History UsefulNotes / TheChancellorsOfGermany

5th Jul '16 12:33:17 PM Zarastro
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* '''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 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.

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* '''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 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.be.
27th Jun '16 2:52:27 PM Zarastro
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* '''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. Also got embarrassed by being named "[[EmbarrassingNickname unfuckable lard-arse]]" - by [[JerkAss Silvio Berlusconi]] nonetheless. 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 2015, she surprised watchers by stating that Germany would accept 800,000 Syrian refugees, [[PetTheDog an action]] that won over many of her former critics, but isolated her somewhat from more hardline right-wingers like the Bavarian sister party CSU.

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* '''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. Also got embarrassed by being named "[[EmbarrassingNickname unfuckable lard-arse]]" - by [[JerkAss Silvio Berlusconi]] nonetheless. 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 2015, she surprised watchers by stating that Germany would accept 800,000 accept Syrian refugees, [[PetTheDog 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 isolated also weakened her somewhat from more hardline right-wingers like domestic support once it became clear how big of a task the Bavarian sister party CSU.integration of so many refugees would be.
13th May '16 3:09:53 PM TheOneWhoTropes
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* 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 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.

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* 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 TonyBlair.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.
7th Apr '16 11:11:37 AM Jhonny
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* Helmut Kohl (1982-1998, still alive as of November 14, 2014) -- Christian Democrat. Former ''Ministerpräsident'' of Rhineland-Palatinate, he became chancellor through a motion of no confidence against Helmut Schmidt. 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, 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.

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* Helmut Kohl (1982-1998, still alive as of November 14, 2014) 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, 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.
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.



* Helmut Kohl (1982-1998, still alive as of November 14, 2014) -- 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 November 14, 2014) -- 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 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.

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* Helmut Kohl (1982-1998, still alive as of November 14, 2014) 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 November 14, 2014) 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 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.
7th Apr '16 11:02:59 AM Jhonny
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* 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 ''Staatssicherheit'' at the time. Brandt then no longer had a working majority but then forced a new election by deliberately losing a confidence vote. Halfway into his second term he had to resign after one of his closest advisors, 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.

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* 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 ''Staatssicherheit'' ''[[UsefulNotes/TheStasi Staatssicherheit]]'' at the time. Brandt then no longer had a working majority but then forced a new election by deliberately losing a confidence vote. 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 his closest advisors, 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.
7th Apr '16 10:55:29 AM Jhonny
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* 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 [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome 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, [[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 Adenauers 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), 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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* 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 [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome 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, [[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 Adenauers 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), 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.
7th Apr '16 10:52:06 AM Jhonny
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The Weimar Republic was an unstable political clusterfuck of epic proportions with 21 administrations under 12 chancellors in only 14 years. The weakness of many Weimar governments stemmed from the use of Proportional Representation, which forced many parties into weak coalitions and allowed the extremists to have a much greater influence, and the fact that the President could remove and appoint new Chancellors whenever it suited him. Most of its chancellors are largely forgotten today due to their short terms and failure to make a difference. Scheidemann and Stresemann are still remembered positively. Franz von Papen is still infamous for his [[EvilChancellor manipulations of the increasingly senile President Hindenburg]] and for his role in Hitler's rise to the office of chancellor. [[KarmaHoudini He was released from prison early (in 1949) and lived until 1969]].

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The Weimar Republic was an unstable political clusterfuck of epic proportions with 21 administrations under 12 chancellors in only 14 years. The weakness of many Weimar governments stemmed from the use of Proportional Representation, which forced many parties into weak coalitions and allowed the extremists to have a much greater influence, and the fact that the President could remove and appoint new Chancellors whenever it suited him. Furthermore, the political right was more fragmented than in the later Bonn Republic, with the Catholic Center Party having hardly any Protestant support and the rest of the conservative/liberal spectrum made up of a full range from the left liberal DDP to the staunchly anti-democratic DNVP, with the moderately monarchist DVP wedged between them. Coalitions either included left wing parties and the SPD, thus always threatened by disputes over social policy or they excluded the SPD and went further right, which always threatened unity over foreign policy as the DNVP was unwilling to give up claims to lost territory. Most of its chancellors are largely forgotten today due to their short terms and failure to make a difference. Scheidemann and Stresemann are still remembered positively. Franz von Papen is still infamous for his [[EvilChancellor manipulations of the increasingly senile President Hindenburg]] and for his role in Hitler's rise to the office of chancellor. [[KarmaHoudini He was released from prison early (in 1949) and lived until 1969]].
7th Apr '16 10:45:55 AM Jhonny
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* Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg (1909-1917) -- His pre-WWI foreign policy was geared towards improving Germany's relations with Britain and he attempted to reform Prussia's classist election system. He failed at both, and his influence on the Emperor was more and more eclipsed by that of the military. Trying to find compromises between the left and right wings of the Reichstag only earned him the loathing of both sides. The opinion of historians about him are mixed, especially about his role in the war and its outbreak. His failed attempts to reach a peace with the Entente earned him the hate of Hindenburg and Ludendorff and they forced him to resign.

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* Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg (1909-1917) -- His pre-WWI foreign policy was geared towards improving Germany's relations with Britain and he attempted to reform Prussia's classist election system. He failed at both, and his influence on the Emperor was more and more eclipsed by that of the military. Trying to find compromises between the left and right wings of the Reichstag only earned him the loathing of both sides. The opinion of historians about him are mixed, especially about his role in the war and its outbreak. Before the war, the Reichstag tried to depose him through a vote of no confidence - even though the constitution did not provide for any such measure. The Kaiser stuck with him and that was that. His failed attempts to reach a peace with the Entente earned him the hate of Hindenburg and Ludendorff and they forced him to resign.
7th Apr '16 9:00:39 AM PaddyMurphy
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* Heinrich Brüning (1930-1932) -- Centre Party. Together with Hindenburg, he seeked 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.

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* Heinrich Brüning (1930-1932) -- Centre Party. Together with Hindenburg, he seeked 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.
14th Jan '16 10:08:51 AM Kamikashi
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* 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. Also got embarrassed by being named "[[EmbarrassingNickname unfuckable lard-arse]]" - by [[JerkAss Silvio Berlusconi]] nonetheless. 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 2015, she surprised watchers by stating that Germany would accept 800,000 Syrian refugees, [[PetTheDog an action]] that won over many of her former critics, but isolated her somewhat from more hardline right-wingers like the Bavarian sister party CSU.

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* Angela Merkel '''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. Also got embarrassed by being named "[[EmbarrassingNickname unfuckable lard-arse]]" - by [[JerkAss Silvio Berlusconi]] nonetheless. 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 2015, she surprised watchers by stating that Germany would accept 800,000 Syrian refugees, [[PetTheDog an action]] that won over many of her former critics, but isolated her somewhat from more hardline right-wingers like the Bavarian sister party CSU.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=UsefulNotes.TheChancellorsOfGermany