBismarck (1871-1890) -- Proud owner of a BadassMoustache ''and'' a BaldOfAwesome. Nicknamed "Der eiserne Kanzler" ("The Iron Chancellor"). Most famous for his ''{{Realpolitik}}'' that led to the unification of Germany (minus Austria), the creation of the welfare state[[note]]Despite being a staunch conservative, Bismarck essentially invented the welfare state... as a way of undercutting any attempts of Marxists and other socialists to appeal to the German populace.[[/note]] and his complex system of alliances to keep the peace in Europe by isolating France and being allies or neutral with all other powers. Most infamous for [[strike: his attacks on neighboring nations]] [[MagnificentBastard manipulating neighboring nations into starting wars with him so he could have them trounced without being seen as the aggressor]], censorship laws, anti-socialist law, and weakening the democratic organs of the German Empire via the constitution he wrote, blunders against the Catholic church (''Kulturkampf'' - struggle about culture), and [[TheChessmaster his complex system of alliances to keep the peace in Europe]]. He opposed German colonialism, but ended up getting colonies for Germany anyway. Emperor Wilhelm I mostly let Bismarck do whatever he wanted. Wilhelm ''II'' however, wanted to govern the country himself and forced Bismarck to resign after several disagreements over social reforms and anti-socialist laws. During his retirement, [[IgnoredExpert Bismarck]] warned the Emperor several times that his foreign policy would lead to war--and not the "good" kind where Germany wins quickly with minimal losses. He famously predicted both the trigger of WorldWarOne ("some damned silly thing in the Balkans") as well as the year it broke out. In 2003, he was voted 9th greatest German of all time.

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* UsefulNotes/OttoVonBismarck (1871-1890) -- Proud owner of a BadassMoustache ''and'' a BaldOfAwesome. Nicknamed "Der eiserne Kanzler" ("The Iron Chancellor"). Most famous for his ''{{Realpolitik}}'' that led to the unification of Germany (minus Austria), the creation of the welfare state[[note]]Despite being a staunch conservative, Bismarck essentially invented the welfare state... as a way of undercutting any attempts of Marxists and other socialists to appeal to the German populace.[[/note]] and his complex system of alliances to keep the peace in Europe by isolating France and being allies or neutral with all other powers. Most infamous for [[strike: his attacks on neighboring nations]] [[MagnificentBastard manipulating neighboring nations into starting wars with him so he could have them trounced without being seen as the aggressor]], censorship laws, anti-socialist law, and weakening the democratic organs of the German Empire via the constitution he wrote, blunders against the Catholic church (''Kulturkampf'' - struggle about culture), and [[TheChessmaster his complex system of alliances to keep the peace in Europe]]. He opposed German colonialism, but ended up getting colonies for Germany anyway. Emperor Wilhelm I mostly let Bismarck do whatever he wanted. Wilhelm ''II'' however, wanted to govern the country himself and forced Bismarck to resign after several disagreements over social reforms and anti-socialist laws. During his retirement, [[IgnoredExpert Bismarck]] warned the Emperor several times that his foreign policy would lead to war--and not the "good" kind where Germany wins quickly with minimal losses. He famously predicted both the trigger of WorldWarOne UsefulNotes/WorldWarI ("some damned silly thing in the Balkans") as well as the year it broke out. In 2003, he was voted 9th greatest German of all time.



* Prince Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst (1894-1900) -- Elderly (he was already 75 in 1894) former prime minister of Bavaria and diplomat. He finished the ''Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch'' (BGB), the first civil code for all of Germany, which is still in force today. The BGB is widely regarded as a masterwork of civil law and several countries wholly or partly modeled theirs after it, most notably Japan, which at the time had a major ForeignCultureFetish for all things Prussian.
* Bernhard von Bülow (1900-1909) -- Had already been something of a "shadow chancellor" during the later years of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst. His ill-thought foreign policy poisoned the relations with Britain, which led to the creation of the ''Entente'' between Britain and France. With his statements of support of Austria-Hungary regarding the Balkans (''[[Literature/{{Nibelungenlied}} Nibelungentreue]]'') he helped laying the foundation for WorldWarOne. Critics claimed he was so slimy "compared to him, an eel is like a hedgehog!" The Daily Telegraph Affair (when Wilhelm II gave an ill-advised interview) destroyed his relationship with the Emperor and he had to resign. His posthumously published memoirs were so blatantly self-serving that the ex-Kaiser said Bülow was the only man he'd known who had died and ''then'' committed suicide.

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* Prince Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst (1894-1900) -- Elderly (he was already 75 in 1894) former prime minister of Bavaria and diplomat. He finished the ''Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch'' (BGB), the first civil code for all of Germany, which is still in force today. The BGB is widely regarded as a masterwork of civil law and several countries wholly or partly modeled theirs after it, most notably Japan, which at the time had a major ForeignCultureFetish for all things Prussian.
* Bernhard von Bülow (1900-1909) -- Had already been something of a "shadow chancellor" during the later years of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst. His ill-thought foreign policy poisoned the relations with Britain, which led to the creation of the ''Entente'' between Britain and France. With his statements of support of Austria-Hungary regarding the Balkans (''[[Literature/{{Nibelungenlied}} Nibelungentreue]]'') he helped laying the foundation for WorldWarOne. Critics claimed he was so slimy "compared to him, an eel is like a hedgehog!" The Daily Telegraph Affair (when Wilhelm II gave an ill-advised interview) destroyed his relationship with the Emperor and he had to resign. His posthumously published memoirs were so blatantly self-serving that the ex-Kaiser said Bülow was the only man he'd known who had died and ''then'' committed suicide.



'''WeimarRepublic''' (1919-1933)

In the Weimar Republic, which officially still called itself ''Deutsches Reich'' (German Empire), the Chancellor (''Reichskanzler'') and all ministers were appointed by the President (''Reichspräsident''; the [[ReplacementScrappy "Ersatzkaiser"]]), but could be voted out of office by the lower house (''Reichstag'') with a simple majority. The Reichskanzler was a weaker figure than under the monarchy, as his ministers were not bound to follow any of his orders and the cabinet could overturn his decisions by majoritiy vote. Officially the head of the government only was called ''Reichskanzler'' since August 14, 1919; from February 1919 up until his official title was that of the ''Reichsministerpräsident''.

