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The Most Famous

POLITICIANS from Germany

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This page contains a list of the greatest German Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 15,577 Politicians, 1,324 of which were born in Germany. This makes Germany the birth place of the 2nd most number of Politicians.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary German Politicians of all time. This list of famous German Politicians is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of German Politicians.

Photo of Charlemagne

1. Charlemagne (748 - 814)

With an HPI of 89.46, Charlemagne is the most famous German Politician.  His biography has been translated into 147 different languages on wikipedia.

Charlemagne ( SHAR-lə-mayn, -⁠MAYN; 2 April 748 – 28 January 814) was King of the Franks from 768, King of the Lombards from 774, and Emperor of the Carolingian Empire from 800, all until his death in 814. Charlemagne succeeded in uniting the majority of Western Central Europe, and he was the first recognized emperor to rule in the west after the fall of the Western Roman Empire approximately three centuries earlier. Charlemagne's rule saw a program of political and societal changes that had a lasting impact on Europe in the Middle Ages. A member of the Frankish Carolingian dynasty, Charlemagne was the eldest son of Pepin the Short and Bertrada of Laon. With his brother Carloman I, he became king of the Franks in 768 following Pepins's death, and became sole ruler in 771. As king, he continued his father's policy towards the protection of the papacy and became its chief defender, removing the Lombards from power in northern Italy in 774. Charlemagne's reign saw a period of expansion that led to the conquests of Bavaria, Saxony, and northern Spain, as well as other campaigns that led Charlemagne to extend his rule over a vast area of Europe. He spread Christianity to his new conquests, often by force, as seen at the Massacre of Verden against the Saxons. In 800, Charlemagne was crowned as emperor in Rome by Pope Leo III. While historians debate about the exact significance of the coronation, the title represented the height of prestige and authority he had achieved. Charlemagne's position as the first emperor in the West in over 300 years brought him into conflict with the contemporary Eastern Roman Empire based in Constantinople. By his assumption of the imperial title, he is considered the forerunner of the line of Holy Roman Emperors that lasted into the nineteenth century. As king and emperor, Charlemagne engaged in a number of reforms in administration, law, education, military organization, and religion which shaped Europe for centuries. The stability of his reign saw the beginning of a period of significant cultural activity known as the Carolingian Renaissance. Charlemagne died in 814, and was laid to rest in the Aachen Cathedral, in his imperial capital city of Aachen. He was succeeded by his only surviving son Louis the Pious. After Louis, the Frankish kingdom would be divided, eventually coalescing into West and East Francia, which would respectively become France and the Holy Roman Empire. Charlemagne's profound impact on the Middle Ages, and the influence on the vast territory he ruled has led him to be called the "Father of Europe". He is seen as a founding figure by multiple European states, and many historical royal houses of Europe trace their lineage back to him. Charlemagne has been the subject of artwork, monuments, and literature since the medieval period, and has received veneration in the Catholic Church.

Photo of Otto von Bismarck

2. Otto von Bismarck (1815 - 1898)

With an HPI of 86.51, Otto von Bismarck is the 2nd most famous German Politician.  His biography has been translated into 142 different languages.

