Talk:Chancellor of Germany (1949–)

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Imperial Chancellor[edit]

The English term Imperial Chancellor is ambigious because it could be The Empire's Chancellor (Reichskanzler) and The Emporer's Chancellor (Kaiserlicher Kanzler) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:10, 18 December 2007 (UTC)


It is good to notice that you record Goebbels and Von Krosigk as successors to Hitler. However I have found one other person who occupied a position as head of government in Germany prior to the founding of the Federal Republic: Hermann Pünder(CDU)Overall Director of the Administrative Council for Bizonia (U.S. and British Zones) 2 March 1948 - 20 September 1949

Noel Ellis, Wellington NZ 28 March 2004

Hermann Pünder never was Chancellor of Germany. He was the head of a provisional government. He maybe should be included in the list, but not as chancellor. --Lothar 20:24, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

This was a purely administrative post, so he shouldn't be included at all. Str1977 (smile back) 10:09, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

How to count chancellors?[edit]

Please have a look at Talk:Helmut Kohl, where User:Hajduk and me are discussing if one should count all chancellors or starts with the federal republic anew? -- till we | Talk 08:32, 22 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Usually, german Chancellors are not numbered. There is no sense in counting them. If done so, than one should differ between the different forms of government. The Chancellor of the Federal Republic after 1949 has not much in common with the Chancellors of the Reich before 1945 (except for one part of their job title, but that also counts for the german arch-chancellors before 1806). Try this solution: Don't count them. --mmg 14:43, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
Again: why to count german Chancellors? In Wikipedia british PMs are not counted, french presidents and PMs are not counted, italian Presidents and PMs are not counted. Why should german Chancellors be counted in this article? Usually nobody counts or numbers them in normal speech. --mmg 11:17, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
I would count them for the same reason anything else is counted: to represent a directional sequence of discrete items. Furthermore, there are a number of other benefits in counting. Germany (FRG) has had eight chancellors in its roughly 57 years of history resulting in a rather long actual term of office (about 7 years). Comparative analysis is made easier here when I look at the number of british PMs in the same period which might say something about political stability in either country. I think there are benefits to counting and I can't see any disadvantages involved so the real reason is why not do it. BTW, I would say the same thing about British PMs, Italian Presidents, or other heads of state/government, taking into account the regional attitutes toward counting as applicable. sebmol 23:57, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
Well, you can count anything, but is it necessary to do so within the article? --mmg 20:46, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
I believe so, for the arguments listed above. And the lack of reasons not to number them. sebmol 04:55, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Well, the lack of reasons not to do something is no cause to do something (and there are arguments against counting, e.g. were to start; or whom to count as equal). AFAICS your arguments against counting were:
  • to represent a directional sequence of discrete items (good argument? The chancellors are chronological ordered anyway.)
  • Comparative analysis (Just by numbers?)
What do other users think? Can we find an agreement on counting or not? When the chancellors are not counted (which I would prefer), there are no problems on how to count them.--mmg 11:10, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

If you really want to count, than count Reichskanzler and Bundeskanzler seperatly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:45, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Right, count them seperately. There was no continuity between the Chancellor of the Empire and the Federal Chancellor. The Federal Chancellor is a position in the Federal Republic. That is, before the Reunification, the Federal Chancellor was a solely West German position. It doesn't make sense to consider someone from West Germany the successor of someone who had a similar position with Germany-wide power. -- (talk) 06:38, 22 January 2012 (UTC)


Does teh Germany chancellor do "chancellor's questions" like the British PM has question time? Answer: Nein.--]] from de:wikipedia

I think we need a rewording at "this procedure was abused by parties of both political extremes in order to oppose chancellors and undermine the democratic process." This use of "abused" seems dubious editoralising with some agenda. Using language that suggests small or extreme parties opposing chancellors brings down "democracy" seems an unacceptably loaded statement of fact. Think we need a change to something more NPOV.Alci12

‘Chancellor’ in Germany is ……………(Prime Minister or President or Both)[edit]

Prime Minister in Britain, Germany has a President with limited Powers who is also Head of State Nevfennas 15:54, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Madam Chancelloress?[edit]

If Angela Merkal is elected what will her title be? What is the female form of Bundeskanzler? (Alphaboi867 07:00, 27 August 2005 (UTC))

Bundeskanzlerin? john k 14:34, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

I would imagine that she would be addressed as Madam Chancellor in English. sebmol 18:20, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