* Philipp Scheidemann (1919) -- Social Democrat. No documentary about general German history is complete without the footage of him proclaiming the republic from a balcony of the Reichstag building in 1918. The first ''Reichsministerpräsident'' opposed the Treaty of Versailles and chose to resign rather than to approve it.
* Gustav Bauer (1919-1920) -- Social Democrat. Second ''Reichsministerpräsident'' and first ''Reichskanzler''. He approved the Treaty of Versailles, but not without [[{{Foreshadowing}} subtext of revenge]]. He lost the support of the SPD after the Kapp-Putsch and resigned.
* Hermann Müller (1920) -- Social Democrat.

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'''WeimarRepublic''' ''' UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic''' (1919-1933)

In the Weimar Republic, which officially still called itself ''Deutsches Reich'' (German Empire), the Chancellor (''Reichskanzler'') and all ministers were appointed by the President (''Reichspräsident''; the [[ReplacementScrappy "Ersatzkaiser"]]), but could be voted out of office by the lower house (''Reichstag'') with a simple majority. The Reichskanzler was a weaker figure than under the monarchy, as his ministers were not bound to follow any of his orders and the cabinet could overturn his decisions by majoritiy vote. Officially the head of the government only was called ''Reichskanzler'' since August 14, 1919; from February 1919 up until his official title was that of the ''Reichsministerpräsident''.

* Philipp Scheidemann (1919) -- Social Democrat. No documentary about general German history is complete without the footage of him proclaiming the republic from a balcony of the Reichstag building in 1918. The first ''Reichsministerpräsident'' opposed the Treaty of Versailles and chose to resign rather than to approve it.
* Gustav Bauer (1919-1920) -- Social Democrat. Second ''Reichsministerpräsident'' and first ''Reichskanzler''. He approved the Treaty of Versailles, but not without [[{{Foreshadowing}} subtext of revenge]]. He lost the support of the SPD after the Kapp-Putsch and resigned.
* Hermann Müller (1920) -- Social Democrat.



* (Otto Geßler (1926) -- Democratic Party. Six days filler chancellor. Usually not mentioned or counted.)

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* (Otto Geßler (1926) -- Democratic Party. Six days filler chancellor. Usually not mentioned or counted.)



* Hermann Müller (1928-1930) -- Social Democrat. Considered the last democratic chancellor of the Weimar Republic as he was the last one to be supported by a majority in the Reichstag. His administration was toppled by a dispute over a 0.25% increase of the unemployment insurance payments.
* Heinrich Brüning (1930-1932) -- Centre Party. Together with Hindenburg, he sought to undermine the influence of the unstable Reichstag and ruled with presidential emergency decrees instead of laws under toleration by the SPD. His attempts to ease the Great Depression were a failure and the election of 1930 saw massive gains for the Nazis and Communists, which led to a massive withdrawal of foreign money from Germany. He, however, managed to have the reparation payments reduced to 3 billion goldmark (which were never paid) and banned the Nazi SS and SA. A dispute over agricultural aids with Hindenburg ended his administration. Historians views on Brüning are mixed. Brüning later wrote memoirs (he died in 1970) to extricate himself from the blame naturally laid at him (his economic policies were similar in nature and effect to those of UsefulNotes/HerbertHoover in the US). One of the most controversial aspects of his term was the deflationary policies which on the one hand worsened the economic depression and on the other helped lead to the end of German reparations. He later said [[IMeantToDoThat the latter was his goal all along]], but it is more likely that he honestly believed cutting government spending in the worst depression in ages was a good idea.

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* Hermann Müller (1928-1930) -- Social Democrat. Considered the last democratic chancellor of the Weimar Republic as he was the last one to be supported by a majority in the Reichstag. His administration was toppled by a dispute over a 0.25% increase of the unemployment insurance payments.
* Heinrich Brüning (1930-1932) -- Centre Party. Together with Hindenburg, he sought to undermine the influence of the unstable Reichstag and ruled with presidential emergency decrees instead of laws under toleration by the SPD. His attempts to ease the Great Depression were a failure and the election of 1930 saw massive gains for the Nazis and Communists, which led to a massive withdrawal of foreign money from Germany. He, however, managed to have the reparation payments reduced to 3 billion goldmark (which were never paid) and banned the Nazi SS and SA. A dispute over agricultural aids with Hindenburg ended his administration. Historians views on Brüning are mixed. Brüning later wrote memoirs (he died in 1970) to extricate himself from the blame naturally laid at him (his economic policies were similar in nature and effect to those of UsefulNotes/HerbertHoover in the US). One of the most controversial aspects of his term was the deflationary policies which on the one hand worsened the economic depression and on the other helped lead to the end of German reparations. He later said [[IMeantToDoThat the latter was his goal all along]], but it is more likely that he honestly believed cutting government spending in the worst depression in ages was a good idea.



* UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler (1933-1945) -- [[ThoseWackyNazis National Socialist]] ([[CaptainObvious Duh]]). After being appointed, Hitler wasted no time and formed a coalition of anti-democratic/anti-communist parties, talked Hindenburg to give him more powers and used the Reichstag Fire to pass the Enabling Act (''Reichsermächtigungsgesetz''). In the ''Night of the Long Knives'' (aka Röhm-Putsch), Hitler's SS killed several SA competitors and drove many of his allies (including von Papen) out of politics. Upon Hindenburg's death, Hitler merged the offices of chancellor and president into one position called "(Supreme) Leader and Reich Chancellor" (''"Führer und Reichskanzler"''). As the years passed and the Nazis tightened their control over Germany, the trappings of parliamentary government faded away--the Cabinet met as a body for the last time in 1938, the Reichstag met for the last time in 1942, and in the later years Hitler was referred to only as ''Führer'', with ''Reichskanzler'' being dropped. [[UsefulNotes/NaziGermany The rest]] [[WorldWarTwo is history]]. More about him on [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler his own page]].
* Joseph Goebbels (1945) -- National Socialist. Nazi Germany's Minister of Propaganda. Hitler's political testament broke up his combined government office into President and Chancellor once again after his death. Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz became the new ''Reichspräsident'', while Goebbels succeeded Hitler as ''Reichskanzler'' for a few hours before he took his own life as well (and those of his family). More about him on the UsefulNotes/NaziGermany page.
* Johann Ludwig Graf Schwerin von Krosigk (1945) -- National Socialist. Officially "Leading Minister of the acting Reich Government" and also foreign minister and finance minister under Dönitz. About a week in office, apart from finance minister, which he held since before Hitler's takeover. Since most of Germany was already occupied, his only significant act (as foreign minister) was to declare the unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht.

