History UsefulNotes / TheChancellorsOfGermany

24th Nov '17 10:07:55 AM nombretomado
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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 ''[[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 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 see Germany reunited before dying in 1992.

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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 UsefulNotes/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 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 see Germany reunited before dying in 1992.
5th Oct '17 4:58:05 AM Jhonny
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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.

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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.
Präsident. Unlike previous eras where the Kaisers and Presidents are much better known than the chancellors (save Bismarck and Hitler, of course), German chancellors from this era are household names while the Presidents are obscure figures. The two chancellors that were only in office for three years are somewhat less known, but Ehrhard is still famous for his tenure as minister of the economy.
5th Oct '17 4:55:05 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. 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]].

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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]].
1969]]. Brüning is still known among economic historians for his Hoover-like approach to the Great Depression and his blatantly self-serving memoirs released after his 1970 death.
5th Oct '17 4:52:33 AM Jhonny
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* Gustav Stresemann (1923) -- Liberal Nationalist. One of the most well remembered chancellors of the Weimar Republic and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He ended the passive resistance in the Rhineland, reached several agreements with the Entente regarding Versailles and did a monetary reform to end the hyperinflation. [[UngratefulBastard The Reichstag axed him anyway]]. He stayed Germany's foreign minister and played an important role in successive cabinets until his death of a stroke in 1929 which left a huge gap in Germany's diplomatic relations, especially those with France. A type of formal three-piece suit is named after him.

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* Gustav Stresemann (1923) -- Liberal Nationalist. One of the most well remembered chancellors (though mostly for his tenure as foreign minister) of the Weimar Republic and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He ended the passive resistance in the Rhineland, reached several agreements with the Entente regarding Versailles and did a monetary reform to end the hyperinflation. [[UngratefulBastard The Reichstag axed him anyway]]. He stayed Germany's foreign minister and played an important role in successive cabinets until his death of a stroke in 1929 which left a huge gap in Germany's diplomatic relations, especially those with France. A type of formal three-piece suit is named after him.
5th Oct '17 4:42:54 AM Jhonny
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* '''Angela Merkel''' (2005-present) -- Christian Democrat. [[IronLady First woman]] and first person from the former 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 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. Despite an initially rough start, she managed to forge a very close working-relationship with Barack Obama, who - at the end of his presidency - called her "his closest partner". Merkel 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.

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* '''Angela Merkel''' (2005-present) -- Christian Democrat. [[IronLady First woman]] and first person from the former 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 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. Despite an initially rough start, she managed to forge a very close working-relationship with Barack Obama, who - at the end of his presidency - called her "his closest partner". Merkel 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. In the 2017 election both her own CDU and coalition partner SPD lost a lot of votes prompting the SPD to announce leaving the coalition (although it would still command a majority of seats in the Bundestag), leading to speculations about the first ever "Jamaica" coalition of FDP, [=CDU/CSU=] and Greens on the federal level.
24th Sep '17 3:09:15 AM Saveelich
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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]] [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII is history]]. More about him on [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler his own page]].

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* UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler (1933-1945) -- [[ThoseWackyNazis National Socialist]] ([[CaptainObvious Duh]]).Socialist]]. 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]] [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII is history]]. More about him on [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler his own page]].
19th Jul '17 7:59:18 AM RatherRandomRachel
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* Kurt von [[MeaningfulName Schleicher]] (1932-1933) -- Independent. Backstabbing Papen had earned him a powerful enemy, as Papen still had a lot of influence over Hindenburg. Schleicher struggled against the anti-democratic parties in the Reichstag and attempted to split and weaken the Nazi Party. Papen quickly ganged up with Hitler against Schleicher. This led to Hitler's appointment as chancellor through Papen's influence on Hindenburg and the end of the Weimar Republic. Schleicher was killed by the SS during the ''Night of the Long Knives'' in 1934.

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* Kurt von [[MeaningfulName Schleicher]] Schleicher]][[labelnote:note]]"a furtive or stealthy person"[[/labelnote]] (1932-1933) -- Independent. Backstabbing Papen had earned him a powerful enemy, as Papen still had a lot of influence over Hindenburg. Schleicher struggled against the anti-democratic parties in the Reichstag and attempted to split and weaken the Nazi Party. Papen quickly ganged up with Hitler against Schleicher. This led to Hitler's appointment as chancellor through Papen's influence on Hindenburg and the end of the Weimar Republic. Schleicher was killed by the SS during the ''Night of the Long Knives'' in 1934.
16th Jun '17 1:02:17 PM RatherRandomRachel
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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 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 [[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.

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* Helmut Kohl (1982-1998, still alive as of April 2016) died June 16th 2017) -- 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 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 [[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.



* Helmut Kohl (1982-1998, still alive as of 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.

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* Helmut Kohl (1982-1998, still alive as of November 2016) died June 16th 2017) -- 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.
13th Jun '17 9:34:42 PM nombretomado
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* 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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* 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.UsefulNotes/WorldWarI. 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.
4th Mar '17 2:12:34 AM LtFedora
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* 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.

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* 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.
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