Otto, Prince of Bismarck, Count of Bismarck-Schönhausen, Duke of Lauenburg (German: Otto, Fürst von Bismarck, Graf von Bismarck-Schönhausen, Herzog zu Lauenburg, pronounced [ˈɔtoː fɔn ˈbɪsmaʁk] ; 1 April 1815 – 30 July 1898; born Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck) was a Prussian and later German statesman and diplomat. From his origins in the upper class of Junker landowners, Bismarck rose rapidly in Prussian politics, and from 1862 to 1890 he was the minister president and foreign minister of Prussia. Before that, he was the Prussian ambassador to Russia and France and served in both houses of the Prussian parliament. He masterminded the unification of Germany in 1871 and served as the first chancellor of the German Empire until 1890, in which capacity he dominated European affairs. He had served as chancellor of the North German Confederation from 1867 to 1871, alongside his responsibilities in the Kingdom of Prussia. He worked with King Wilhelm I of Prussia to unify the various German states. The king granted Bismarck the titles of Count of Bismarck-Schönhausen in 1865 and Prince of Bismarck in 1871. Bismarck provoked three short, decisive wars against Denmark, Austria, and France. Following the defeat of Austria, he replaced the German Confederation with the North German Confederation, aligning the smaller North German states with Prussia, but excluding Austria. Receiving the support of the independent South German states in Prussia's defeat of France, he formed the German Empire – which also excluded Austria – and united Germany. With Prussian dominance accomplished by 1871, Bismarck used balance of power diplomacy to maintain Germany's position in a peaceful Europe. However, the annexation of Alsace–Lorraine caused French revanchism and Germanophobia. Bismarck's Realpolitik and powerful rule at home led to him being called the Iron Chancellor. Juggling a very complex interlocking series of conferences, negotiations and alliances, he used his diplomatic skills to maintain Germany's position. Bismarck was reluctant toward maritime colonialism because he thought it would consume German resources rather than reaping the benefit of it but acquiescingly built an overseas empire when it was demanded by both elite and mass opinion. As part of his domestic political maneuvering, Bismarck created the first welfare state in the modern world, with the goal of undermining his socialist opponents. In the 1870s, he allied himself with the low-tariff, anti-Catholic Liberals and fought the Catholic Church aiming to disenfranchise the Polish minority in what was called the Kulturkampf ("culture struggle"). This failed, as the Catholics responded by forming the powerful German Centre Party and using universal male suffrage to gain a bloc of seats. Bismarck responded by ending the Kulturkampf, breaking with the Liberals, enacting the Prussian deportations and forming a political alliance with the Centre Party to fight the Socialists. He was loyal to his ruler, German Emperor Wilhelm I, who argued with Bismarck but supported him against the advice of Wilhelm's wife and son. While the Imperial Reichstag was elected by universal male suffrage, it did not have control of government policy. Bismarck distrusted democracy and ruled through a strong, well-trained bureaucracy with power in the hands of a traditional Junker elite. In 1888, which came to be known as the Year of the Three Emperors, the German throne passed from Wilhelm I to Friedrich III to Wilhelm II. The new emperor dismissed Bismarck from office two years later, and Bismarck retired to write his memoirs. Bismarck is best remembered for his role in German unification. As head of Prussia and later Germany, Bismarck possessed not only a long-term national and international vision but also the short-term ability to juggle complex developments. As a result, he became a hero to German nationalists, who built many monuments honouring him. He has been praised as a visionary who was instrumental in uniting Germany and kept the peace in Europe through adroit diplomacy. He has been criticized for his domestic policies such as persecution of Poles and Catholics and the centralization of executive power, which some describe as Caesarist. Furthermore, he has been criticized by opponents of German nationalism, as nationalism became engrained in German culture, galvanizing the country to aggressively pursue nationalistic policies in both World Wars.

Photo of Angela Merkel

3. Angela Merkel (1954 - )

With an HPI of 83.94, Angela Merkel is the 3rd most famous German Politician.  Her biography has been translated into 159 different languages.

