Germany has had its share of famous politicians. These five famous German politicians have shaped both German and world history for good and for ill.
- Angela Merkel enjoys the distinction of being the first female Chancellor of Germany since Germany's official founding in 1871. A repeat name on the Forbes “Most Powerful Woman” list, Merkel has been compared to Britain's Margaret Thatcher. Angel Merkel belongs to the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) party, which is conservative. Merkel's views on environment and foreign policy make her world leader to be reckoned with and earns her a spot on the five famous German politicians list.
- Erich Hoenecker is an ironic figure in German political history. The man in charge of the construction of the Berlin wall and a known German dictator, endeared no favor from Germany's other famous dictator, Adolf Hitler. In 1937, his communist activities landed him in jail until World War II ended and the Nazis were thrown out of power. Upon German reunification, Hoenecker left Germany and escaped immediate prosecution for—among other things—the deaths of 192 people trying escape over the Berlin Wall. He later stood trial for the crimes he committed in the former East Germany, but was released for health reasons and goes down in history one of Germany's most famous politicians.
- Helmut Kohl shares the same political affiliation as Angela Merkel, CDU. Kohl served as Germany's Chancellor from 1982 to 1989, taking as his claim to fame the Chancellor who encouraged German reunification. Had it not been for his defeat in 1998, he would have been Germany's longest-serving Chancellor, thereby ousting Germany's first Chancellor Otto von Bismark of that distinction. However, his defeat in 1998 prevented that.
- Adolf Hitler stained German history with the blood of millions. Arguably the most famous German leader of all time, Hitler wasn't actually even German—he was Austrian. Hitler and the Nazi party bear responsibility for the deaths of over six European million Jews, for the destruction of Germany and Europe and for changing the world's view of Germany forever. He ruled Germany from 1933 to 1945, dying at the end of the war by his own hand to avoid capture. Of the five famous German politicians, Adolf Hitler is the most famous and infamous.
- Joseph Goebbels was the devil's right-hand man, as Adolf Hitler's Minister of Propaganda, Goebbels commandeered the German media and brought forth one of the most famous of all ideas in propaganda—a lie told often enough will eventually be believed as true. He served as the Chancellor of Germany for one day and died in the same manner as Hitler—by his own hand.
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