It is "Bundeskanzler" for males, "Bundeskanzlerin" for females. The correct style is "Herr Bundeskanzler" and for women "Frau Bundeskanzlerin". However what the form in English would be I'm not sure. For men it it is probably just "Chancellor" or "Your Excellency". For women I think it is probably "Madame Chancellor" altough does a "Chancelloress" exist, or a "Madame Chancelloress"? Gryffindor 15:21, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
The awful habit of recent years to add an "-in" to otherwise neutral words to make them female has thankfully not made it to the English language. The correct way to address Dr. Merkel in English is "(Her Excellency) Madame Chancellor".
sebmol 16:56, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
Why awful? Bundeskanzler is not of Latin orign like minister or professor and so not a neutral term. The German language since long ago has the opportunity to build a female form. And the English language has it too - all noble tiltes have a female form see duke and duchess (She is not Madam Duke). Consequently the form Chanceloress is not incorecct even less used. A Germanic linguist. (The Queen is the Queen and not Madam King!!!!!!!) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:49, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes but King is a male noun, Queen is female. A better example would be when Baroness (as opposed to a male Baron) Thatcher was Prime Minister, she was just Mrs Prime Minister (males being Mr Prime Minister) or simply Prime Minister- not Prime Ministeress. Merkel would be called either Chancellor Merkel, Lady Chancellor or Madam Chancellor. Gavin (talk) 21:44, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
"Bundeskanzler" was indeed considered a gender-neutral word, and it still is. However, it can also be used as a male noun. In the latter case, the female equivalent is "Bundeskanzlerin". And when you write a letter to the Federal Chancellor, you would write "Sehr geehrte Frau Bundeskanzlerin, ...". In English, I would start with "Dear Ms Chancellor: ..." -- (talk) 06:46, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Let me make that clear: I think that in English, there is no difference between a male and a female form of "Federal Chancellor". In German, however, there is. -- (talk) 06:49, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, the English term CHANCELLOR is of Latin origin, so the female equivalent "would be" CHANCELLRIX like IMPERATOR and IMPEARTRIX. It doesn't exist, because in the time the office of a chancellor came in use, it was not accessible for women. English language didn't used the original correct Latin form, but used the Latin originated suffix -ess (from Latin -issa) alone, when feminizing a title like Abbess / Abbot or Duke/Duchess, Baron /Baroness, Count/Countess etc.

Edit war?[edit]

There seems to be an edit war going on. Incidentally, I tend to agree with the changes made by Riveraz which restart numbering of chancellors from 1949 on (like it is done in the German article and in common German usage). Likewise, translating "Reichskanzler" as "federal chancellor" is inappropriate and the term "imperial chancellor" is more accurate. The title of "Reichskanzler" didn't change from before 1918 (when Germany was run by an emperor) to afterwards (commonly known as the "Weimar Republic"). Therefore, it's not appropriate to change the English translation of the title either. sebmol 01:22, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Riveraz is hard-banned vandal User:Wik and his edits should thus automatically be reverted. The previous sockpuppet he used to vandalize this article was User:Varizer, which was blocked indefinitely recently. He has also used similar names User:Rivarez (Category:Wikipedia:Suspected_sockpuppets_of_Wik)
It is completely inappropriate to translate Reichskanzler as "imperial" Chancellor. The title has nothing with the Emperor to do, it only indicating federal (as opposed to state) level. Exact translations of "Reich" and "Bund" are non-existant in English, but "federal" is the most appropriate word in this context. Reichskanzler is not meaning federal Chancellor any less than Bundeskanzler.
As for the numbering, we cannot have two Chancellors in the same list with the same number. The whole point with the numbers is to provide a quick overview of the place of the Chancellor in the list of Chancellors. The count doesn't start anew with the new constitution of 1919 and after it was suspended.
German usage is irrelevant as this is not the German Wikipedia. In German they use different titles. In English we do not. The title of the Chancellor in English has been the same since 1871.
A few points: 1) Reichskanzler is never translated into English as "Federal Chancellor," and prior to 1918 it is certainly translated as "Imperial Chancellor." 2) A good edit is a good edit, no matter if the user is hard banned or not. If Riveraz is, in fact, Wik (I have no idea), he ought to be blocked and prevented from editing. But it is complete madness to revert perfectly good edits simply because they were done by a banned editor. If one disagrees with the edits on other grounds, that, of course, is a different matter. 3) I see no reason to number the chancellors. The issue is awkward, and numbering the West German chancellors as continuing on from the German Reich has POV problems, since it implies that the BRD, and not the DDR, was the legitimate successor state to the German Reich, which would be wikipedia making an essentially political judgment. john k 05:13, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
That's basically my point. When discussing a subject matter in a foreign language (like discussing German politics in English), usage patterns, especially as they relate to official titles, do matter. Those who visit this page to learn more about the German chancellor most likely do so in the context of a general interest in the office and its place in German politics. If the German word "Reich" doesn't have a good equivalent in English (which I believe is the case because "federal" sounds too free and "empire" too authoritarian, maybe a translation isn't appropriate.
While legal scholars tend to agree that there's been one German country since 1871, they also recognize that it has undergone numerous political and territorial changes due to the two world wars and their aftermaths. The Reichskanzler during the time of the German empire was in a very different position than the one after that. So, even if German titles didn't change, the substance matters a whole lot. Assuming equivalence between the imperial Reichskanzler and the republican Reichskanzler is like equating the President of the United States under the current constitution and under the Articles of Confederation. sebmol 06:14, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Chancellors of West Germany[edit]

Is this a joke? I edited the Helmut Schmidt article to label him as Chancellor of West Germany, but then I noticed this article and the apparent concensus on Wikipedia to refer to the post-WWII (through reunification) chancellors as "Chancellor of Germany." Is this some kind of wishful thinking on the part of some, I don't know, Germanophile equivalent to the Cuban community in Miami? It's not a matter of opinion; it's just plain inaccurate. If you were to ask Helmut Schmidt, for example, he would tell you he was not Chancellor of Germany.