Angela Dorothea Merkel (German: [aŋˈɡeːla doʁoˈteːa ˈmɛʁkl̩] ; née Kasner; born 17 July 1954) is a retired German politician and chemist who served as chancellor of Germany from 2005 to 2021. A member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), she previously served as Leader of the Opposition from 2002 to 2005 and as Leader of the Christian Democratic Union from 2000 to 2018. Merkel was the first female chancellor of Germany. During her chancellorship, Merkel was frequently referred to as the de facto leader of the European Union (EU) and the most powerful woman in the world. Beginning in 2016, she was often described as the leader of the free world.Merkel was born in Hamburg in West Germany. Her family moved to East Germany when she was an infant. Merkel obtained a doctorate in quantum chemistry in 1986 and worked as a research scientist until 1989. She then entered politics in the wake of the Revolutions of 1989, briefly serving as deputy spokeswoman for the first democratically elected government of East Germany led by Lothar de Maizière. Following German reunification in 1990, Merkel was elected to the Bundestag for the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. As the protégée of chancellor Helmut Kohl, Merkel was appointed as Minister for Women and Youth in 1991, later becoming Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in 1994. After the CDU lost the 1998 federal election, Merkel was elected general secretary of the party. She then became the party's first female leader, and the first female Leader of the Opposition two years later. Following the 2005 federal election, Merkel was elected chancellor, leading a grand coalition consisting of the CDU, the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). She was the first woman to be elected chancellor, and the first chancellor of reunified Germany to have been raised in the former East Germany. In the 2009 federal election, the CDU obtained the largest share of the vote, and Merkel subsequently formed a coalition government with the Free Democratic Party (FDP), an alliance more favourable to the CDU than the grand coalition. In the 2013 federal election, the CDU won a landslide victory and formed a second grand coalition with the SPD, after the FDP lost all of its representation in the Bundestag. In the 2017 federal election, Merkel led the CDU to become the largest party for the fourth time, resulting in the formation of a third grand coalition with the SPD.In foreign policy, Merkel emphasised international cooperation, both in the context of the EU and NATO, and the strengthening of transatlantic economic relations. In 2008, Merkel served as president of the European Council and played a central role in the negotiation of the Treaty of Lisbon and the Berlin Declaration. Merkel's governments managed the global 2007–2008 financial crisis and the European debt crisis. She negotiated the 2008 European Union stimulus plan, which focused on infrastructure spending and public investment to counteract the Great Recession. In domestic policy, Merkel's Energiewende program supported the development of renewable energy sources and eventually phased out the use of nuclear power in Germany. Reforms to the Bundeswehr, health care reform, the 2010s European migrant crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic were major issues during her chancellorship. Merkel stepped down as leader of the CDU and did not seek a fifth term as chancellor in the 2021 federal election.

Photo of Henry Kissinger

4. Henry Kissinger (1923 - 2023)

With an HPI of 83.32, Henry Kissinger is the 4th most famous German Politician.  His biography has been translated into 88 different languages.

Henry Alfred Kissinger (May 27, 1923 – November 29, 2023) was an American diplomat, political scientist, geopolitical consultant, and politician who served as the United States secretary of state and national security advisor in the presidential administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford between 1969 and 1977.Born in Germany, Kissinger came to the United States in 1938 as a Jewish refugee fleeing Nazi persecution. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and, after the war, was educated at Harvard University, where he excelled academically. He later became a professor of government at the university and earned an international reputation as an expert on nuclear weapons and foreign policy. He frequently acted as a consultant to government agencies, think tanks, and the presidential campaigns of Nelson Rockefeller and Richard Nixon before being appointed national security advisor. Kissinger pioneered the policy of détente with the Soviet Union, orchestrated an opening of relations with China, engaged in "shuttle diplomacy" in the Middle East to end the Yom Kippur War, and negotiated the Paris Peace Accords, which ended American involvement in the Vietnam War. For his role in negotiating the end of the Vietnam War, he was awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize under controversial circumstances. A practitioner of a pragmatic approach to politics called Realpolitik, he has been widely considered by scholars to have been an effective secretary of state.Kissinger is also associated with controversial U.S. policies, including its bombing of Cambodia, involvement in the 1973 Chilean coup d'état, support for Argentina's military junta in its Dirty War, support for Indonesia in its invasion of East Timor, and support for Pakistan during the Bangladesh Liberation War and Bangladesh genocide. He was accused of war crimes for the civilian death toll of the policies he pursued, his role in facilitating U.S. support for dictatorial regimes, and willful ignorance towards human rights abuses committed by the United States and its allies.After leaving government, Kissinger founded Kissinger Associates, an international geopolitical consulting firm. He authored over a dozen books on diplomatic history and international relations. His advice was sought by American presidents of both political parties.

Photo of Frederick the Great

5. Frederick the Great (1712 - 1786)

With an HPI of 82.84, Frederick the Great is the 5th most famous German Politician.  His biography has been translated into 88 different languages.

