| Germany |
Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs
German: Bundesminister des Auswärtigen
|Federal Foreign Office|
|Formation||21 March 1871|
|First holder||Hermann von Thile|
The Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs (German : Bundesminister des Auswärtigen) is the head of the Federal Foreign Office and a member of the Cabinet of Germany. The current office holder is Heiko Maas. Since 1966, the Foreign Minister has often also simultaneously held the office of Vice Chancellor.
German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.
The Federal Foreign Office, abbreviated AA, is the foreign ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany, a federal agency responsible for both the country's foreign policy and its relationship with the European Union. It is a cabinet-level ministry. Since March 2018, Heiko Maas has served as Foreign Minister, succeeding Sigmar Gabriel. The primary seat of the ministry is at the Werderscher Markt square in the Mitte district, the historic centre of Berlin.
The Cabinet of Germany is the chief executive body of the Federal Republic of Germany. It consists of the Chancellor and the cabinet ministers. The fundamentals of the cabinet's organization as well as the method of its election and appointment as well as the procedure for its dismissal are set down in articles 62 through 69 of the Grundgesetz.
The Foreign Office was established within the North German Confederation in 1870 and its head, first appointed in 1871, had the rank of Secretary of State. As the German constitution of 1871 installed the Chancellor as the sole responsible government minister and since the Chancellor generally also held the position of Foreign Minister of Prussia, the Secretary of State fulfilled a more subject role as an assistant to the Chancellor, acting largely to draft correspondence rather than to actually direct the formation of foreign policy. This was especially true during the chancellorships of Otto von Bismarck (1871–1890) and Bernhard von Bülow (1900–1909), both of whom had considerable prior experience with foreign affairs, while secretaries at other times wielded more influence over the foreign policy.
The North German Confederation was the German federal state which existed from July 1867 to December 1870. It was said to be led by Prussia. Some historians also use the name for the alliance of 22 German states formed on 18 August 1866. In 1870–1871, the south German states of Baden, Hesse-Darmstadt, Württemberg and Bavaria joined the country. On 1 January 1871, the country adopted a new constitution, which was written under the title of a new "German Confederation" but already gave it the name "German Empire" in the preamble and article 11.
Individual ministerial responsibility is a constitutional convention in governments using the Westminster System that a cabinet minister bears the ultimate responsibility for the actions of their ministry or department. Individual ministerial responsibility is not the same as cabinet collective responsibility, which states members of the cabinet must approve publicly of its collective decisions or resign. This means that a motion for a vote of "no confidence" is not in order should the actions of an organ of government fail in the proper discharge of their responsibilities. Where there is ministerial responsibility, the accountable minister is expected to take the blame and ultimately resign, but the majority or coalition within parliament of which the minister is part, is not held to be answerable for that minister's failure.
Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg, known as Otto von Bismarck, was a conservative Prussian statesman who dominated German and European affairs from the 1860s until 1890 and was the first Chancellor of the German Empire between 1871 and 1890. In 1862, King Wilhelm I appointed him as Minister President of Prussia, a position he would hold until 1890, with the exception of a short break in 1873. He provoked three short, decisive wars against Denmark, Austria, and France. Following the victory against Austria, he abolished the supranational German Confederation and instead formed the North German Confederation as the first German national state in 1867, leading it as Federal Chancellor. This aligned the smaller North German states behind Prussia. Later receiving the support of the independent South German states in the Confederation's defeat of France, he formed the German Empire in 1871, unifying Germany with himself as Imperial Chancellor, while retaining control of Prussia at the same time. The new German nation excluded Austria, which had been Prussia's main opponent for predominance among the German states.
In 1919, the Weimar Republic elevated the head of the foreign office to the position of Foreign Minister responsible for his department. As governments were now formed by parties entering coalitions with each other, individual ministers also gained independence towards from the chancellor.
The Weimar Republic is an unofficial historical designation for the German state from 1918 to 1933. The name derives from the city of Weimar, where its constitutional assembly first took place. The official name of the republic remained Deutsches Reich unchanged from 1871, because of the German tradition of substates. Although commonly translated as "German Empire", the word Reich here better translates as "realm", in that the term does not have monarchical connotations in itself. The Reich was changed from a constitutional monarchy into a republic. In English, the country was usually known simply as Germany.