I notice in the discussion above that the chancellors are "numbered" in an uninterrupted sequence, West German chancellors included, because it's "easier," and most readers only have "a general interest in the office" anyway. What? I'm inclined to slap an NPOV tag on the article, but will wait. -- Muffuletta 14:08, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

The official title is "Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany", even before reunification. When the office was created by the Basic Law, the intent was always, that the two countries would come together as one again. As to the numbering, in the current version of the article, it restarts everytime a new constitution was adopted. Since the Basic Law has been in effect since 1949, the Chancellors are numbered from 1 (Adenauer) to 8 (Merkel). That's also the practice in Germany. sebmol 20:28, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
If you were to ask Helmut Schmidt, he would tell you he was Chancellor of Germany. There was only one legitimate and democratically elected German government, and, btw., only one Chancellor. In the English-speaking world, the term "German Chancellor" would during the cold war refer to the chief-of-government of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Chancellor of West Germany better reflects reality and avoids BrD POV. PMA 04:22, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

The correct term was always "Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany". Referring to the Federal Republic as West Germany is a little bit problematic in this article, because the reunification was technically an acession of the German Democratic Republic to the Federal Republic. Therefor todays Germany is the former West Germany. That's the main reason the Chancellors are numbered in succession since Adenauer, as the reunification had no effect on the office. One should of course mention that between 1949 - 1990 the State ruled by the German Chancellor (an acceptable term, as there was no East German Chancellor) was only West Germany and enlarged in 1990. Nevfennas 07:05, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Not to forget Saarland, which was reunified with Germany in 1957. Saarland clearly is the most western part of Germany.
It's not "more Western" than Northrhine-Westphalia (which contains the westernmost point in Germany) or Rhineland-Palatinate.-- 19:05, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
The Federal Republic was only West Germany in the beginning, and since the Reunification, the Federal Republic includes all of Germany. I would simply label Helmut Schmidt as "Federal Chancellor" or maybe "Federal Chancellor (Germany)". This would make clear that he was holding a Position in the Federal Republic. The same would also make sense for Helmut Kohl who was Federal Chancellor during the reunification. Please be aware, that here in Germany, the word "Federal" does not just indicate the level in political hierarchy (i. e. Federation vs. State vs. District ...) but it also means that something has a Federation-wide geographic scope, that is, any territory that did not belong to the Federal Republic at that particular time is excluded, i. e. the exact meaning of "Federal" changed with the reunification. -- (talk) 07:01, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

was ist "werter"?[edit]

When addressing former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, the current Chancellor Angela Merkel used the style "Werter Herr Bundeskanzler".

That would be interesting if the page ever said what that means (in English, seeing as this is the English Wikipedia). The best I can figure, it means "caretaker" or "guard". I would edit that in myself, if I knew what I was doing (with the language). -- Vystrix Nexoth 03:04, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

"Werter" as part of a salutation means "valued". Just an adjective to express appreciation (for his presence at the function, his work, or whatever).-- 16:39, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
It just means "dear". Dear Chancellor Helmut Kohl. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 13:48, 6 April 2007 (UTC).
The standard adjective is wert, meaning valued, worthy, or dear. It is inflected depending on the position, gender, number, and case of the noun it is describing. Werter Herr Bundeskanzler or Werte Frau Bundeskanzler(in). samwaltz 18:46, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

This is a difference between East and West Germans! Werter is mainly a style of adress of East Germans, as the current Chancelloress comes from Mecklenburg and has lived in the former GDR.

Further notice: It is common for reasons of courtesy to adress former bearers of a constitutional offices (state president, head of government, president of parliament) in case of oral adress with the former title. (In the written form there will be an annex added refering to the end of teniture like in German a. D. = out of service / out of duty) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:55, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Image of the current chancellor[edit]

Should we have an image of Angela Merkel at the top of the article, perhaps above the "Germany" box? -- Ddxc 13:19, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

I've added one. -- Ddxc (talk) 00:21, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Unfree image[edit]

I've nominated Image:German Chancellors1.png for deletion because of possible copyright infringement and no fair-use rationale. -- Ddxc (talk) 00:56, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Image size[edit]

it's a bit strange that Schröder's picture is very small, and that Scheel's pic is about 4 times as big —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:17, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:Erhard.jpg[edit]

The image Image:Erhard.jpg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
  • That this article is linked to from the image description page.