Frederick II (German: Friedrich II.; 24 January 1712 – 17 August 1786) was King in Prussia from 1740 until 1772, and King of Prussia from 1772 until his death in 1786. His most significant accomplishments include his military successes in the Silesian wars, his reorganisation of the Prussian Army, the First Partition of Poland, and his patronage of the arts and the Enlightenment. Frederick was the last Hohenzollern monarch titled King in Prussia, declaring himself King of Prussia after annexing Royal Prussia from the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1772. Prussia greatly increased its territories and became a major military power in Europe under his rule. He became known as Frederick the Great (German: Friedrich der Große) and was nicknamed "Old Fritz" (German: der Alte Fritz). In his youth, Frederick was more interested in music and philosophy than in the art of war, which led to clashes with his authoritarian father, Frederick William I of Prussia. However, upon ascending to the Prussian throne, he attacked and annexed the rich Austrian province of Silesia in 1742, winning military acclaim for himself and Prussia. He became an influential military theorist, whose analyses emerged from his extensive personal battlefield experience and covered issues of strategy, tactics, mobility and logistics. Frederick was a supporter of enlightened absolutism, stating that the ruler should be the first servant of the state. He modernised the Prussian bureaucracy and civil service, and pursued religious policies throughout his realm that ranged from tolerance to segregation. He reformed the judicial system and made it possible for men of lower status to become judges and senior bureaucrats. Frederick also encouraged immigrants of various nationalities and faiths to come to Prussia, although he enacted oppressive measures against Catholics in Silesia and Polish Prussia. He supported the arts and philosophers he favoured, and allowed freedom of the press and literature. Frederick was almost certainly homosexual, and his sexuality has been the subject of much study. Because he died childless, he was succeeded by his nephew, Frederick William II. He is buried at his favourite residence, Sanssouci in Potsdam. Nearly all 19th-century German historians made Frederick into a romantic model of a glorified warrior, praising his leadership, administrative efficiency, devotion to duty and success in building Prussia into a great power in Europe. Frederick remained an admired historical figure through Germany's defeat in World War I, and the Nazis glorified him as a great German leader prefiguring Adolf Hitler, who personally idolised him. His reputation became less favourable in Germany after World War II, partly due to his status as a Nazi symbol. Historians in the 21st century tend to view Frederick as an outstanding military leader and capable monarch, whose commitment to enlightenment culture and administrative reform built the foundation that allowed the Kingdom of Prussia to contest the Austrian Habsburgs for leadership among the German states.

Photo of Heinrich Himmler

6. Heinrich Himmler (1900 - 1945)

With an HPI of 81.82, Heinrich Himmler is the 6th most famous German Politician.  His biography has been translated into 86 different languages.

Heinrich Luitpold Himmler (German: [ˈhaɪnʁɪç ˈluːɪtpɔlt ˈhɪmlɐ] ; 7 October 1900 – 23 May 1945) was a German politician who was the Reichsführer of the Schutzstaffel (Protection Squadron; SS), a leading member of the Nazi Party of Germany, and one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany, primarily known for being a main architect of the Holocaust. As a member of a reserve battalion during the First World War, Himmler did not see active service or combat. Having joined the Nazi Party in 1923 and the SS in 1925, he was appointed Reichsführer-SS by Adolf Hitler in 1929. Over the next sixteen years, Himmler developed the SS from a 290-man battalion into a million-strong paramilitary group. He was known for good organisational skills and for selecting highly competent subordinates, such as Reinhard Heydrich in 1931. From 1943 onwards, he was both Chief of the Kriminalpolizei (Criminal Police) and Minister of the Interior, overseeing all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo (Secret State Police). He also controlled the Waffen-SS, the military branch of the SS. Himmler's interest in occultism and Völkisch topics influenced the development of the racial policy of Nazi Germany; he also incorporated esoteric symbolism and rituals into the SS. He was the principal overseer of Nazi Germany's genocidal programs, forming the Einsatzgruppen and administering extermination camps. In this capacity, Himmler directed the killing of some six million Jews, between 200,000 and 500,000 Romani people, and other victims. A day before the launch of Operation Barbarossa, Himmler commissioned the drafting of Generalplan Ost, which was approved by Hitler in May 1942. Approximately 14 million people, mostly Polish and Soviet citizens, were killed by the Nazi regime during the implementation of Generalplan Ost. Late in the Second World War, Hitler briefly appointed Himmler as military commander and later Commander of the Replacement (Home) Army and General Plenipotentiary for the administration of the entire Third Reich (Generalbevollmächtigter für die Verwaltung). Specifically, he was given command of the Army Group Upper Rhine and the Army Group Vistula. After Himmler failed to achieve his assigned objectives, Hitler replaced him in these posts. Realising the war was lost, Himmler attempted to open peace talks with the western Allies without Hitler's knowledge, shortly before the end of the war. Hearing of this, Hitler dismissed him from all his posts in April 1945 and ordered his arrest. Himmler attempted to go into hiding but was detained and then arrested by British forces once his identity became known. While in British custody, he died by suicide on 23 May 1945.