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* UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler (1933-1945) -- [[ThoseWackyNazis National Socialist]] ([[CaptainObvious Duh]]). After being appointed, Hitler wasted no time and formed a coalition of anti-democratic/anti-communist parties, talked Hindenburg to give him more powers and used the Reichstag Fire to pass the Enabling Act (''Reichsermächtigungsgesetz''). In the ''Night of the Long Knives'' (aka Röhm-Putsch), Hitler's SS killed several SA competitors and drove many of his allies (including von Papen) out of politics. Upon Hindenburg's death, Hitler merged the offices of chancellor and president into one position called "(Supreme) Leader and Reich Chancellor" (''"Führer und Reichskanzler"''). As the years passed and the Nazis tightened their control over Germany, the trappings of parliamentary government faded away--the Cabinet met as a body for the last time in 1938, the Reichstag met for the last time in 1942, and in the later years Hitler was referred to only as ''Führer'', with ''Reichskanzler'' being dropped. [[UsefulNotes/NaziGermany The rest]] [[WorldWarTwo [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII is history]]. More about him on [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler his own page]].
* Joseph Goebbels (1945) -- National Socialist. Nazi Germany's Minister of Propaganda. Hitler's political testament broke up his combined government office into President and Chancellor once again after his death. Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz became the new ''Reichspräsident'', while Goebbels succeeded Hitler as ''Reichskanzler'' for a few hours before he took his own life as well (and those of his family). More about him on the UsefulNotes/NaziGermany page.
* Johann Ludwig Graf Schwerin von Krosigk (1945) -- National Socialist. Officially "Leading Minister of the acting Reich Government" and also foreign minister and finance minister under Dönitz. About a week in office, apart from finance minister, which he held since before Hitler's takeover. Since most of Germany was already occupied, his only significant act (as foreign minister) was to declare the unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht.



'''WestGermany''' (1949-1990)

Learning from the failure of the Weimar Republc, UsefulNotes/TheBonnRepublic featured a largely depowered Federal President (''Bundespräsident'') and a ''much'' stronger lower house.

The Federal Chancellor (''Bundeskanzler'') is directly elected by the parliament (''Bundestag''; the lower house) and runs the country indirectly through the ministers. His/her term is bound to that of the Bundestag and automatically expires with it. The Bundeskanzler can appoint and dismiss the Ministers through the Präsident.

* Konrad Adenauer (1949-1963) -- Christian Democrat (i.e. Conservative). Nicknamed "Der Alte" ("The old one" - he was 73 years old in 1949 and died aged 91) and "the Fox of Rhöndorf". [[DecidedByOneVote Won by just one vote]] - it is claimed, his own, but later became the only Federal Chancellor to govern without a coalition partner (from 1960 to 1961). Former ''Oberbürgermeister'' (mayor) of Cologne (since 1917) and a prominent politician of the Centre party, he had already been considered for the chancellor's office during the Weimar Republic. [[DisproportionateRetribution The Nazis destroyed his political career - and later even threw him in a concentration camp - for refusing to shake the hand of an influential Nazi leader]]. Adenauer oriented Germany towards the West (''Westbindung''), reconciled with France and, together with Ludwig Erhard, made the economic boom (''Wirtschaftswunder'') possible. Together with De Gaulle, he laid the foundation for the EU. He made UsefulNotes/{{Bonn}}, a dinky town on the Rhine within commuting distance from Rhöndorf (the village where he lived), the capital, and secured the return of the last Germany [=POWs=] from the Soviet Union in 1955. He played boccia at his vacation home on Lake Como and had seven kids and even more grandkids. (Helmut Kohl isn't among them, although he called himself "Adenauer's grandson".) Feared for his sharp tongue, he did not endear himself to the Austrians when he said about their demands for reparations that he would like to send Hitler's bones in lieu of payment. Had some memorable missteps such as publicly making snide comments about Willy Brandt's illegitimate parentage on the day the Wall was built (when Brandt was mayor of West Berlin) or the melodramatic Bundestag statement "We have an abyss of treason!" at the beginning of the ''Spiegel'' affair that resulted in the resignation of his minister of defence, Franz Josef Strauß. At the time, some of his policies were very controversial, especially the ''Westbindung'' and rearmament, which were seen by his critics has obstacles to German reunification and e. g. led to his minister of the interior, [[UsefulNotes/ThePresidentsOfGermany Gustav Heinemann]] leaving his cabinet and founding his own party.[[note]] It did not help that Adenauer was a Catholic Rhinelander with a well-known visceral dislike for Prussia and Berlin (which he considered a pagan city) and was suspected of sabotaging reunification so that the Catholic majority in West Germany could endure. [[/note]] With benefit of hindsight, many of Adenauer's policies are now seen as inevitable under the conditions of the Cold War. Adenauer has also been criticized for allowing former Nazis into important government positions too easily (the most infamous case is that of the head of the chancellor's office, Hans Globke, the author of the official legal commentary to the Nuremberg Race Laws)[[note]] Adenauer's comment on this was "I cannot throw away the dirty water if I don't have clean water"[[/note]], but he also did a lot to bring the settlement of Jewish recompensation claims on the road and to usher in friendly relations between Germany and Israel. In 2003, he was voted greatest German of all time.

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'''WestGermany''' ''' UsefulNotes/WestGermany''' (1949-1990)

Learning from the failure of the Weimar Republc, UsefulNotes/TheBonnRepublic Repubic, UsefulNotes/WestGermany featured a largely depowered Federal President (''Bundespräsident'') and a ''much'' stronger lower house.

The Federal Chancellor (''Bundeskanzler'') is directly elected by the parliament (''Bundestag''; the lower house) and runs the country indirectly through the ministers. His/her term is bound to that of the Bundestag and automatically expires with it. The Bundeskanzler can appoint and dismiss the Ministers through the Präsident.