After a succession of short-lived ministers, Gustav Stresemann, leader of the small National-liberal German People's Party, held the office of Foreign Minister in successive cabinets from 1923 to his death 1929. His long term gave stability to Germany's foreign policy and improved the minister's position towards the relatively weak and short-lived chancellors. Stresemann was awarded the 1926 Nobel Peace Prize for his work for reconciliation between Germany and France.
Gustav Ernst Stresemann was a German statesman who served as Chancellor in 1923 and Foreign Minister 1923–1929, during the Weimar Republic. He was co-laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1926.
The German People's Party was a national liberal party in Weimar Germany and a successor to the National Liberal Party of the German Empire. A right-wing liberal or conservative-liberal party, its most famous member was Chancellor and Foreign Minister Gustav Stresemann, a 1926 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Swedish industrialist, inventor, and armaments manufacturer Alfred Nobel, along with the prizes in Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature. Since March 1901, it has been awarded annually to those who have "done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".
The foreign office remained relatively unaffected by the establishment of the Nazi regime in 1933, as minister Konstantin von Neurath, appointed in 1932, remained in office until 1938. However, the office was increasingly marginalised in actual policy-making and with the replacement of Neurath by Ribbentrop lost any independent standing.
Konstantin Hermann Karl Freiherr von Neurath was a German diplomat remembered mostly for having served as Foreign minister of Germany between 1932 and 1938. Holding this post in the early years of Adolf Hitler's regime, Neurath was regarded as playing a key role in the foreign policy pursuits of the Nazi dictator in undermining the Treaty of Versailles and territorial expansion in the prelude to World War II, although he was often averse to Hitler's aims tactically if not necessarily ideologically. This aversion eventually induced Hitler to replace Neurath with the more compliant and fervent Nazi Joachim von Ribbentrop.
Ulrich Friedrich Wilhelm Joachim von Ribbentrop, more commonly known as Joachim von Ribbentrop, was Foreign Minister of Nazi Germany from 1938 until 1945.
After World War II, two separate German states emerged in 1949, the democratic Federal Republic of Germany in the West and the communist-ruled German Democratic Republic in the East. While the Soviet Union ostensibly restored political sovereignty to its satellite and allowed for a Foreign Ministry of the GDR, West Germany's sovereignty was officially curtailed by the Western powers, especially in the field of foreign policy. In 1951 the Foreign Office was reestablishedin West Germany, but Chancellor Konrad Adenauer was required to hold the office of Foreign Minister until the Western powers restored sovereignty to West Germany in 1955. Then, Heinrich von Brentano di Tremezzo succeeded as foreign minister in 1955. In 1990, the GDR ceased to exist as a separate state and its territory was reunited with West Germany.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic, was a country that existed from 1949 to 1990, when the eastern portion of Germany was part of the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. It described itself as a socialist "workers' and peasants' state", and the territory was administered and occupied by Soviet forces at the end of World War II — the Soviet occupation zone of the Potsdam Agreement, bounded on the east by the Oder–Neisse line. The Soviet zone surrounded West Berlin but did not include it; as a result, West Berlin remained outside the jurisdiction of the GDR.
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.
From the 1966 Grand Coalition government of Kurt Georg Kiesinger onwards, the office has been held by a member of the smaller partner in coalitions. Therefore, the Foreign Minister also mostly holds the office of Vice Chancellor of Germany, although there have been notable exceptions, most recently during the term of Philipp Rösler as Vice Chancellor, from 2011 to 2013.
