| 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Wildenburg |
|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
|No.||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
|No.||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
|No.||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||2 years, 85 days||SPD||Merkel IV|
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