* Konrad Adenauer (1949-1963) -- Christian Democrat (i.e. Conservative). Nicknamed "Der Alte" ("The old one" - he was 73 years old in 1949 and died aged 91) and "the Fox of Rhöndorf". [[DecidedByOneVote Won by just one vote]] - it is claimed, his own, but later became the only Federal Chancellor to govern without a coalition partner (from 1960 to 1961). Former ''Oberbürgermeister'' (mayor) of Cologne (since 1917) and a prominent politician of the Centre party, he had already been considered for the chancellor's office during the Weimar Republic. [[DisproportionateRetribution The Nazis destroyed his political career - and later even threw him in a concentration camp - for refusing to shake the hand of an influential Nazi leader]]. Adenauer oriented Germany towards the West (''Westbindung''), reconciled with France and, together with Ludwig Erhard, made the economic boom (''Wirtschaftswunder'') possible. Together with De Gaulle, he laid the foundation for the EU. He made UsefulNotes/{{Bonn}}, a dinky town on the Rhine within commuting distance from Rhöndorf (the village where he lived), the capital, and secured the return of the last Germany [=POWs=] from the Soviet Union in 1955. He played boccia at his vacation home on Lake Como and had seven kids and even more grandkids. (Helmut Kohl isn't among them, although he called himself "Adenauer's grandson".) Feared for his sharp tongue, he did not endear himself to the Austrians when he said about their demands for reparations that he would like to send Hitler's bones in lieu of payment. Had some memorable missteps such as publicly making snide comments about Willy Brandt's illegitimate parentage on the day the Wall was built (when Brandt was mayor of West Berlin) or the melodramatic Bundestag statement "We have an abyss of treason!" at the beginning of the ''Spiegel'' affair that resulted in the resignation of his minister of defence, Franz Josef Strauß. At the time, some of his policies were very controversial, especially the ''Westbindung'' and rearmament, which were seen by his critics has obstacles to German reunification and e. g. led to his minister of the interior, [[UsefulNotes/ThePresidentsOfGermany Gustav Heinemann]] leaving his cabinet and founding his own party.[[note]] It did not help that Adenauer was a Catholic Rhinelander with a well-known visceral dislike for Prussia and Berlin (which he considered a pagan city) and was suspected of sabotaging reunification so that the Catholic majority in West Germany could endure. [[/note]] With benefit of hindsight, many of Adenauer's policies are now seen as inevitable under the conditions of the Cold War. Adenauer has also been criticized for allowing former Nazis into important government positions too easily (the most infamous case is that of the head of the chancellor's office, Hans Globke, the author of the official legal commentary to the Nuremberg Race Laws)[[note]] Adenauer's comment on this was "I cannot throw away the dirty water if I don't have clean water"[[/note]], but he also did a lot to bring the settlement of Jewish recompensation claims on the road and to usher in friendly relations between Germany and Israel. In 2003, he was voted greatest German of all time.



* Kurt Georg Kiesinger (1966-1969) -- Christian Democrat. Nicknamed "Häuptling Silberzunge" ("Chief Silvertongue"/"Chief Sweettalker"), as he was the head of the first grand coalition with the Social Democrats and spent most of his time negotiating between the SPD and CDU/CSU. ''Ministerpräsident'' of Baden-Württemberg from 1958 to 1966. The overwhelming majority of the grand coalition, the introduction of emergency laws (''Notstandsgesetze'') and his past as a Nazi party member (he joined the party in 1933 and made a career as an official in the foreign ministry) made him the target of the rage of the emerging student movement.
* Willy Brandt (1969-1974) -- Social Democrat. Born as Herbert Frahm in Lübeck, forced to flee the country (to Norway) when the Nazis came to power, for which he took Willy Brandt as his new name. His resistance to Nazism, emigration plus the fact that he was born to unmarried parents were still seen as "scandalous" enough in the early 1960s to be used as ammunition against him during his first national election campaigns. Gained international stature as Governing Mayor of (West) Berlin (1957-1966) around the time the Wall was built and then became Kiesinger's Vice-Chancellor. After the 1969 elections he headed the first West German government not to include the Christian Democrats. Received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971 for improving Germany's relations with Eastern Europe and EastGermany (''Neue Ostpolitik''). [[DramaticSitDown Most remembered for his genuflection]] (''Kniefall'') at the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial in Poland. Narrowly survived a vote of no confidence in 1972 after a number of Bundestag members deserted to the opposition; apparently at least two CDU members were bribed by the East German ''[[UsefulNotes/TheStasi Staatssicherheit]]'' at the time. Brandt no longer had a working majority but forced a new election by deliberately losing a confidence vote[[note]]It is not clear whether this trick was intended by the framers of the German constitution, who made it harder than in the Weimar era to dissolve parliament, but it was done again by Kohl and Schröder later on[[/note]]. Halfway into his second term he had to resign after one of the people working with him, Günter Guillaume, was revealed to be an East German spy. He commissioned the Brandt Report on the North-South divide and once again came to prominence as an elder statesmen when the Wall fell. In 2003, he was voted the 5th greatest German of all time. While his period as chancellor can rightfully be called ShortLivedBigImpact (he held office for all of five years, three of them with an extremely slim majority), he spent most of his time out of office as head of the SPD and later the socialist international and could [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming see Germany reunited]] before dying in 1992.

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* Kurt Georg Kiesinger (1966-1969) -- Christian Democrat. Nicknamed "Häuptling Silberzunge" ("Chief Silvertongue"/"Chief Sweettalker"), as he was the head of the first grand coalition with the Social Democrats and spent most of his time negotiating between the SPD and CDU/CSU. ''Ministerpräsident'' of Baden-Württemberg from 1958 to 1966. The overwhelming majority of the grand coalition, the introduction of emergency laws (''Notstandsgesetze'') and his past as a Nazi party member (he joined the party in 1933 and made a career as an official in the foreign ministry) made him the target of the rage of the emerging student movement.
* Willy Brandt (1969-1974) -- Social Democrat. Born as Herbert Frahm in Lübeck, forced to flee the country (to Norway) when the Nazis came to power, for which he took Willy Brandt as his new name. His resistance to Nazism, emigration plus the fact that he was born to unmarried parents were still seen as "scandalous" enough in the early 1960s to be used as ammunition against him during his first national election campaigns. Gained international stature as Governing Mayor of (West) Berlin (1957-1966) around the time the Wall was built and then became Kiesinger's Vice-Chancellor. After the 1969 elections he headed the first West German government not to include the Christian Democrats. Received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971 for improving Germany's relations with Eastern Europe and EastGermany (''Neue Ostpolitik''). [[DramaticSitDown Most remembered for his genuflection]] (''Kniefall'') at the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial in Poland. Narrowly survived a vote of no confidence in 1972 after a number of Bundestag members deserted to the opposition; apparently at least two CDU members were bribed by the East German ''[[UsefulNotes/TheStasi Staatssicherheit]]'' at the time. Brandt no longer had a working majority but forced a new election by deliberately losing a confidence vote[[note]]It is not clear whether this trick was intended by the framers of the German constitution, who made it harder than in the Weimar era to dissolve parliament, but it was done again by Kohl and Schröder later on[[/note]]. Halfway into his second term he had to resign after one of the people working with him, Günter Guillaume, was revealed to be an East German spy. He commissioned the Brandt Report on the North-South divide and once again came to prominence as an elder statesmen statesman when the Wall fell. In 2003, he was voted the 5th greatest German of all time. While his period as chancellor can rightfully be called ShortLivedBigImpact (he held office for all of five years, three of them with an extremely slim majority), he spent most of his time out of office as head of the SPD and later the socialist international and could [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming see Germany reunited]] reunited before dying in 1992.