Photo of Wilhelm II, German Emperor

7. Wilhelm II, German Emperor (1859 - 1941)

With an HPI of 81.60, Wilhelm II, German Emperor is the 7th most famous German Politician.  His biography has been translated into 97 different languages.

Wilhelm II (Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert; 27 January 1859 – 4 June 1941) was the last German Emperor and King of Prussia from 1888 until his abdication in 1918, which marked the end of the German Empire and the House of Hohenzollern's 300-year reign in Prussia and 500-year reign in Brandenburg. Born during the reign of his granduncle Frederick William IV of Prussia, Wilhelm was the son of Prince Frederick William and Victoria, Princess Royal. Through his mother, he was the eldest of the 42 grandchildren of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. In March 1888, Wilhelm's father, Frederick William, ascended the German and Prussian thrones as Frederick III. Frederick died just 99 days later, and his son succeeded him as Wilhelm II. In March 1890, the young Wilhelm II dismissed Chancellor Otto von Bismarck and assumed direct control over his nation's policies, embarking on a bellicose "New Course" to cement Germany's status as a leading world power. Over the course of his reign, the German colonial empire acquired new territories in China and the Pacific (such as Jiaozhou Bay, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Caroline Islands) and became Europe's largest manufacturer. However, Wilhelm often undermined such progress by making tactless and threatening statements towards other countries without first consulting his ministers. Likewise, his regime did much to alienate itself from other great powers by initiating a massive naval build-up, contesting French control of Morocco, and building a railway through Baghdad that challenged Britain's dominion in the Persian Gulf. By the second decade of the 20th century, Germany could rely only on significantly weaker nations such as Austria-Hungary and the declining Ottoman Empire as allies. Despite strengthening Germany's position as a great power by building a powerful navy and promoting scientific innovation, Wilhelm's tactless public statements and erratic foreign policy greatly antagonized the international community and are considered by many to have substantially contributed to the fall of the German Empire. In 1914, his diplomatic brinksmanship culminated in Germany's guarantee of military support to Austria-Hungary during the July Crisis which plunged all of Europe into World War I. A lax wartime leader, Wilhelm left virtually all decision-making regarding strategy and organisation of the war effort to the German Army's Great General Staff. By August 1916, this broad delegation of power gave rise to a de facto military dictatorship that dominated the country's policies for the rest of the conflict. Despite emerging victorious over Russia and obtaining significant territorial gains in Eastern Europe, Germany was forced to relinquish all its conquests after a decisive defeat on the Western Front in the autumn of 1918. Losing the support of his country's military and many of his subjects, Wilhelm was forced to abdicate during the German Revolution of 1918–1919 which converted Germany into an unstable democratic state known as the Weimar Republic. Wilhelm subsequently fled to exile in the Netherlands, where he remained during its occupation by Nazi Germany in 1940 before dying there in 1941.

Photo of Hermann Göring

8. Hermann Göring (1893 - 1946)

With an HPI of 80.86, Hermann Göring is the 8th most famous German Politician.  His biography has been translated into 79 different languages.