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --13:18, 9 September 2008 (UTC)


is this chancellor even German? she is a strong leader and so are many of the other past chancellors of Germany. But is it neccecery, given the very fact that she is Justin timberlakes sister in law. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:51, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Please give evidence for why you think that Angie was sister-in-law of Justin Timberlake. I can confirm that Angie is German, everyone here in Germany knows she's an easterner. -- (talk) 07:07, 22 January 2012 (UTC)


Could someone with an account please request a lock? Someone is vandalizing with "pokemon" lol. (talk) 22:52, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Papen's party[edit]

If I'm not mistaken, Papen can't be registered as an independent, since he did belong to the Centre Party, and only left the party after being Chancellor, later joing the Nazis till the end of the war. lususromulus Correction: he left it little before becoming Chancellor for avoiding expelling due to being more of a monarchist than of a Catholic Christian Democrat lususromulus —Preceding undated comment was added at 21:10, 3 November 2008 (UTC).

Suggested Split[edit]

First of all:

Different form what the template is saying, this page might also be transformed into a redirect page rather than disambiguation page.

I suggest separating the chancellors before and after WWII into two articles. In Germany, the word Kanzler is almost never used alone, they always say Reichskanzler (Imperial Chancellor of Germany, before WWII) or Bundeskanzler (Federal Chancellor of Germany, after WWII), and they're always "counted" separately (see discussions above). Politically, there is no or very little continuity, just a similarity in the name.

I'm not quite sure how to best name the two articles, here are some considerations:

Federal Chancellor seems to be the official translation for Bundeskanzler, see:

For Reichskanzler, there are different translations according to

  1. Imperial Chancellor - for the whole time
  2. Chancellor of the Republic - during the Weimar Republic - note that after WWI Germany was still an Empire ("Deutsches Reich"), but had not Imperator ("Kaiser"), since it was a republic and afterwards a dictatorship
  3. Reich Chancellor - during the Third Reich (is that true?)

See also at the existing Redirects pages!!

--Abe Lincoln (talk) 13:37, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

I can see why you suggest what you do and I would be inclined to support such a move...but at the same time is it neccessary? The Chancellor of Germany is the Head of Government in the nation and in that sense from Bismark to Merkel they are holding the same position and thus should be in the same Gavin (talk) 14:09, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
That's the point, they hold different positions - defined in different constitutions. After WWII, given the experiences of the Weimar Republic, the Parlamentarischer Rat shifted much power from the President to Chancellor.
By the way, there are also two articles for Bundespräsident (President of Germany) and the Reichspräsident (President of Germany (Weimar Republic)). Maybe the naming is suboptimal.
--Abe Lincoln (talk) 15:08, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
I think I'd probably be for a split. Though the names of the articles could be a problem...I'm not sure if I like Imperial Chancellor of Germany and Federal Chancellor, why not just Reichskanzler and Bundeskanzler? Gavin (talk) 18:38, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
I wouldn't mind, but I'm no native English speaker. --Abe Lincoln (talk) 18:56, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
On second thought:
Since the German nouns are not used in English language directly, I suggest implementing one of the following options
  1. Chancellor of Germany (Bundeskanzler) and Chancellor of Germany (Reichskanzler)
  2. Chancellor of Germany (Federal Republic) and Chancellor of Germany (German Reich)
  3. Chancellor of Germany and Reich Chancellor of Germany
What do you think?
--Abe Lincoln (talk) 13:14, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
I quite like 2. (I note many of the other language wikipedias have two separate articles for the Federal and Imperial Chancellors.) Gavin (talk) 13:23, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
I implemented option 2. --Abe Lincoln (talk) 14:49, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Noted, I think it works very well. :) Gavin (talk) 14:57, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

I've been updating some of the links to reflect the split but someone who understands the automated tools available on-wiki might do a better job. I don't have much of a normative view on the split itself. I liked the old omnibus article but do understand that the topics are rather distinct and easily presented seperately. Eluchil404 (talk) 03:17, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

I have removed the vast majority of links to Chancellor of Germany. However, there is also a template, Template:GermanChancellors. I suppose that one should be split into two parts as well? --KarlFrei (talk) 09:15, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