|Portrait||Party||Term of Office||Chancellor|
| Hermann von Thile |
|N/A||21 March 1871||30 September 1872||Bismarck|
| Hermann Ludwig von Balan |
|N/A||3 October 1872||9 October 1873|
| Bernhard Ernst von Bülow |
|N/A||9 October 1873||20 October 1879|
| Joseph Maria von Radowitz, Jr. |
|N/A||6 November 1879||17 April 1880|
| Chlodwig Fürst zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst |
|N/A||20 April 1880||1 September 1880|
| Friedrich Graf zu Limburg-Stirum |
|N/A||1 September 1880||25 June 1881|
| Clemens Busch |
|N/A||25 June 1881||16 July 1881|
| Paul Graf von Hatzfeldt zu Trachenberg |
|N/A||16 July 1881||24 October 1885|
| Herbert Fürst von Bismarck |
|N/A||24 October 1885||26 March 1890|| Bismarck |
| Adolf Freiherr Marschall von Bieberstein |
|N/A||31 March 1890||19 October 1897|| von Caprivi |
| Bernhard Graf von Bülow |
|N/A||20 October 1897||23 October 1900|| Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst |
| Oswald Freiherr von Richthofen |
|N/A||23 October 1900||17 January 1906||von Bülow|
| Heinrich Leonhard von Tschirschky und Bögendorff |
|N/A||24 January 1906||25 October 1907|
| Wilhelm Freiherr von Schoen |
|N/A||26 October 1907||27 June 1910|| von Bülow |
| Alfred von Kiderlen-Waechter |
|N/A||27 June 1910||30 December 1912||von Bethmann-Hollweg|
| Gottlieb von Jagow |
|N/A||11 January 1913||22 November 1916|
| Arthur Zimmermann |
|N/A||22 November 1916||6 August 1917|| von Bethmann-Hollweg |
| Richard von Kühlmann |
|N/A||6 August 1917||9 July 1918|| Michaelis |
| Paul von Hintze |
|N/A||9 July 1918||3 October 1918|| von Hertling |
| Wilhelm Solf |
|N/A||3 October 1918||13 December 1918|| von Baden |
(Council of the People's Deputies)
| Ulrich Graf von Brockdorff-Rantzau |
|N/A||13 December 1918||13 February 1919|| Ebert |
(Council of the People's Deputies)
Political Party: SPD Zentrum DDP DVP NSDP
|№||Minister of Foreign Affairs||Took office||Left office||Time in office||Party||Cabinet|
|1||Ulrich von Brockdorff-Rantzau |
|13 February 1919||20 June 1919||127 days||Independent||Scheidemann|
|2||Hermann Müller |
|21 June 1919||26 March 1920||279 days||SPD||Bauer|
|3||Adolf Köster |
|10 April 1920||8 June 1920||59 days||SPD||Müller I|
|4||Walter Simons |
|25 June 1920||4 May 1921||59 days||Independent||Fehrenbach|
|5||Friedrich Rosen |
|10 May 1921||22 October 1921||1 year, 136 days||Independent||Wirth I|
|–||Joseph Wirth |
|26 October 1921||31 January 1922||97 days||Centre||Wirth II|
|6||Walther Rathenau |
|1 February 1922||24 June 1922 †||143 days||DDP||Wirth II|
|–||Joseph Wirth |
|24 June 1922||14 November 1922||143 days||Centre||Wirth II|
|7||Hans von Rosenberg |
|22 November 1922||11 August 1923||262 days||Independent||Cuno|
|8||Gustav Stresemann |
|13 August 1923||3 October 1929 †||6 years, 51 days||DVP|| Stresemann I–II |
|9||Julius Curtius |
|4 October 1929||9 October 1931||2 years, 5 days||DVP|| Müller II |
|10||Heinrich Brüning |
|9 October 1931||30 May 1932||234 days||Centre|| Müller II |
|11||Konstantin von Neurath |
(Independent until 1937)
|1 June 1932||4 February 1938||5 years, 248 days||NSDAP|| von Papen |
|12||Joachim von Ribbentrop |
|4 February 1938||30 April 1945||7 years, 85 days||NSDAP||Hitler|
|13||Arthur Seyss-Inquart |
|30 April 1945||2 May 1945||2 days||NSDAP||Goebbels|
|14||Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk |
|2 May 1945||23 May 1945||21 days||NSDAP||Schwerin von Krosigk|
Political Party: CDU SED NDPD SPD
|№||Minister of Foreign Affairs||Took office||Left office||Time in office||Party||Chairman|
|1||Georg Dertinger |
|12 October 1949||15 January 1953||3 years, 3 months||CDU||Grotewohl|
|2||Anton Ackermann |
|15 January 1953||July 1953||5 months||SED||Grotewohl|
|3||Lothar Bolz |
|July 1953||24 June 1965||11 years, 11 months||NDPD|| Grotewohl |
|4||Otto Winzer |
|24 June 1965||20 January 1975||9 years, 6 months||SED|| Stoph |
|5||Oskar Fischer |