Hermann Wilhelm Göring (or Goering; German: [ˈhɛʁman ˈvɪlhɛlm ˈɡøːʁɪŋ] ; 12 January 1893 – 15 October 1946) was a German politician, military leader, and convicted war criminal. He was one of the most powerful figures in the Nazi Party, which ruled Germany from 1933 to 1945. A veteran World War I fighter pilot ace, Göring was a recipient of the Pour le Mérite ("The Blue Max"). He was the last commander of Jagdgeschwader 1 (JG I), the fighter wing once led by Manfred von Richthofen. An early member of the Nazi Party, Göring was among those wounded in Adolf Hitler's failed Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. While receiving treatment for his injuries, he developed an addiction to morphine which persisted until the last year of his life. After Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, Göring was named as minister without portfolio in the new government. One of his first acts as a cabinet minister was to oversee the creation of the Gestapo, which he ceded to Heinrich Himmler in 1934. Following the establishment of the Nazi state, Göring amassed power and political capital to become the second most powerful man in Germany. He was appointed commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe (air force), a position he held until the final days of the regime. Upon being named Plenipotentiary of the Four Year Plan in 1936, Göring was entrusted with the task of mobilizing all sectors of the economy for war, an assignment which brought numerous government agencies under his control. In September 1939, Hitler gave a speech to the Reichstag designating him as his successor. After the Fall of France in 1940, he was bestowed the specially created rank of Reichsmarschall, which gave him seniority over all officers in Germany's armed forces. By 1941, Göring was at the peak of his power and influence. As the Second World War progressed, Göring's standing with Hitler and the German public declined after the Luftwaffe proved incapable of preventing the Allied bombing of Germany's cities and resupplying surrounded Axis forces in Stalingrad. Around that time, Göring increasingly withdrew from military and political affairs to devote his attention to collecting property and artwork, much of which was stolen from Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Informed on 22 April 1945 that Hitler intended to commit suicide, Göring sent a telegram to Hitler requesting his permission to assume leadership of the Reich. Considering his request an act of treason, Hitler removed Göring from all his positions, expelled him from the party, and ordered his arrest. After the war, Göring was convicted of conspiracy, crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg trials in 1946. He was sentenced to death by hanging but committed suicide by ingesting cyanide the night before his scheduled execution.

Photo of Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor

9. Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor (912 - 973)

With an HPI of 80.37, Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor is the 9th most famous German Politician.  His biography has been translated into 80 different languages.

Otto I (23 November 912 – 7 May 973), traditionally known as Otto the Great (German: Otto der Große Italian: Ottone il Grande), or Otto of Saxony (German: Otto von Sachsen Italian: Ottone di Sassonia), was East Frankish king from 936 and Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until his death in 973. He was the eldest son of Henry the Fowler and Matilda of Ringelheim. Otto inherited the Duchy of Saxony and the kingship of the Germans upon his father's death in 936. He continued his father's work of unifying all German tribes into a single kingdom and greatly expanded the king's powers at the expense of the aristocracy. Through strategic marriages and personal appointments, Otto installed members of his family in the kingdom's most important duchies. This reduced the various dukes, who had previously been co-equals with the king, to royal subjects under his authority. Otto transformed the church in Germany to strengthen royal authority and subjected its clergy to his personal control. After putting down a brief civil war among the rebellious duchies, Otto defeated the Magyars at the Battle of Lechfeld in 955, thus ending the Hungarian invasions of Western Europe. The victory against the pagan Magyars earned Otto a reputation as a savior of Christendom and secured his hold over the kingdom. By 961, Otto had conquered the Kingdom of Italy. Following the example of Charlemagne's coronation as "Emperor of the Romans" in 800, Otto was crowned emperor in 962 by Pope John XII in Rome. Otto's later years were marked by conflicts with the papacy and struggles to stabilize his rule over Italy. Reigning from Rome, Otto sought to improve relations with the Byzantine Empire, which opposed his claim to emperorship and his realm's further expansion to the south. To resolve this conflict, the Byzantine princess Theophanu married his son Otto II in April 972. Otto finally returned to Germany in August 972 and died at Memleben in May 973. Otto II succeeded him. Otto has been consistently depicted in historiography through different eras as a successful ruler. He is also reputed to be a great military commander, especially on the strategic level – this also means that the empire this talent recreated was too vast for contemporary administrative structures and could only be governed as a confederacy. Modern historians, while not denying his strong character and his many fruitful initiatives, explore the emperor's capability as a consensus builder – a process that goes in parallel with greater recognition of the nature of consensus politics in Medieval Europe (especially Western and Central parts) as well as different roles played by other actors in his time. Historian David Bachrach notes the role of the bureaucracy and administration apparatus which the Ottonians inherited from the Carolingians and ultimately from the Ancient Romans, and which they developed greatly themselves: "It was the success of the Ottonians in molding the raw materials bequeathed to them into a formidable military machine that made possible the establishment of Germany as the preeminent kingdom in Europe from the tenth through the mid-thirteenth century." Bachrach highlights in particular the achievements of the first two Ottonian rulers, Henry I and Otto the Great in creating this situation. Their rules also marked the start of new, vigorous literary traditions. The patronage of Otto and his immediate successors facilitated a so-called "Ottonian Renaissance" of arts and architecture. As one of the most notable Holy Roman emperors, Otto's footprint in artistic depictions is also considerable.