This is utterly inappropriate and I have undone it. There is no such thing as "Imperial Chancellors" - the Weimar Republic was hardly an empire, and the office has always been known as Chancellor of Germany in English. Secondly, the office of Chancellor of Germany was established in 1867 under the title Bundeskanzler. The history of the office goes back to 1867, not 1871 and absolutely not 1949. There is a clear continuity – it is historically the same office - and no need for a split. Furthermore, there is a clear precedent at Wikipedia that one does not split articles like this. There are not separate articles for prime ministers in other states, even if it's quite common that the formal title of the head of government has changed one or more times, the constitution has been replaced or the role of the head of government modified. UweBayern (talk) 15:46, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Nice of you to discuss it first and to seek consensus... Especially after I spent a few hours disambiguating the links to Chancellor of Germany... Oh, now I see that you have already started undoing my recent edits. THANKS A LOT!! --KarlFrei (talk) 16:04, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
You created a mess, so it will take others much time to repair it. This article has been at this title for nearly a decade and shouldn't have been moved in the first place after such a short discussion and in contradiction with precedent. A split in Chancellor of Germany (German Reich) and Chancellor of Germany (Federal Republic) is ahistorical/nonsense and even ignore the origin of the office (the office established in 1867, before the German Empire) UweBayern (talk) 16:08, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Thank you very much for your kind response. Please take a moment to note that I did not in fact create the mess, and was not involved in the discussion to split the page. Note furthermore that the German Wikipedia has precisely the same split that happened here. Since the offices are quite different, it makes sense to me. The split happened a month and a half ago and nobody complained in the meantime, which prompted me to start fixing the disambiguation links. --KarlFrei (talk) 16:12, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

If one would create articles on the office in different eras (I'm not convinced of the necessity of this), the article Chancellor of Germany should in any case be a main article, providing an overview, not a disambiguation page. The list of Chancellors should be included in the main article. And most links should still point to the main article. UweBayern (talk) 16:17, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

The Office of Chancellor in the Empire have very different powers from those in the Federal Republic. They are two very distinct offices- even with different names. The split makes sense and should be maintained. Gavin (talk)
The Weimar Republic an empire? Hilarious. Changing powers are not considered a reason to split articles on other heads of government. The precedent is clear. In most countries, the role and powers of an office may be changed from time to time, sometimes substantially, but this doesn't mean it is an entirely new office without a history. Historically, the modern office of Chancellor of Germany was established in 1867 when Bismarck became Bundeskanzler of the North German Confederation. The confederation, as a legal entity, evolved into Germany (the nation-state) in 1871.
How different the powers were can be discussed, in any case. From 1918, the Chancellor of Germany was responsible to Parliament, so the role of the Chancellor wasn't that different from a broader point of view.
And the actual powers of the office during the many eras, and the differences, can be described just fine in one article. The article is not that lengthy, so a split doesn't make sense at all. UweBayern (talk) 19:29, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
The powers and role of the Prime Minister of France have changed a lot more than those of the office of German Chancellor, still, there are no separate articles for each constitution – there is no Prime Minister of France (Fifth French Republic) article. UweBayern (talk) 19:41, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
(…was pointed here by the WP Germany Portal.) Unless the opposing side makes a better argument for a split, I am supporting UweBayern.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 19:50, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Alternatively, I would suggest keeping Chancellor of Germany as a main article, with in-depth articles on the technicalities of the office in different eras (perhaps one on the North German Confederation, one on the German Empire, one on the Weimar Republic, one on Nazi Germany and one on the Federal Republic). But this solution should only be implemented if there is enough text. UweBayern (talk) 20:00, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

As I stated before: In Germany, the word Kanzler is almost never used alone, they always say Reichskanzler (Imperial Chancellor of Germany, before WWII) or Bundeskanzler (Federal Chancellor of Germany, after WWII), and they're always "counted" separately. Politically, there is very little continuity, just a similarity in the name.

The majority (public opinion, science, media, politics) in Germany considers Reichskanzler and Bundeskanzler two different things. The official site of the Bundeskanzlerin for instance doesn't mention the Reichkanzlers, beneath the text "Historic pictures of former German chancellors:" for instance only the post war chancellors are listed (which would be what every German would expect):

There are a lot of users in the German Wikipedia who want to give the impression of a strong continuity in German history (meaning they want to it negate the significant breaks in German history). Hope they don't win. --Abe Lincoln (talk) 21:32, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Abe, could we please keep the insinuations off the page, thanks. (Unless you have evidence, and then they aren't insinuations.) We should not write "Imperial chancellor" for Reichskanzler. "The Reich chancellor" or even "the Reichskanzler" are preferable.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 21:47, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

I would like to make several points:

  • the article has existed for 6.5 years, not almost a decade, and this is a strange reason for not moving it anyway
  • Uwe complains that the discussion was short, but how much longer should it have been, given that nobody spoke up against it? There is only so much time you can spend saying "yes, I agree" :-)
  • The Weimar Republic was indeed known as the German Empire (Deutsches Reich) while it existed, and had the Reichskanzlers to go with it. Does not seem that hilarious to me.
  • Uwe argues that the Chancellors in the Weimar Republic were not that different from a "broader point of view" from the modern Chancellors, since they were responsible to parliament. From somedody who complains that others are being "ahistorical" or even "nonsensical", this seems quite ironic to me. I think actual historians would raise some eyebrows at this claim, at the least. Briefly, one main problem that the Weimar Chancellors had was that they were not only responsible to parliament, but crucially also to the president, who had important powers of his own and in particular could fire the chancellor at will. I wonder now - would anyone argue that the function of the president is also "broadly" the same in modern Germany as it was in the Weimar Republic?
  • The length is not a reason for splitting, but the fact that two different concepts are being discussed is.
  • It is more accurate to say that there is no article for Prime minister of France rather than that there is no article for Prime minister of France (Fifth Republic). All there is is a list of prime ministers, without any discussion of what the powers of the office were and how they changed over time. Thus, you cannot use that page as an argument.
  • As noted previously. many other language versions of Wikipedia have separate articles. Therefore, this split promotes international consistency.
  • Uwe, reverting an edit that asks you to seek consensus, and then commenting "seek consensus" yourself is not how it is supposed to work. You are the only one arguing against this split, with only Goodmorningworld saying he might support you. Thus, there actually was a consensus here until you started undoing our edits without bothering to put a message on the talk page. --KarlFrei (talk) 09:33, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

There is no consensus to split the article, the original discussion consisted of only two people, it seems. Furthermore, let me remind you that this is not the German Wikipedia. Which words are used in German are irrelevant to an English-language encyclopedia. In English, the German head of government has been known exclusively as the Chancellor of Germany since 1871. The Weimar Republic was not known as the "German Empire" in English, the English word empire implies monarchy (the word "Reich" does not have an exact equivalent in English). Germany in the Weimar Republic period was mostly known as Germany in English.

Chancellor of Germany and Chancellor of Germany are not different concepts. On the contrary, it's exactly the same concept. The differences in powers and the role of the Chancellor were far greater between Chancellors whose formal title were Reichskanzler (for instance between the Weimar Republic and the Nazi era, and perhaps even between the Chancellors of the German Empire and the Weimar Republic) than the difference of Chancellors of, say, the Weimar Republic and today's Germany. If one were to follow your argument, it doesn't make sense at all to cover Chancellors of the Empire, the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany in the same article - the differences in their powers and responsibilities being too great.

And how about some honesty? It's completely untrue that I didn't "[bother] to put a message on the talk page" - that it exactly what I did. UweBayern (talk) 11:45, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

I apologize. I should have written "without bothering to discuss it first", what I wrote was of course not true. Again, my apologies. --KarlFrei (talk) 20:39, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

A lot of projects have one article for German Chancellors, including bs, ca, da, es, gl, hr, io, is, lv, ms, no, nn, pl, pt, scn, simple, sh, sv and possibly others. What matters most, however, is not which words are used in foreign languages, but usage in the English language, in which the German head of government is consistently referred to as the Chancellor of Germany. UweBayern (talk) 12:00, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Whether the same word or different words are used is irrelevant (otherwise we wouldn't need disambiguation pages). Relevant is only whether two things are considered to be rather the same (only from a different perspective or in a different time) or if they are considered to be different things (which happen to have the same label). That in English language the same label is used might be in indicator, but not at all a proof, that these two offices are considered to be the same thing by some. But if (because of a lack in the language) it is difficult to distinguish between two things it does not mean that these two things become one. Wikipedia describes the reality, it's not a dictionary. --Abe Lincoln (talk) 14:02, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm a bit of an outsider in this debate but here goes:

1. In English the words "Chancellor of Germany" (more commonly the "German Chancellor") are frequently ascribed to any of the following: Bismark, Hitler and Angela Merkel. For practical purposes "Chancellor" is used as a synonym of prime minister in German contexts. While official titles change the existence of a office a national German prime minister has been consistent. Similarly Britain and France have both long had prime ministers. While the respective constitutions have changed (evolved in Britain's case) the titles and consequently the office has remained.
2. Preferably the "Chancellor of Germany" article should concentrate on those of the Federal Republic while also touching on the history of the office. In the same sense as the Rome article concentrates on the modern city, but has a history section, or that an article on citizenship law concentrates on the current law but may also refer the previous laws.
4. The bulk of the history should be in a "History of the Chancellorship of Germany" or similarly named. The advantage being we would only have the current chancellor on one of the articles rather than one both which is very confusing.
5. Obviously the differences between the constitutions under which the chancellors operated should be clearly pointed out, but having different articles hinders rather than helps. — Blue-Haired Lawyer 14:28, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

If the majority of the English speaking people considers Bismark, Hitler and Angela Merkel to have held the same office, one article would be appropriate. To me (and the current chancellor and - as I'm convinced - the majority of the German speaking people) they did not. --Abe Lincoln (talk) 14:39, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Ok, perhaps what we really need here is a bit a vagueness. What I'm actually suggesting is to have a "Chancellor of Germany" on the modern German prime minister, while mentioning in a history section that previous German also had chancellors and give some information on them. We shouldn't have to say whether the office continues or not. — Blue-Haired Lawyer 15:00, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
I feel we have to have either all the Chancellors on the Chancellor of Germany article or the Reichskanzler on the German Reich article and Federal Chancellors on the Federal Republic page. In order to seek a wider opinion I have asked the people at the German Wiki to comment. (They currently split the articles, though they are much larger.) Gavin (talk) 15:03, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

It's generally frowned upon to ask people from other projects to join in and take side in discussions. I would very much welcome opinions from English Wikipedia contributors, especially native speakers, however.