|3 March 1975||12 April 1990||15 years, 1 month||SED|| Sindermann |
|5||Markus Meckel |
|12 April 1990||20 August 1990||4 months||SPD||de Maizière|
|6||Lothar de Maizière |
|20 August 1990||2 October 1990||1 month||CDU||de Maizière|
Political Party: CDU SPD FDP Green
|№||Minister of Foreign Affairs||Took office||Left office||Time in office||Party||Cabinet|
|1||Konrad Adenauer |
|15 March 1951||6 June 1955||4 years, 83 days||CDU||Adenauer I–II|
|2||Heinrich von Brentano di Tremezzo |
|6 June 1955||30 October 1961||6 years, 146 days||CDU||Adenauer II–III|
|3||Gerhard Schröder |
|14 November 1961||30 November 1966||5 years, 16 days||CDU|| Adenauer IV–V |
|4||Willy Brandt |
|1 December 1966||20 October 1969||2 years, 323 days||SPD||Kiesinger|
|5||Walter Scheel |
|21 October 1969||15 May 1974||4 years, 206 days||FDP||Brandt I–II|
|6||Hans-Dietrich Genscher |
|17 May 1974||17 September 1982||8 years, 123 days||FDP||Schmidt I–II–III|
|7||Helmut Schmidt |
|17 September 1982||4 October 1982||17 days||SPD||Schmidt III|
|(6)||Hans-Dietrich Genscher |
|4 October 1982||17 May 1992||9 years, 226 days||FDP||Kohl I–II–III–IV|
|8||Klaus Kinkel |
|18 May 1992||26 October 1998||6 years, 161 days||FDP||Kohl IV–V|
|9||Joschka Fischer |
|27 October 1998||22 November 2005||7 years, 26 days||Green||Schröder I–II|
|10||Frank-Walter Steinmeier |
|22 November 2005||28 October 2009||3 years, 340 days||SPD||Merkel I|
|11||Guido Westerwelle |
|28 October 2009||17 December 2013||4 years, 50 days||FDP||Merkel II|
|(10)||Frank-Walter Steinmeier |
|17 December 2013||27 January 2017||3 years, 41 days||SPD||Merkel III|
|12||Sigmar Gabriel |
|27 January 2017||14 March 2018||1 year, 46 days||SPD||Merkel III|
|13||Heiko Maas |
|14 March 2018||Incumbent||1 year, 114 days||SPD||Merkel IV|
Germany is a democratic, federal parliamentary republic, where federal legislative power is vested in the Bundestag and the Bundesrat.
Kurt Georg Kiesinger was a German politician who served as Chancellor of Germany from 1 December 1966 to 21 October 1969. Before he became Chancellor he served as Minister President of Baden-Württemberg from 1958 to 1966 and as President of the Federal Council from 1962 to 1963. He was Chairman of the Christian Democratic Union from 1967 to 1971.
The Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany is, under the German 1949 Constitution, the head of government of Germany. Historically, the office has evolved from the office of chancellor that was originally established in the North German Confederation in 1867.
Deputy to the Federal Chancellor is a title of one of the German cabinet members. The Chancellor is the head of government and, according to the constitution, gives this title to one of the Federal Ministers. This minister can use the constitutional powers of the Chancellor when officially replacing the Chancellor. This has never happened up to now, although, according to the internal reglement of the government, the Deputy chairs cabinet meetings when the Chancellor is absent.
Federal elections were held in West Germany on 19 November 1972 to elect the members of the 7th Bundestag. In the first snap elections since 1949, the Social Democratic Party for the first time in the history of the second German republic became the largest party in the Bundestag, winning 242 of the 518 seats. The coalition with the Free Democratic Party was resumed.
Presidential elections were held in Germany on 29 March 1925, with a second round run-off on 26 April. They were the first direct elections to the office of President of the Reich, Germany's head of state during the 1919–33 Weimar Republic. The first President, Friedrich Ebert, who had died on 28 February 1925, had been elected indirectly, by the National Assembly, but the Weimar Constitution required that his successor be elected by the "whole German people". Paul von Hindenburg was elected as the second president of Germany in the second round of voting.
