List of German presidents since 1919: Wikis

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A number of presidential offices have existed in Germany since the abolition of the imperial monarchy in 1918. During the 1919-1933 Weimar Republic the head of state was the Reichspräsident (Reich President). Upon the death of Paul von Hindenburg in August 1934 the office was abolished until 1945, when Karl Dönitz briefly became Reich President according to the last will of Adolf Hitler.

The West German constitution (Grundgesetz or Basic Law) of May 1949 created the office of Bundespräsident ("Federal President"). Since Germany was reunited in 1990 the Bundespräsident has been the head of state for all of Germany.

The East German constitution of October 1949 created the office of Präsident der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik (DDR) ("President of the German Democratic Republic"). Upon the death of Wilhelm Pieck in 1960, the office of Präsident der DDR was abolished and replaced by a collective head of state, the Staatsrat der DDR (State Council of the GDR). The Vorsitzender (Chairman) of the Staatsrat was considered to be the head of state of the GDR. The Staatsrat was abolished by a constitutional amendment of the only freely elected Volkskammer ("People's Chamber" or parliament) on 5 April 1990. From then until the GDR joined with the Federal Republic on 3 October 1990, the president of the Volkskammer also served as the GDR head of state.

Contents

Reich Presidents (Reichspräsidenten) (1919-1945)

# Picture Name Took office Left office Party
1 Friedrich Ebert.jpg Friedrich Ebert 11 February 1919 28 February 1925 (died in office) Social Democratic Party of Germany
2 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-C06886, Paul v. Hindenburg.jpg Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg 12 May 1925 2 August 1934 (died in office) Non-party
3 Adolf Hitler cph 3a48970.jpg Adolf Hitler - head of state under the title Leader and Chancellor of the Reich (Führer und Reichskanzler) 2 August 1934 30 April 1945 (committed suicide) National Socialist German Workers Party
4 Donitz.jpg Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz 30 April 1945 23 May 1945 (arrested) Non-party

–==East Germany==

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President of the GDR (Präsident der DDR) (1949-1960)

# Picture Name Took office Left office Party
1 Fotothek df roe-neg 0002793 004 Portrait Wilhelm Piecks im Publikum der Bachfeier.jpg Wilhelm Pieck 11 October 1949 7 September 1960 (died in office) Socialist Unity Party of Germany

Chairmen of the Council of State of the GDR (Vorsitzende des Staatsrats der DDR) (1960-1990)

# Picture Name Took office Left office Party
1 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-A1227-0009-001, Walter Ulbricht.jpg Walter Ulbricht 12 September 1960 1 August 1973 (died in office) Socialist Unity Party of Germany
2 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R0430-0305A, Willi Stoph.jpg Willi Stoph 3 October 1973 29 October 1976 (replaced) Socialist Unity Party of Germany
3 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1986-0421-044, Berlin, XI. SED-Parteitag, Erich Honecker.jpg Erich Honecker 29 October 1976 18 October 1989 (resigned) Socialist Unity Party of Germany
4 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1984-0704-400, Egon Krenz.jpg Egon Krenz 18 October 1989 6 December 1989 (resigned) Socialist Unity Party of Germany
5 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1986-0617-034, Prof. Dr. Manfred Gerlach.jpg Manfred Gerlach 6 December 1989 5 April 1990 (office abolished) Liberal Democratic Party of Germany

President of the People's Chamber of the GDR (Präsident/-in der Volkskammer der DDR) (1990)

# Picture Name Took office Left office nad from Party
1 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1990-0813-302, Sabine Bergmann-Pohl.jpg Sabine Bergmann-Pohl 5 April 1990 2 October 1990 (office abolished) Christian Democratic Union
  • The office of Präsident der Volkskammer der DDR was created by the GDR constitution in October 1949 and remained throughout the existence of the GDR. With the abolition of the office of the Chairman of the Council of State of the GDR, the President of the People's Chamber became the GDR's head of state for the remainder of the state's existence.

Federal Presidents (Bundespräsidenten) since 1949

# Picture Name Took office Left office Party
1 Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1983-098-20a, Heuss.jpg Theodor Heuss 13 September 1949 12 September 1959 Free Democratic Party
2 Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1994-034-22A, Heinrich Lübke.jpg Heinrich Lübke 13 September 1959 30 June 1969 Christian Democratic Union
3 Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2007-0037, Gustav Heinemann.jpg Gustav Heinemann 1 July 1969 30 June 1974 Social Democratic Party
4 Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1989-047-20, Walter Scheel.jpg Walter Scheel 1 July 1974 30 June 1979 Free Democratic Party
5 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F040153-0032, Bonn, Pressekonferenz CDU-Vorstand, Carstens.jpg Karl Carstens 1 July 1979 30 June 1984 Christian Democratic Union
6 Richard von Weizsäcker.jpg Richard von Weizsäcker 1 July 1984 30 June 1994 Christian Democratic Union
7 Roman Herzog.jpg Roman Herzog 1 July 1994 30 June 1999 Christian Democratic Union
8 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F073494-0025, Bundespressekonferenz, Bundestagswahlkampf, Rau.jpg Johannes Rau 1 July 1999 30 June 2004 Social Democratic Party
9 Horst Köhler.jpg Horst Köhler 1 July 2004 Incumbent Christian Democratic Union

List of acting heads of state (Geschäftsführendes Staatsoberhaupt)

  • Hans Luther (DVP) was acting Reich President from 28 February to 12 March 1925.
  • Walter Simons was acting Reich President from 12 March to 12 May 1925.
  • Karl Arnold (CDU) was acting head of state of the Federal Republic from 7 September to 12 September 1949. He filled this role in his capacity as President of the Bundesrat.
  • Johannes Dieckmann (SED) briefly filled the role of acting State President of East Germany on two occasions: from 7 October to 11 October 1949 (before Wilhelm Pieck took office) and again from 7 September to 12 September 1960 (after Pieck died).
  • Friedrich Ebert junior (SED) was Acting Chairman of the Council of State in East Germany from 1 August 1973 to 3 October 1973.
  • Manfred Gerlach (LDPD) was Acting Chairman of the Council of State in East Germany from 6 December 1989 to 5 April 1990.

See also

References


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