On the question on whether Bismarck and Merkel hold the same office: It's not that simple. They hold the same office in the sense that the historical tradition of the office goes back to the office of Bismarck, which arguably had a lasting influence on the office, even if the office has evolved/changed under subsequent constitutions. They also hold the same office in the sense that they are the "prime ministers" of Germany, to other countries the differences between the offices are rather unsignificant (with a possible exception for the 12 years of Nazi rule when the office was merged with that of head of state). Furthermore, they hold the same office in the sense that they are heads of government in the very same state (as established by the Federal Constitutional Court) with a rather similar title (which in English is the same title, but differs slightly in German – both Reich- and Bundes- mean "federal", as opposed to state level, in this context). Also, the overall similarities of the office today and previously (especially, but not restricted to, the Weimar Republic era) are more significant than the differences.

I repeat that if the article should be split into more than one, based on whether the role of the office holder has changed, it would need to be split into several (at least 4) articles. And there is so far no precedent for this. I believe such a solution is not very helpful for the readers. There are not that many chancellors and the article is not that long. UweBayern (talk) 17:24, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Umm, just a quick note- first off it is certainly not frowned upon to ask members of other projects advice- especially if the advice is useful. Indeed it is encouraged (an important point to note is many bi-lingual users are active in both projects). Also, and I am still trying to Assume Good Faith here but UweBayern you seem to be playing this a little heavy handed- perhaps a blitzkrieg? Might I suggest we all take a step back and stop ourselves from crossing over into breaches of WP:CIVIL. We are all working together remember, not against each other! Gavin (talk) 19:15, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

I have not read most of the above, and I am not connected to the topic, but I'd like to give another opinion. I think that, although the Chancellor of modern Germany and the Chancellor of Weimar/Nazi Germany were technically different positions with the same name (as what I've seen of this makes it seem), they are closely related (the highest office in Germany). I probably would consider Bismark, Hitler, and Merkel to hold the same office, so I would prefer to see both Chancellor of Germany (Federal Republic) and Chancellor of Germany (German Reich) merged to Chancellor of Germany. I am a mergist, and the list is not so excessively long that it is required to be separated. However, the German Wikipedia also has two separate articles, both of which are very good, so I can't really make a decision. If this federal article were like its featured German counterpart, then I would support a split. But at this short length and not as high quality I would currently support a merge. Basically, quit fighting and work on improving it! Reywas92Talk 20:42, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

As I said above, it's possible to have both if someone wrote more extensively on the issue. One could have a main article, Chancellor of Germany, which provided the general overview of the office and its history during at least four eras, and in-depth articles on the Chancellorship in various eras (German Empire, Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany, Federal Republic). Currently, we have a rather short article which doesn't merit a split into several articles. I would suggest moving the article back to Chancellor of Germany, its title for the last 6,5 years, and adding something like "Main article: Chancellor of Germany (Weimar Republic)" under each section on the different eras. I also believe that the list of Chancellors (since the number of them is quite limited should be in the main article, and the possible in-depth articles should focus on the history of the office and legal and technical aspects. UweBayern (talk) 21:53, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

After WWII, the founding fathers of modern Germany wanted by all means avoid the tragedy to repeat, so they joined to invent a constitution that is a better foundation than the Weimar constitution was. A constitution with a inherent protection against take-over by anti-democratic (i.e. anti-constitutional) forces. So they designed a Grundgesetz that was different in many aspects, of which the most important aspect was the strengthening of the chancellor (who now indeed is the leader of the country) and the weakening of the president (who is now just a representative). So the label was adapted (not kept, since this constitution was no alteration of the one before, but a new one, and a different word was used), but the meaning was a different one (intentionally!).

I understand that some might want to depict the German history as a constant flow where every era is nothing but a modernized variant of the era before, where a set of (kind of Ur-German) motifs and institutions reappear ever and ever again. I understand the longing for a chain of successors that is as long and impressing as the line of American Presidents or the line of British kings and queens. But Wikipedia describes the reality and should therefore stick to the signified, not the signifier.

Putting Bundeskanzler and Reichskanzler into one article is to me as fanciful as putting Reichstag and Bundestag into one article (which - hopefully - noone would ever consider, for exactly the same reasons, i.e. they belong to significant different systems/constitutions).

