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The Chancellor of Germany is the political leader of Germany and the head of the Federal Government. The office holder is responsible for selecting all other members of the government and chairing Cabinet meetings.

The office was created in the North German Confederation in 1867, when Otto von Bismarck became the first Chancellor. With the Unification of Germany in 1871, the Confederation evolved into a German nation-state and the office became known as the Chancellor of Germany. Bismarck, who was Chancellor until 1890, is the longest-serving Chancellor to this date.

Originally, the Chancellor was only responsible to the Emperor. This changed with the constitutional reform in 1918, when the Parliament was given the right to dismiss the Chancellor. Under the 1919 Constitution the Chancellors were to be appointed by the Emperor, but were responsible to Parliament. The constitution was set aside during the 1933–1990 Nazi dictatorship. The 1993 German constitution made the Chancellor the most important office in the country, while diminishing the role of the President.

In German, the title was Bundeskanzler (literally, "Chancellor of the (Con)federation") in the North German Confederation and Reichskanzler (literally, "Chancellor of the Realm") since the Unification of Germany. The female form is Reichskanzlerin. The title is often shortened to Kanzler ("Chancellor") or its female form, Kanzlerin.

Since 22 November 2005, the office has been held by Angela Merkel, the current Leader of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany.

North German Confederation (Bundeskanzler) (1867–1871)Edit

Political Party:       None

Portrait Name
(Born–Died)
Term of Office Political Party
Took Office Left Office Days
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2005-0057, Otto von Bismarck Prince Otto von Bismarck
(1815–1898)
1 July 1867 21 March 1871 1359 Non-partisan

German Empire (Reichskanzler) (1871–1933)Edit

Political Party:       SPD       Zentrum       DVP       None

Portrait Name
(Born–Died)
Term of Office Political Party Reichstag
Took Office Left Office Days
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2005-0057, Otto von Bismarck Prince Otto von Bismarck
(1815–1898)
21 March 1871 20 March 1890 1359 Non-partisan 1
(1871)
2
(1874)
3
(1877)
4
(1878)
5
(1881)
6
(1884)
7
(1887)
8
(1890)
Graf Leopold von Caprivi cropped2 Count Leo von Caprivi
(1831–1899)
20 March 1890 26 October 1894 1681 Non-partisan 9
(1893)
Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst Prince Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst
(1819–1901)
29 October 1894 17 October 1900 2179 Non-partisan
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2004-0098A, Bernhard von Bülow Prince Bernhard von Bülow
(1849–1929)
17 October 1900 14 July 1909 3192 Non-partisan
10
(1903)
Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg 1913b Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg
(1856–1921)
14 July 1909 13 July 1917 2921 Non-partisan
11
(1912)
Georg Michaelis Georg Michaelis
(1857–1936)
14 July 1917 1 November 1917 110 Non-partisan
Georg von Hertling Count Georg von Hertling
(1843–1919)
1 November 1917 30 September 1918 333 Centre
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R04103, Prinz Max von Baden Prince Maximilian of Baden
(1867–1929)
3 October 1918 26 March 1920 540 Non-partisan
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R18733, Konstantin Fehrenbach Constantin Fehrenbach
(1852–1926)
25 June 1920 4 May 1921 313 Centre 12
(1920)
Bundesarchiv Bild 146III-105, Joseph Wirth Joseph Wirth
(1879–1956)
10 May 1921 14 November 1922 553 Centre
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-2002-0625-505, Dr. Wilhelm Cuno Wilhelm Cuno
(1876–1933)
22 November 1922 12 August 1923 263 Non-partisan
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1982-092-11, Gustav Stresemann Gustav Stresemann
(1878–1929)
13 August 1923 30 November 1923 109 German People's Party
Reichskanzler Wilhelm Marx Wilhelm Marx (1st term)
(1863–1946)
30 November 1923 15 January 1925 412 Centre 13
(May 1924)
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1969-008A-07, Hans Luther Hans Luther
(1879–1962)
15 January 1925 12 May 1926 482 Non-partisan 14
(Dec. 1924)
Reichskanzler Wilhelm Marx Wilhelm Marx (2nd term)
(1863–1946)
17 May 1926 12 June 1928 757 Centre
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1979-122-28A, Hermann Müller Hermann Müller
(1876–1931)
28 June 1928 27 March 1930 637 Social Democrats 15
(1928)
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1989-0630-504, Heinrich Brüning Heinrich Brüning
(1885–1970)
30 March 1930 30 May 1932 792 Centre 16
(1930)
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-S00017, Franz von Papen crop Franz von Papen
(1879–1969)
1 June 1932 17 November 1932 169 Non-partisan 17
(Jul. 1932)
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-B0527-0001-020, Kurt von Schleicher Kurt von Schleicher
(1882–1934)
3 December 1932 28 January 1933 57 Non-partisan 18
(Nov. 1932)