* Helmut Kohl (1982-1998, still alive as of April 2016) -- Christian Democrat. Former ''Ministerpräsident'' of Rhineland-Palatinate, he became chancellor through a motion of no confidence against Helmut Schmidt.[[note]] after the FDP [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder changed coalition two years after the election of 1980]], mirroring their behavior with regards to Ehrhardt two decades earlier[[/note]] He worked towards a Europe without borders (Schengen Treaty) and laid the foundation for the Euro. Was a favorite target for political cabaretists and caricaturists, just like MargaretThatcher in Britain, although less for controversial policy (although there was some of that) and more for his personality -- he had something of an aggressively anti-elitist and provincial style, with the prime emblem of that being his insistence that visiting heads of state be treated to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saumagen Saumagen]] (a rustic dish that amounts to [[HaggisIsHorrible haggis]], but made from pork and from his native Palatinate) when visiting Germany. Polls showed that he would lose the next election and even his own party was on the brink of getting rid of him, but then [[TheGreatPoliticsMessUp the Wall came down]]. He wasted no time, promised ''Reunification as fast as possible'' and garnered the support of the allies of [[WW2 WWII]] for it. This earned him two reelections in the reunified Germany. Some say he was in favor of ''fast'' reunification mostly because it would guarantee him the eastern vote, whereas his 1990 opponent Oskar Lafontaine pointed out the huge costs of reunification - something which nobody wanted to hear at the time.

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* Helmut Kohl (1982-1998, still alive as of April 2016) -- Christian Democrat. Former ''Ministerpräsident'' of Rhineland-Palatinate, he became chancellor through a motion of no confidence against Helmut Schmidt.[[note]] after the FDP [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder changed coalition two years after the election of 1980]], mirroring their behavior with regards to Ehrhardt two decades earlier[[/note]] He worked towards a Europe without borders (Schengen Treaty) and laid the foundation for the Euro. Was a favorite target for political cabaretists and caricaturists, just like MargaretThatcher UsefulNotes/MargaretThatcher in Britain, although less for controversial policy (although there was some of that) and more for his personality -- he had something of an aggressively anti-elitist and provincial style, with the prime emblem of that being his insistence that visiting heads of state be treated to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saumagen Saumagen]] (a rustic dish that amounts to [[HaggisIsHorrible haggis]], but made from pork and from his native Palatinate) when visiting Germany. Polls showed that he would lose the next election and even his own party was on the brink of getting rid of him, but then [[TheGreatPoliticsMessUp the Wall came down]]. He wasted no time, promised ''Reunification as fast as possible'' and garnered the support of the allies of [[WW2 [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII WWII]] for it. This earned him two reelections in the reunified Germany. Some say he was in favor of ''fast'' reunification mostly because it would guarantee him the eastern vote, whereas his 1990 opponent Oskar Lafontaine pointed out the huge costs of reunification - something which nobody wanted to hear at the time.



* Gerhard Schröder (1998-2005, still alive as of November 2016) -- Social Democrat. Former head of the Young Socialists (1978-1980) and ''Ministerpräsident'' of Lower Saxony (1990-1998). Originally very pro-American (he supported the Afghanistan war), he later actively opposed the Iraq war and improved Germany's relations with France and Russia instead (most notably the controversial Baltic pipeline). Schröder did several social reforms that alienated many social democrats--his vaguely neoliberal orientation combined with his cigar-chomping ways to earned him the nickname "Genosse der Bosse" ("Comrade of the Bosses"), and these policies combined with his personal charisma have led many to call him the German UsefulNotes/TonyBlair. He proved to be quite the electoral MagnificentBastard in 2005: when he felt that he had lost his support in the Bundestag, he filed a motion of no confidence against himself to trigger re-elections. He then turned on the charm and campaigned like hell, managing to get the SPD's share of the vote much higher than expected and forcing a grand coalition in the next Bundestag. He could have even stayed on as Chancellor if he hadn't promised not to enter in an alliance with the Left Party. The Left party at the time was led by former social democrat Oskar Lafontaine who [[ItsPersonal bore a grudge against Schröder]] because he feeled betrayed both personally and politically by him.
* '''Angela Merkel''' (2005-present) -- Christian Democrat. [[IronLady First woman]] and first person from the former EastGermany to have the job.[[note]]Though she was born in Hamburg and moved to the GDR aged only a few weeks when her father became a pastor in Quitzow in Brandenburg[[/note]] She is a Doctor of Physics (her Thesis was about ''quantum chemistry'') who moved into East German politics around the time of the [[TheGreatPoliticsMessUp fall of the Berlin Wall]]; she was elected to the first, last, and only democratically-elected ''Volkskammer'' (parliament) of EastGermany before it dissolved. Forbes lists her among the most powerful women in the world since 2006. In 2009, the Christian Democrats' traditional allies, the Free Democrats (FDP; free-market liberals) picked up enough seats to allow Merkel to shed the SPD and govern with their preferred partner; however, the FDP were ''completely wiped out'' in the 2013 elections, leaving another grand coalition the only workable alternative. As Chancellor, she is known more for being (or at least trying to be) a [[BoringButPractical steady pair of hands]] at the helm (there are accusations that she's faltered, but some disagree, and [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment that's all we'll say on the matter]]), as opposed to the flashy media-genius of her predecessor. German Media tend to call her "Teflon-Merkel" (being a reactionist politician, accusations don't tend to stick, it's her ministers that fuck up usually), or "Mutti" (mommy, her party-intern nickname). Recently, Americans have been hearing her name in the news a lot, since it was revealed the American spy agencies were spying on her cell phone and her Internet searches, along with her heavy involvement in the Greek bailout negotiations. She also became the West's chief negotiator with Putin over the Ukraine, together with French president Hollande she helped brokering the Minsk ceasefire agreement. In general it has often been noted that Germany under Angela Merkel has become more proactive on the European stage, with her often been called the continents de facto leader with all its' implications. In 2015, she surprised watchers by stating that Germany would accept Syrian refugees who were stranded in Hungary, which was interpreted by many as an invitation for refugees who were not yet in Europe. As of June 2016, Germany has received 1,600,000 refugees [[PetTheDog An action]] that won over many of her former critics, but also weakened her domestic support once it became clear how big of a task the integration of so many refugees would be.