Photo of Joseph Goebbels

10. Joseph Goebbels (1897 - 1945)

With an HPI of 78.93, Joseph Goebbels is the 10th most famous German Politician.  His biography has been translated into 93 different languages.

Paul Joseph Goebbels (pronounced [ˈpaʊ̯l ˈjoːzɛf ˈɡœbl̩s] ; 29 October 1897 – 1 May 1945) was a German philologist and Nazi politician who was the Gauleiter (district leader) of Berlin, chief propagandist for the Nazi Party, and then Reich Minister of Propaganda from 1933 to 1945. He was one of Adolf Hitler's closest and most devoted followers, known for his skills in public speaking and his deeply virulent antisemitism which was evident in his publicly voiced views. He advocated progressively harsher discrimination, including the extermination of the Jews in the Holocaust. Goebbels, who aspired to be an author, obtained a doctorate in philology from the University of Heidelberg in 1921. He joined the Nazi Party in 1924, and worked with Gregor Strasser in its northern branch. He was appointed Gauleiter of Berlin in 1926, where he began to take an interest in the use of propaganda to promote the party and its programme. After the Nazis came to power in 1933, Goebbels's Propaganda Ministry quickly gained and exerted control over the news media, arts, and information in Nazi Germany. He was particularly adept at using the relatively new media of radio and film for propaganda purposes. Topics for party propaganda included antisemitism, attacks on the Christian churches, and (after the start of the Second World War) attempting to shape morale. In 1943, Goebbels began to pressure Hitler to introduce measures that would produce "total war", including closing businesses not essential to the war effort, conscripting women into the labour force, and enlisting men in previously exempt occupations into the Wehrmacht. Hitler finally appointed him as Reich Plenipotentiary for Total War on 23 July 1944, whereby Goebbels undertook largely unsuccessful measures to increase the number of people available for armaments manufacture and the Wehrmacht. As the war drew to a close and Nazi Germany faced defeat, Magda Goebbels and the Goebbels children joined Hitler in Berlin. They moved into the underground Vorbunker, part of Hitler's underground bunker complex, on 22 April 1945. Hitler committed suicide on 30 April. In accordance with Hitler's will, Goebbels succeeded him as Chancellor of Germany; he served one day in this post. The following day, Goebbels and his wife Magda committed suicide, after having poisoned their six children with a cyanide compound.

Pantheon has 1,324 people classified as politicians born between 15 and 1995. Of these 1,324, 209 (15.79%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Angela Merkel, Gerhard Schröder, and Olaf Scholz. The most famous deceased politicians include Charlemagne, Otto von Bismarck, and Henry Kissinger. As of April 2022, 240 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Maximilian Anton, Hereditary Prince of Thurn and Taxis, Dorothea Binz, and Ludwig Fischer.

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Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.