Minister for Foreign Affairs (Germany)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Foreign Minister of Germany)
Jump to: navigation, search
Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs
Bundesadler Bundesorgane.svg
Frank-Walter Steinmeier 20090902-DSCF9761.jpg
Incumbent
Frank-Walter Steinmeier

since 17 December 2013
Formation 21 March 1871
First holder Hermann von Thile
Website auswärtiges-amt.de

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 Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Since 1966, the Foreign Minister has often also simultaneously held the office of Vice Chancellor.

History of the office[edit]

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.

Gustav Stresemann, one of Germany's most influential Foreign Ministers and a 1926 Nobel Peace Prize laureate

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.[1]

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 reestablished[2] in 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.

List of officeholders[edit]

State Secretaries for Foreign Affairs (Außenstaatssekretäre), 1871–1919[edit]

Name
(Born–Died)
Image Party Term of Office Chancellor
Hermann von Thile
(1812–1889)
N/A 21 March 1871 30 September 1872 Bismarck
Hermann Ludwig von Balan
(1812–1874)
N/A 3 October 1872 9 October 1873
Bernhard Ernst von Bülow
(1815–1879)
Bernhard Ernst von Bülow.JPG N/A 9 October 1873 20 October 1879
Joseph Maria von Radowitz, Jr.
(1839–1912)
M. de Radowitz, de Christian Franzen.jpg N/A 6 November 1879 17 April 1880
Chlodwig Fürst zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst
(1819–1901)
Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst.png N/A 20 April 1880 1 September 1880
Friedrich Graf zu Limburg-Stirum
(1835–1912)
N/A 1 September 1880 25 June 1881
Clemens Busch
(1834–1895)
N/A 25 June 1881 16 July 1881
Paul Graf von Hatzfeldt zu Trachenberg
(1831–1901)
Paul Graf Hatzfeld-Wildenburg (1831-1901).jpg N/A 16 July 1881 24 October 1885
Herbert Fürst von Bismarck
(1849–1904)
Herbert von Bismarck (C.W.Allers, 1892).jpg N/A 24 October 1885 26 March 1890 Bismarck

von Caprivi

Adolf Freiherr Marschall von Bieberstein
(1842–1912)
Adolf Marschall von Bieberstein.jpg N/A 31 March 1890 19 October 1897 von Caprivi

Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst

Bernhard Graf von Bülow
(1849–1929)
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2004-0098A, Bernhard von Bülow.jpg N/A 20 October 1897 23 October 1900 Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst

von Bülow

Oswald Freiherr von Richthofen
(1847–1906)
Oswald von Richthofen.jpg N/A 23 October 1900 17 January 1906 von Bülow
Heinrich Leonhard von Tschirschky und Bögendorff
(1858–1916)
Heinrich Leonhard von Tschirschky LOC 01127u.jpg N/A 24 January 1906 25 October 1907
Wilhelm Freiherr von Schoen
(1851–1933)
Paris, Baron Von Schon, German Amb. (LOC).jpg N/A 26 October 1907 27 June 1910 von Bülow

von Bethmann-Hollweg

Alfred von Kiderlen-Waechter
(1852–1912)
Alfred von Kiderlen-Waechter.jpg N/A 27 June 1910 30 December 1912 von Bethmann-Hollweg
Gottlieb von Jagow
(1863–1935)
Gottlieb von Jagow circa 1915.jpg N/A 11 January 1913 22 November 1916
Arthur Zimmermann
(1864–1940)
Arthur Zimmermann.png N/A 22 November 1916 6 August 1917 von Bethmann-Hollweg

Michaelis

Richard von Kühlmann
(1873–1948)
Richard von Kühlmann cph,3b32192.jpg N/A 6 August 1917 9 July 1918 Michaelis

von Hertling (I)

Paul von Hintze
(1864–1941)
Hintze.jpg N/A 9 July 1918 3 October 1918 von Hertling (I)
Wilhelm Solf
(1862–1936)
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R73059, Wilhelm Solf.jpg N/A 3 October 1918 13 December 1918 von Baden (I)

Ebert (Council of the People's Deputies)

Ulrich Graf von Brockdorff-Rantzau
(1869–1928)
Ulrich Graf von Brockdorff-Rantzau.jpg N/A 13 December 1918 13 February 1919 Ebert (Council of the People's Deputies)

Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Reichsminister des Auswärtigen), 1919–1945[edit]

Political Party:       SPD       Zentrum       DDP       DVP       NSDP

Name
(Born–Died)
Image Party Term of Office Chancellor
(Cabinet)
Ulrich von Brockdorff-Rantzau
(1869–1928)
Ulrich Graf von Brockdorff-Rantzau.jpg Independent 13 February 1919 20 June 1919 Scheidemann (I)
Hermann Müller
(1876–1931)
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1979-122-28A, Hermann Müller.jpg SPD 21 June 1919 26 March 1920 Bauer (I)
Adolf Köster
(1883–1930)
Adolf Köster.jpg SPD 10 April 1920 8 June 1920 Müller (I)
Walter Simons
(1861–1937)
Bundesarchiv Bild 102-12279, Walter Simons.jpg Independent 25 June 1920 4 May 1921 Fehrenbach (I)
Friedrich Rosen
(1856–1935)
Dr Friedrich Rosen 1910.jpg Independent 10 May 1921 22 October 1921 Wirth (I)
Joseph Wirth
(1879–1956)
Bundesarchiv Bild 146III-105, Joseph Wirth.jpg Zentrum 26 October 1921 31 January 1922 Wirth (II)
Walther Rathenau
(1867–1922)
Walther Rathenau.jpg DDP 1 February 1922 21 June 1922
Joseph Wirth
(1879–1956)
Bundesarchiv Bild 146III-105, Joseph Wirth.jpg Zentrum 21 June 1922 14 November 1922
Hans von Rosenberg
(1874–1937)
Independent 22 November 1922 11 August 1923 Cuno (I)
Gustav Stresemann
(1878–1929)
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1982-092-11, Gustav Stresemann.jpg DVP 13 August 1923 3 October 1929 Stresemann (I, II)