to:

* Gerhard Schröder (1998-2005, still alive as of November 2016) -- Social Democrat. Former head of the Young Socialists (1978-1980) and ''Ministerpräsident'' of Lower Saxony (1990-1998). Originally very pro-American (he supported the Afghanistan war), he later actively opposed the Iraq war and improved Germany's relations with France and Russia instead (most notably the controversial Baltic pipeline). Schröder did several social reforms that alienated many social democrats--his vaguely neoliberal orientation combined with his cigar-chomping ways to earned him the nickname "Genosse der Bosse" ("Comrade of the Bosses"), and these policies combined with his personal charisma have led many to call him the German UsefulNotes/TonyBlair. He proved to be quite the electoral MagnificentBastard in 2005: when he felt that he had lost his support in the Bundestag, he filed a motion of no confidence against himself to trigger re-elections. He then turned on the charm and campaigned like hell, managing to get the SPD's share of the vote much higher than expected and forcing a grand coalition in the next Bundestag. He could have even stayed on as Chancellor if he hadn't promised not to enter in an alliance with the Left Party. The Left party at the time was led by former social democrat Oskar Lafontaine who [[ItsPersonal bore a grudge against Schröder]] because he feeled felt betrayed both personally and politically by him.
* '''Angela Merkel''' (2005-present) -- Christian Democrat. [[IronLady First woman]] and first person from the former EastGermany UsefulNotes/EastGermany to have the job.[[note]]Though she was born in Hamburg and moved to the GDR aged only a few weeks when her father became a pastor in Quitzow in Brandenburg[[/note]] She is a Doctor of Physics (her Thesis was about ''quantum chemistry'') who moved into East German politics around the time of the [[TheGreatPoliticsMessUp fall of the Berlin Wall]]; she was elected to the first, last, and only democratically-elected ''Volkskammer'' (parliament) of EastGermany UsefulNotes/EastGermany before it dissolved. Forbes lists her among the most powerful women in the world since 2006. In 2009, the Christian Democrats' traditional allies, the Free Democrats (FDP; free-market liberals) picked up enough seats to allow Merkel to shed the SPD and govern with their preferred partner; however, the FDP were ''completely wiped out'' in the 2013 elections, leaving another grand coalition the only workable alternative. As Chancellor, she is known more for being (or at least trying to be) a [[BoringButPractical steady pair of hands]] at the helm (there are accusations that she's faltered, but some disagree, and [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment that's all we'll say on the matter]]), as opposed to the flashy media-genius of her predecessor. German Media tend to call her "Teflon-Merkel" (being a reactionist politician, accusations don't tend to stick, it's her ministers that fuck up usually), or "Mutti" (mommy, her party-intern nickname). Recently, Americans have been hearing her name in the news a lot, since it was revealed the American spy agencies were spying on her cell phone and her Internet searches, along with her heavy involvement in the Greek bailout negotiations. She also became the West's chief negotiator with Putin over the Ukraine, together with French president Hollande she helped brokering the Minsk ceasefire agreement. In general general, it has often been noted that Germany under Angela Merkel has become more proactive on the European stage, with her often been called the continents de facto leader with all its' implications. In 2015, she surprised watchers by stating that Germany would accept Syrian refugees who were stranded in Hungary, which was interpreted by many as an invitation for refugees who were not yet in Europe. As of June 2016, Germany has received 1,600,000 refugees refugees; [[PetTheDog An an action]] that won over many of her former critics, but also weakened her domestic support once it became clear how big of a task the integration of so many refugees would be.



* Much comedy has been made of Angela Merkel receiving an unwanted back rub from UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush at a summit a few years back, mostly at the latter's expense.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTQY1Aw9zcs Here it is.]]
** After the revelation in 2013 that the US government had for years been spying on Merkel personally, the footage started making the rounds again with a new joke: that Bush was actually planting a bug on Merkel.

to:

* Much comedy has been made of Angela Merkel receiving an unwanted back rub from UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush at a summit a few years back, mostly at the latter's expense.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTQY1Aw9zcs Here it is.]]
**
expense. After the revelation in 2013 that the US government had for years been spying on Merkel personally, the footage started making the rounds again with a new joke: that Bush was actually planting a bug on Merkel.
12th Nov '16 12:23:00 AM KYCubbie
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* Helmut Kohl (1982-1998, still alive as of April, 2016) -- Christian Democrat. That election? The CDU/CSU won it, as the east Germans were understandably suspicious of socialism and bore a great deal of goodwill towards Kohl personally. Some SPD types actually accused him of pursuing the "reunification as quickly as possible" policy in order to stay in power -- which might have been true for all we know. After the Reunification, Kohl struggled with his promises that he had made to the east Germans. The high rates of unemployment resulting from unification and the economic measures that he imposed to cope with the cost of the process ended his chancellorship after 16 years. Due to his long rule, he is sometimes called "Der ewige Kanzler" ("The eternal chancellor"). His talent to a) make friends among the mighty of the world and b) neutralize his political enemies may have helped him stay in power that long.
* Gerhard Schröder (1998-2005, still alive as of April 2016) -- Social Democrat. Former head of the Young Socialists (1978-1980) and ''Ministerpräsident'' of Lower Saxony (1990-1998). Originally very pro-American (he supported the Afghanistan war), he later actively opposed the Iraq war and improved Germany's relations with France and Russia instead (most notably the controversial Baltic pipeline). Schröder did several social reforms that alienated many social democrats--his vaguely neoliberal orientation combined with his cigar-chomping ways to earned him the nickname "Genosse der Bosse" ("Comrade of the Bosses"), and these policies combined with his personal charisma have led many to call him the German UsefulNotes/TonyBlair. He proved to be quite the electoral MagnificentBastard in 2005: when he felt that he had lost his support in the Bundestag, he filed a motion of no confidence against himself to trigger re-elections. He then turned on the charm and campaigned like hell, managing to get the SPD's share of the vote much higher than expected and forcing a grand coalition in the next Bundestag. He could have even stayed on as Chancellor if he hadn't promised not to enter in an alliance with the Left Party. The Left party at the time was led by former social democrat Oskar Lafontaine who [[ItsPersonal bore a grudge against Schröder]] because he feeled betrayed both personally and politically by him.