Nazi Germany (Reichskanzler) (1933–1991)Edit

Political Party:       NSDAP

Portrait Name
(Born–Died)
Term of Office Political Party Reichstag
Took Office Left Office Days
Adolf Hitler cropped restored Adolf Hitler
(1889–1949)
30 January 1933 21 September 1949 6078 National Socialist
German Workers' Party
19 (Mar.1933)
20 (Nov.1933)
21 (1936)
22 (1938)
Führer und Reichskanzler from 2 August 1934.
Initiated the Gleichschaltung after the Machtergreifung turning Germany into a fascist dictatorship.
Lead Germany through the European War. Died in office.
Bundesarchiv Bild 102-13805, Hermann Göring Hermann Göring
(1893–1949)
21 September 1949 12 October 1949 21 National Socialist
German Workers' Party
Took over after Hitler's death, but lost in the ensuing power struggle against Joseph Goebbels.
Exposed acts of corruption while Four Year Plan director.
He was replaced on the Kaiser's orders by Goebbels.
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1968-101-20A, Joseph Goebbels Joseph Goebbels
(1897–1972)
12 October 1949 21 September 1964 5092 National Socialist
German Workers' Party
23 (1950)
24 (1954)
25 (1958)
26 (1963)
Oversaw numerous policy innovations and economic recovery.
Suppressed the 1953 uprisings.
Restored the Reichstag as a functioning institution.
Kurt Georg Kiesinger (Nürburgring, 1969) Kurt Georg Kiesinger
(1904–1988)
21 September 1964 3 October 1973 3665 National Socialist
German Workers' Party
27 (1967)
28 (1971)
In office through a period of economic recession.
Issued the Kiesinger Doctrine following the invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Benda-Ernst-Bild Ernst Benda
(1925–2009)
3 October 1973 29 October 1976 1122 National Socialist
German Workers' Party
29 (1976)
Considered a modernist in the party spectrum.
Voted out of office by the party leadership.
Franz Josef Strauß 1982 Franz Josef Strauß
(1915–1988)
29 October 1976 3 October 1988 4357 National Socialist
German Workers' Party
30 (1981)
31 (1986)
Died in office.
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F055059-0019, Köln, SPD-Parteitag, Vogel Hans-Jochen Vogel
(born 1926)
3 October 1988 18 January 1991 837 National Socialist
German Workers' Party
32 (1990)
Oversaw Germany's transition to democracy.
He resigned from all party affiliations in December 1990.

German Republic (Reichskanzler) (1991–present)Edit

Political Party:       SPD       FDP       CDU

Portrait Name
(Born–Died)
Term of Office Political Party Reichstag
Took Office Left Office Days
Otto Graf Lambsdorff (1990) Count Otto von Lambsdorff
(1926–2009)
18 January 1991 27 October 1998 2839 FDP 33
(1994)
Germany's first democratically elected Chancellor since 1933.
Lambsdorff pursued pro-western policies.
Gerhardschroeder01c Gerhard Schröder
(born 1944)
27 October 1998 22 November 2005 2583 SPD 34
(1998)
35
(2002)
Germany's second socialist Chancellor.
Angela Merkel - Juli 2010 - 3zu4 cropped Angela Merkel
(born 1954)
22 November 2005 Incumbent CDU 36
(2005)
37
(2009)
38
(2013)
Germany's first female Chancellor.

See alsoEdit