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List of German presidents since 1919

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Title: List of German presidents since 1919  
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Subject: 1930s, List of state leaders in 1945, Lists of rulers of Germany, List of German presidents by longevity, List of spouses of German presidents and chancellors
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List of German presidents since 1919

A number of presidential offices have existed in Germany since the fall of the monarchies in 1918. During the 1919-1933 Weimar Republic the head of state was the President of Germany (German: Reichspräsident). Upon the death of Paul von Hindenburg in August 1934 the office was left vacant, with Adolf Hitler becoming head of state as Führer und Reichskanzler. In 1945, Karl Dönitz briefly became President.

The West German constitution (Grundgesetz, Basic Law) of May 1949 created the office of President of Germany (German: Bundespräsident). Since Germany was reunited in 1990 the President 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 (State Council). The Staatsrat was abolished by a constitutional amendment of the Volkskammer ("People's Chamber") on 5 April 1990. From then until the GDR joined the Federal Republic on 3 October 1990, the president of the Volkskammer also served as the GDR head of state.

Presidents of Germany during the Weimar Republic (Reichspräsidenten) (1919–1934)

Political Party

      SPD       none

No. Name
(Birth–Death)
Position Term of Office Political Party
Took Office Left Office
1 Friedrich Ebert
(1871–1925)
President of the Reich
(Reichspräsident)
11 February 1919 28 February 1925
(died in office)
SPD
Hans Luther
(1879–1962)
Chancellor of Germany
(Acting President)
28 February 1925 12 March 1925 Non-partisan
Walter Simons
(1861–1937)
President of the Reichsgericht
(Acting President)
12 March 1925 12 May 1925 Non-partisan
2 General Field Marshal
Paul von Hindenburg
(1847–1934)
President of the Reich
(Reichspräsident)
12 May 1925 2 August 1934
(died in office)
Non-partisan

Heads of state of Nazi Germany (1934–1945)

Political Party

      NSDAP

No. Name
(Birth–Death)
Position Term of Office Political Party
Took Office Left Office
Adolf Hitler
(1889–1945)
Führer and Chancellor of the Reich
(Führer und Reichskanzler)
2 August 1934 30 April 1945
(committed suicide)
NSDAP
Grand Admiral
Karl Dönitz
(1891–1980)
President of the Reich
(Reichspräsident)
1 May 1945 23 May 1945
(arrested by the Allies)
NSDAP

Heads of state of Partitioned Germany (1949–1990)

Presidents of the West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany)

Political Party

      CDU       FDP       SPD       None

No. Name
(Birth–Death)
Position Term of Office Political Party
Took Office Left Office
Karl Arnold
(1901–1958)
President of the Bundesrat
(Acting President)
7 September 1949 12 September 1949 CDU
1 Theodor Heuss
(1884–1963)
Federal President
(Bundespräsident)
13 September 1949 12 September 1959 FDP
2 Heinrich Lübke
(1894–1972)
Federal President
(Bundespräsident)
13 September 1959 30 June 1969
(resigned)
CDU
3 Gustav Heinemann
(1899–1976)
Federal President
(Bundespräsident)
1 July 1969 30 June 1974 SPD
4 Walter Scheel
(born 1919)
Federal President
(Bundespräsident)
1 July 1974 30 June 1979 FDP
5 Karl Carstens
(1914–1992)
Federal President
(Bundespräsident)
1 July 1979 30 June 1984 CDU
6 Richard von Weizsäcker
(born 1920)
Federal President
(Bundespräsident)
1 July 1984 until
30 June 1994
CDU

Heads of state of the East Germany (German Democratic Republic)

Political Party

      LDPD       SED       CDU

No. Name
(Birth–Death)
Position Term of Office Political Party
Took Office Left Office
Johannes Dieckmann
(1893–1969)
President of the People's Chamber
(Acting President)
7 October 1949 11 October 1949 LDPD
1 Wilhelm Pieck
(1876–1960)
President of the State (Staatspräsident) 11 October 1949 7 September 1960
(died in office)
SED
Johannes Dieckmann
(1893–1969)
President of the People's Chamber
(Acting President)
7 September 1960 12 September 1960 LDPD
1 Walter Ulbricht
(1893–1973)
Chairman of the State Council
(Vorsitzender des Staatsrats)
12 September 1960 1 August 1973
(died in office)
SED
Friedrich Ebert junior
(1894–1979)
Deputy Chairman of the State Council 1 August 1973 3 October 1973 SED
2 Willi Stoph
(1914–1999)
Chairman of the State Council
(Vorsitzender des Staatsrats)
3 October 1973 29 October 1976 SED
3 Erich Honecker
(1912–1994)
Chairman of the State Council
(Vorsitzender des Staatsrats)
29 October 1976 18 October 1989
(resigned)
SED
4 Egon Krenz
(born 1937)
Chairman of the State Council
(Vorsitzender des Staatsrats)
18 October 1989 6 December 1989
(resigned)
SED
5 Manfred Gerlach
(1928–2011)
Chairman of the State Council
(Vorsitzender des Staatsrats)
6 December 1989 5 April 1990
(office abolished)
LDPD
Sabine Bergmann-Pohl
(born 1946)
President of the People's Chamber
(Acting head of state)
5 April 1990 2 October 1990
(office abolished)
CDU

Presidents of the reunified Germany (Bundespräsidenten) (since 1990)

Political Party

      CDU       SPD       CSU       none

No. Name
(Birth–Death)
Position Term of Office Political Party
Took Office Left Office
6 Richard von Weizsäcker
(born 1920)
Federal President
(Bundespräsident)
since
1 July 1984
30 June 1994 CDU
7 Roman Herzog
(born 1934)
Federal President
(Bundespräsident)
1 July 1994 30 June 1999 CDU
8 Johannes Rau
(1931–2006)
Federal President
(Bundespräsident)
1 July 1999 30 June 2004 SPD
9 Horst Köhler
(born 1943)
Federal President
(Bundespräsident)
1 July 2004 31 May 2010
(resigned)
CDU
Jens Böhrnsen
(born 1949)
President of the Bundesrat
(Acting President)
31 May 2010 30 June 2010 SPD
10 Christian Wulff
(born 1959)
Federal President
(Bundespräsident)
30 June 2010 17 February 2012
(resigned)
CDU
Horst Seehofer
(born 1949)
President of the Bundesrat
(Acting President)
17 February 2012 18 March 2012 CSU
11 Joachim Gauck
(born 1940)
Federal President
(Bundespräsident)
18 March 2012 Incumbent Independent

See also

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