to:

* Helmut Kohl (1982-1998, still alive as of April, November 2016) -- Christian Democrat. That election? The CDU/CSU won it, as the east Germans were understandably suspicious of socialism and bore a great deal of goodwill towards Kohl personally. Some SPD types actually accused him of pursuing the "reunification as quickly as possible" policy in order to stay in power -- which might have been true for all we know. After the Reunification, Kohl struggled with his promises that he had made to the east Germans. The high rates of unemployment resulting from unification and the economic measures that he imposed to cope with the cost of the process ended his chancellorship after 16 years. Due to his long rule, he is sometimes called "Der ewige Kanzler" ("The eternal chancellor"). His talent to a) make friends among the mighty of the world and b) neutralize his political enemies may have helped him stay in power that long.
* Gerhard Schröder (1998-2005, still alive as of April November 2016) -- Social Democrat. Former head of the Young Socialists (1978-1980) and ''Ministerpräsident'' of Lower Saxony (1990-1998). Originally very pro-American (he supported the Afghanistan war), he later actively opposed the Iraq war and improved Germany's relations with France and Russia instead (most notably the controversial Baltic pipeline). Schröder did several social reforms that alienated many social democrats--his vaguely neoliberal orientation combined with his cigar-chomping ways to earned him the nickname "Genosse der Bosse" ("Comrade of the Bosses"), and these policies combined with his personal charisma have led many to call him the German UsefulNotes/TonyBlair. He proved to be quite the electoral MagnificentBastard in 2005: when he felt that he had lost his support in the Bundestag, he filed a motion of no confidence against himself to trigger re-elections. He then turned on the charm and campaigned like hell, managing to get the SPD's share of the vote much higher than expected and forcing a grand coalition in the next Bundestag. He could have even stayed on as Chancellor if he hadn't promised not to enter in an alliance with the Left Party. The Left party at the time was led by former social democrat Oskar Lafontaine who [[ItsPersonal bore a grudge against Schröder]] because he feeled betrayed both personally and politically by him.
3rd Sep '16 11:21:50 AM Morgenthaler
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Titles called "Chancellor" (''Kanzler'') go way back. The Carolingian Empire and the HolyRomanEmpire had positions called [[Literature/{{Discworld}} "Archchancellor"]] (''Erzkanzler''). After the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Prussia and Austria had State Chancellors (''Staatskanzler'').

to:

Titles called "Chancellor" (''Kanzler'') go way back. The Carolingian Empire and the HolyRomanEmpire UsefulNotes/HolyRomanEmpire had positions called [[Literature/{{Discworld}} "Archchancellor"]] (''Erzkanzler''). After the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Prussia and Austria had State Chancellors (''Staatskanzler'').
2nd Sep '16 2:06:56 PM Morgenthaler
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The [[AllTheLittleGermanies North German Confederation]] (which was the prototype of the [[ImperialGermany empire]]; it even had the same flag) had a Federal Chancellor (''Bundeskanzler'') between 1867 and 1871, who was, of course, Otto von Bismarck.

to:

The [[AllTheLittleGermanies [[UsefulNotes/AllTheLittleGermanies North German Confederation]] (which was the prototype of the [[ImperialGermany [[UsefulNotes/ImperialGermany empire]]; it even had the same flag) had a Federal Chancellor (''Bundeskanzler'') between 1867 and 1871, who was, of course, Otto von Bismarck.
26th Aug '16 11:53:45 AM Jhonny
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* Heinrich Brüning (1930-1932) -- Centre Party. Together with Hindenburg, he sought to undermine the influence of the unstable Reichstag and ruled with presidential emergency decrees instead of laws under toleration by the SPD. His attempts to ease the Great Depression were a failure and the election of 1930 saw massive gains for the Nazis and Communists, which led to a massive withdrawal of foreign money from Germany. He, however, managed to have the reparation payments reduced to 3 billion goldmark (which were never paid) and banned the Nazi SS and SA. A dispute over agricultural aids with Hindenburg ended his administration. Historians views on Brüning are mixed. Brüning later wrote memoirs (he died in 1970) to extricate himself from the blame naturally laid at him (his economic policies were similar in nature and effect to those of UsefulNotes/HerbetHoover in the US). One of the most controversial aspects of his term was the deflationary policies which on the one hand worsened the economic depression and on the other helped lead to the end of German reparations. He later said [[IMeantToDoThat the latter was his goal all along]], but it is more likely that he honestly believed cutting government spending in the worst depression in ages was a good idea.

to:

* Heinrich Brüning (1930-1932) -- Centre Party. Together with Hindenburg, he sought to undermine the influence of the unstable Reichstag and ruled with presidential emergency decrees instead of laws under toleration by the SPD. His attempts to ease the Great Depression were a failure and the election of 1930 saw massive gains for the Nazis and Communists, which led to a massive withdrawal of foreign money from Germany. He, however, managed to have the reparation payments reduced to 3 billion goldmark (which were never paid) and banned the Nazi SS and SA. A dispute over agricultural aids with Hindenburg ended his administration. Historians views on Brüning are mixed. Brüning later wrote memoirs (he died in 1970) to extricate himself from the blame naturally laid at him (his economic policies were similar in nature and effect to those of UsefulNotes/HerbetHoover UsefulNotes/HerbertHoover in the US). One of the most controversial aspects of his term was the deflationary policies which on the one hand worsened the economic depression and on the other helped lead to the end of German reparations. He later said [[IMeantToDoThat the latter was his goal all along]], but it is more likely that he honestly believed cutting government spending in the worst depression in ages was a good idea.
26th Aug '16 4:59:53 AM Jhonny
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* Heinrich Brüning (1930-1932) -- Centre Party. Together with Hindenburg, he sought to undermine the influence of the unstable Reichstag and ruled with presidential emergency decrees instead of laws under toleration by the SPD. His attempts to ease the Great Depression were a failure and the election of 1930 saw massive gains for the Nazis and Communists, which led to a massive withdrawal of foreign money from Germany. He, however, managed to have the reparation payments reduced to 3 billion goldmark (which were never paid) and banned the Nazi SS and SA. A dispute over agricultural aids with Hindenburg ended his administration. Historians views on Brüning are mixed. Brüning later wrote memoirs (he died in 1970) to extricate himself from the blame naturally laid at him (his economic policies were similar in nature and effect to those of HerbetHoover in the US). One of the most controversial aspects of his term was the deflationary policies which on the one hand worsened the economic depression and on the other helped lead to the end of German reparations. He later said [[IMeantToDoThat the latter was his goal all along]], but it is more likely that he honestly believed cutting government spending in the worst depression in ages was a good idea.