The Social Democratic Party in the GDR was a reconstituted Social Democratic Party existing during the last phase of the East German state. Slightly less than a year after its creation it merged with the West German Social Democratic Party of Germany.
The title Chancellor has designated different offices in the history of Germany. It is currently used for the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, the head of government of Germany.
The history of Germany since 1990 spans the period following the Reunification of Germany, when West Germany and East Germany were reunited after being divided during the Cold War. Germany after 1990 is referred to by historians as the Berlin Republic. This time period is also determined by the ongoing process of the "inner reunification" of the formerly divided country.
The Kiesinger cabinet was the eighth of the Federal Republic of Germany. It was Germany's first Grand Coalition, a coalition between the CDU/CSU and the SPD. The Bundestag chosen in the September 1965 election initially resulted in the Cabinet Erhard II, but when the FDP resigned from the government, that led to the formation of this new cabinet.
Cabinet Müller I or the first Cabinet Müller was the third democratically elected government of Germany and the second in office after the Weimar Constitution came into force in August 1919. It was named after the new Chancellor (Reichskanzler) Hermann Müller of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). The cabinet was based on the same three centre-left parties as the previous one: the SPD, the German Center Party (Zentrum) and the German Democratic Party (DDP). It was formed in March 1920 after the resignation of the Cabinet Bauer. The Cabinet Müller resigned in reaction to the outcome of the Reichstag elections of 6 June 1920.
The Cuno cabinet was the seventh democratically elected Reichsregierung of the German Reich, during the period in which it is now usually referred to as the Weimar Republic. The cabinet was named after Reichskanzler (chancellor) Wilhelm Cuno and took office on 22 November 1922 when it replaced the Second Wirth cabinet under Joseph Wirth. The Cuno cabinet was forced to resign on 12 August 1923 and was replaced the next day by the first cabinet of Gustav Stresemann.
The First Stresemann cabinet was the eighth democratically elected Reichsregierung of the German Reich, during the period in which it is now usually referred to as the Weimar Republic. The cabinet was named after Reichskanzler (chancellor) Gustav Stresemann and took office on 13 August 1923 when it replaced the Cuno cabinet under Wilhelm Cuno. The cabinet resigned late on 3 October 1923 and was replaced on 6 October by another cabinet formed by Stresemann.
The Second Stresemann cabinet was the ninth democratically elected Reichsregierung of the German Reich, during the period in which it is now usually referred to as the Weimar Republic. The cabinet was named after Reichskanzler (chancellor) Gustav Stresemann and took office on 6 October 1923 when it replaced the First Stresemann cabinet which had resigned on 3 October. Stresemann's second cabinet resigned on 23 November 1923 and was replaced on 30 November by the first cabinet under chancellor Wilhelm Marx.
The First Marx cabinet was the tenth democratically elected Reichsregierung of the German Reich, during the period in which it is now usually referred to as the Weimar Republic. The cabinet was named after Reichskanzler (chancellor) Wilhelm Marx and took office on 30 November 1923 when it replaced the Second Stresemann cabinet which had resigned on 23 November. Marx' first cabinet resigned on 26 May 1924 and was replaced on 3 June by another cabinet under his chancellorship.
The Second Marx cabinet was the 11th democratically elected Reichsregierung of the German Reich, during the period in which it is now usually referred to as the Weimar Republic. The cabinet was named after Reichskanzler (chancellor) Wilhelm Marx and took office on 3 June 1924 when it replaced the First Marx cabinet which had resigned on 26 May. Marx' second cabinet resigned on 15 December 1924 and was replaced on 15 January 1925 by a cabinet led by Hans Luther.
The Third Marx cabinet was the 14th democratically elected Reichsregierung of the German Reich, during the period in which it is now usually referred to as the Weimar Republic. The cabinet was named after Reichskanzler (chancellor) Wilhelm Marx and was in office for only seven months. On 17 May 1926 it replaced the Second Luther cabinet after the resignation of Hans Luther on 13 May 1926. Marx resigned with his cabinet on 17 December 1926 but remained in office as caretaker. He formed another government on 29 January 1927.