Marx (I, II)
Luther (I, II)
Marx (III, IV)
Müller (II)

Julius Curtius
(1877–1948)
DVP 4 October 1929 9 October 1931 Müller (II)

Brüning (I)

Heinrich Brüning
(1885–1970)
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1989-0630-504, Heinrich Brüning.jpg Zentrum 9 October 1931 30 May 1932 Brüning (II)
Konstantin Freiherr von Neurath
(1873–1956)
Bundesarchiv N 1310 Bild-135, Konstantin von Neurath.jpg Independent
(NSDAP after 1937)
1 June 1932 4 February 1938 von Papen (I)

von Schleicher (I)
Hitler (I)

Joachim von Ribbentrop
(1893–1946)
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-H04810, Joachim von Ribbentrop.jpg NSDAP 4 February 1938 30 April 1945 Hitler (I)
Arthur Seyss-Inquart
(1892–1946)
Bundesarchiv Bild 119-5243, Wien, Arthur Seyß-Inquart.jpg NSDAP 30 April 1945 2 May 1945 Donitz (Flensburg)
Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk
(1887–1977)
Ludwig Schwerin von Krosigk.jpg Independent 2 May 1945 23 May 1945

Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the GDR, 1949–1990[edit]

Political Party:       CDU       SED       NDPD       SPD

Name
(Born–Died)
Image Party Term of Office Chairman
Georg Dertinger
(1902–1968)
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-S88853, Georg Dertinger.jpg CDU 12 October 1949 15 January 1953 Otto Grotewohl
Anton Ackermann
(1905–1973)
Fotothek df roe-neg 0002112 003 Anton Ackermann am Rednerpult.jpg SED 15 January 1953 July 1953
Lothar Bolz
(1903–1986)
Fotothek df roe-neg 0006504 008 Portrait Lothar Bolz' auf dem Podium der Deutschen Bautagung im Weißen Saal.jpg NDPD July 1953 24 June 1965 Otto Grotewohl

Willi Stoph

Otto Winzer
(1902–1975)
Otto Winzer.jpg SED 24 June 1965 20 January 1975 Willi Stoph

Horst Sindermann

Oskar Fischer
(1923–)
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1989-0901-038, Oskar Fischer.jpg SED 3 March 1975 12 April 1990 Horst Sindermann

Willi Stoph
Hans Modrow

Markus Meckel
(1952–)
Markus Meckel.jpg SPD 12 April 1990 20 August 1990 Lothar de Maizière
Lothar de Maizière
(1940–)
Maziere.jpg CDU 20 August 1990 2 October 1990

Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Bundesminister des Auswärtigen), since 1951[edit]

Political Party:       CDU       SPD       FDP       Green

Name
(Born–Died)
Image Party Term of Office Chancellor
(Cabinet)
Konrad Adenauer
(1876–1967)
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F078072-0004, Konrad Adenauer.jpg CDU 15 March 1951 6 June 1955 Adenauer
(I • II)
Heinrich von Brentano di Tremezzo
(1904–1964)
Heinrich von Bretano.jpg CDU 6 June 1955 30 October 1961 Adenauer
(II • III)
Gerhard Schröder
(1910–1989)
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F008145-0002, Gerhard Schröder (crop).jpg CDU 14 November 1961 30 November 1966 Adenauer (IV • V)
Erhard (I • II)
Willy Brandt
(1913–1992)
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F057884-0009, Willy Brandt.jpg SPD 1 December 1966 20 October 1969 Kiesinger
(I)
Walter Scheel
(1919–)
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1989-047-20, Walter Scheel.jpg FPD 21 October 1969 15 May 1974 Brandt
(III)
Hans-Dietrich Genscher
(1927–)
Hans-Dietrich Genscher (1989).jpg FPD 17 May 1974 17 September 1982 Schmidt
(I • II • III)
Helmut Schmidt
(1918–2015)
Helmut Schmidt (13.07.1977).jpg SPD 17 September 1982 4 October 1982 Schmidt
(III)
Hans-Dietrich Genscher
(1927–)
Hans-Dietrich Genscher (1989).jpg FPD 4 October 1982 17 May 1992 Kohl
(IIIIIIIV)
Klaus Kinkel
(1936–)
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F063645-0024, Pullach, Besuch Carstens beim BND.jpg FPD 18 May 1992 26 October 1998 Kohl
(IVV)
Joschka Fischer
(1948–)
Joschka Fischer.jpg Greens 27 October 1998 22 November 2005 Schröder
(III)
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
(1956–)
Frank-Walter Steinmeier 20090902-DSCF9761.jpg SPD 22 November 2005 28 October 2009 Merkel
(I)
Guido Westerwelle
(1961–)
Guido westerwelle.jpg FPD 28 October 2009 17 December 2013 Merkel
(II)
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
(1956–)
Frank-Walter Steinmeier 20090902-DSCF9761.jpg SPD 17 December 2013 Incumbent Merkel
(III)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wright, Jonathan, Gustav Stresemann: Weimar's Greatest Statesman (2002)
  2. ^ http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/diplo/en/AAmt/Geschichte/GeschichteAA.html