to:

* Heinrich Brüning (1930-1932) -- Centre Party. Together with Hindenburg, he sought to undermine the influence of the unstable Reichstag and ruled with presidential emergency decrees instead of laws under toleration by the SPD. His attempts to ease the Great Depression were a failure and the election of 1930 saw massive gains for the Nazis and Communists, which led to a massive withdrawal of foreign money from Germany. He, however, managed to have the reparation payments reduced to 3 billion goldmark (which were never paid) and banned the Nazi SS and SA. A dispute over agricultural aids with Hindenburg ended his administration. Historians views on Brüning are mixed. Brüning later wrote memoirs (he died in 1970) to extricate himself from the blame naturally laid at him (his economic policies were similar in nature and effect to those of HerbetHoover UsefulNotes/HerbetHoover in the US). One of the most controversial aspects of his term was the deflationary policies which on the one hand worsened the economic depression and on the other helped lead to the end of German reparations. He later said [[IMeantToDoThat the latter was his goal all along]], but it is more likely that he honestly believed cutting government spending in the worst depression in ages was a good idea.
26th Aug '16 4:59:32 AM Jhonny
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* Heinrich Brüning (1930-1932) -- Centre Party. Together with Hindenburg, he sought to undermine the influence of the unstable Reichstag and ruled with presidential emergency decrees instead of laws under toleration by the SPD. His attempts to ease the Great Depression were a failure and the election of 1930 saw massive gains for the Nazis and Communists, which led to a massive withdrawal of foreign money from Germany. He, however, managed to have the reparation payments reduced to 3 billion goldmark (which were never paid) and banned the Nazi SS and SA. A dispute over agricultural aids with Hindenburg ended his administration. Historians views on Brüning are mixed.

to:

* Heinrich Brüning (1930-1932) -- Centre Party. Together with Hindenburg, he sought to undermine the influence of the unstable Reichstag and ruled with presidential emergency decrees instead of laws under toleration by the SPD. His attempts to ease the Great Depression were a failure and the election of 1930 saw massive gains for the Nazis and Communists, which led to a massive withdrawal of foreign money from Germany. He, however, managed to have the reparation payments reduced to 3 billion goldmark (which were never paid) and banned the Nazi SS and SA. A dispute over agricultural aids with Hindenburg ended his administration. Historians views on Brüning are mixed. Brüning later wrote memoirs (he died in 1970) to extricate himself from the blame naturally laid at him (his economic policies were similar in nature and effect to those of HerbetHoover in the US). One of the most controversial aspects of his term was the deflationary policies which on the one hand worsened the economic depression and on the other helped lead to the end of German reparations. He later said [[IMeantToDoThat the latter was his goal all along]], but it is more likely that he honestly believed cutting government spending in the worst depression in ages was a good idea.
26th Aug '16 4:51:54 AM Jhonny
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* Prince Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst (1894-1900) -- Elderly (he was already 75 in 1894) former prime minister of Bavaria and diplomat. He finished the ''Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch'' (BGB), the first civil code for all of Germany, which is still in force today. The BGB is widely regarded as a masterwork of civil law and several countries wholly or partly modeled their after it, most notably Japan, which at the time had a major ForeignCultureFetish for all things Prussian.

to:

* Prince Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst (1894-1900) -- Elderly (he was already 75 in 1894) former prime minister of Bavaria and diplomat. He finished the ''Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch'' (BGB), the first civil code for all of Germany, which is still in force today. The BGB is widely regarded as a masterwork of civil law and several countries wholly or partly modeled their theirs after it, most notably Japan, which at the time had a major ForeignCultureFetish for all things Prussian.
26th Aug '16 4:51:20 AM Jhonny
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* Prince Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst (1894-1900) -- Elderly (he was already 75 in 1894) former prime minister of Bavaria and diplomat. He finished the ''Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch'' (BGB), the first civil code for all of Germany, which is still in force today.

to:

* Prince Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst (1894-1900) -- Elderly (he was already 75 in 1894) former prime minister of Bavaria and diplomat. He finished the ''Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch'' (BGB), the first civil code for all of Germany, which is still in force today. The BGB is widely regarded as a masterwork of civil law and several countries wholly or partly modeled their after it, most notably Japan, which at the time had a major ForeignCultureFetish for all things Prussian.
26th Aug '16 4:49:14 AM Jhonny
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* Leo von Caprivi (1890-1894) -- Or, to give his full name, Georg Leo [[TheVonTropeFamily von Caprivi]] [[OverlyLongName de Caprera de Montecuccoli]], who was made a count in 1891. This former general, who also had been the head of the German navy from 1883 to 1888, had the thankless job of being Bismarck's successor, against whom almost anyone would've compared unfavorably. He began the implementation of Wilhelm II's "New Course" into German policy: Social reforms, more free trade and a pro-British foreign policy. The latter included giving up the good relations with Russia, since he himself admitted that he wasn't MagnificentBastard enough to maintain Bismarck's complex foreign policy based on secret treaties. He finished the negotiations for the Zanzibar treaty, which traded land between Germany and the British Empire. A strip of land in Namibia is still named after him.

to:

* Leo von Caprivi (1890-1894) -- Or, to give his full name, Georg Leo [[TheVonTropeFamily von Caprivi]] [[OverlyLongName de Caprera de Montecuccoli]], who was made a count in 1891. This former general, who also had been the head of the German navy from 1883 to 1888, had the thankless job of being Bismarck's successor, against whom almost anyone would've compared unfavorably. He began the implementation of Wilhelm II's "New Course" into German policy: Social reforms, more free trade and a pro-British foreign policy. The latter included giving up the good relations with Russia, since he himself admitted that he wasn't MagnificentBastard enough to maintain Bismarck's complex foreign policy based on secret treaties. He finished the negotiations for the Zanzibar treaty, which traded land between Germany and the British Empire. The widely believed interpretation that Germany traded Zanzibar for Heligoland is only half true. In fact, Germany let the British have free reign in Zanzibar (Germany had never owned or claimed it) and Britain gave Heligoland to Germany - overall no bad deal as Heligoland is still German and Zanzibar is not British any more. A strip of land in Namibia is still named after him.
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