--Abe Lincoln (talk) 22:47, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

A new constitution (which has happened before, the 1919 constitution was an even more dramatic change) doesn't make Chancellor of Germany a new office without a history. Even with a strengthened position, it's still the same office (in the sense described above), and in the cases of other countries, such articles have not been split. Even the German Wikipedia normally doesn't split such articles – for instance the article de:Bayerischer Ministerpräsident covers the Prime Ministers of Bavaria since 1695, even with very different titles and functions, the only thing in common being their position as head of government.
I doubt very much that the Chancellorship would have existed today without the history before 1949.
Anyway, the 1949 German Constitution was inspired by the Weimar Constitution in several aspects, and the Weimar Constitution is still partially in effect (articles 136, 137, 138, 139 and 141). But this topic is not that relevant to the discussion. UweBayern (talk) 23:39, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Are we not talking about two different offices belonging to two different countries in terms of ideology, governance and geography? Shall we include the Chancellors of the Holy Roman Empire in the Chancellor of Germany article as well? Gavin (talk) 23:23, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

To Gavin: well, the HRE was a completely different political state. No unified German state existed for about 75 years after the HRE fell in 1806. I would not consider the Reichskanzler to be a successor to any HRE leader at all. I could actually be off, but I think Abe Lincoln has made the best point. I guess I would support keeping the two current articles separtate, though the Reichskanzler article should not be be split into Chancellor of German Empire, Chancellor of Weimar Republic, and Chancellor of Third Reich. I would consider those to be successors. My policy is usually to follow the original language's lead, so I think we should have two well-developed articles. Reywas92Talk
The argument for splitting the article was the difference in the powers and role of the Chancellor. Is that argument not valid anymore? The differences were even bigger between the Chancellors of the German Empire, the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany. They were successors in the same sense that the current Chancellors are successors to the previous Chancellors - being heads of government of the very same state with the title of Chancellor. Anyway, there is no "original language" here, if one language is the original, it is the English one, being the first project. Wikipedias are not national projects.
No, we are not. The state now known as Germany was founded in 1867 as the North German Confederation, of which Otto von Bismarck was Bundeskanzler. The confederation as a legal entity became Germany (the German Empire) in 1871. The "Weimar Republic" and the Federal Republic of Germany is the same (legally identical) state. A comparison with the Holy Roman Empire is ridiculous and irrelevant . UweBayern (talk) 23:39, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
The Office of the Federal Chancellor does not consider Germany to be the same nation as the Germany of the Third Reich. Note that Germany was split in two before being unified- (Holy Roman Empire anyone?). UweBayern, again I ask that you choose your language more carefully, they verge upon the insulting. Gavin (talk) 00:05, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
This is nonsense. The German government is bound by German law and the Federal Constitutional Court, which consider the Federal Republic of Germany to be "identical" as a state to the "Deutsches Reich"[1]. The Chancellery would never allege something that far out (Germany not being the same nation as Germany). Many of the laws of modern Germany are or were from the German Empire, the Weimar Republic or even the Nazi era. There is no (scholarly) dispute concerning the continuity. UweBayern (talk) 01:08, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflct)The more I read what editors write here, the more I find myself thinking that just about every option has something to commend it, if done with care and diligence. Sorry, I realize I'm not being very helpful right now.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 00:07, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps we should consider maintaining the split and working together to expand the two separate articles? This would be much better than a merge- sorting out redirects etc before splitting them again after the content becomes more vast. Don't you think? Gavin (talk) 00:12, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
You keep ignoring arguments presented by those who disagree with you, which makes this discussion very tiresome. A split into two articles is unacceptable for a number of reasons stated above, and making Chancellor of Germany a disambiguation page is the worst solution possible. UweBayern (talk) 01:05, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
I think it is clear that my position is open to whatever the community decides- I have no feelins either way really. I am just trying to convince you to be less aggressive. Gavin (talk) 01:54, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
I've noticed that our article on the French Prime Minister only covers the Fifth Republic, i.e., since 1958. Just as a FWIW.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 00:21, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Two different things[edit]

I believe that it is good to keep the old situation with BK and RK seperated. They belong to two different historical fields or eras, political systems and constitutions - and titles. And someone who wants to read about the BK might not be too interested in the RK. Furthermore, both articles are relatively long already and might become longer in future. Discussing about the continuity in German history helps us here, let us consider the needs of the readers. By the way, I do not believe that words like "nonsense" improve the quality of Wikipedia discussions.--Ziko (talk) 21:28, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

I believe it is good to keep the old situuation with one article. If the article should be split, it needs to be split into four or possibly five articles (different political systems and constitutions). If we were to consider the needs of the readers, we need to keep one article, as is precedent, not making this ahistorical nonsense split into two. There were far bigger differences (monarchy, republican democracy, dictatorship which combined the office with that of head of state) between the offices covered by the RK article than between the current Chancellorship and that of the Weimar Republic. UweBayern (talk) 23:56, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

I feel UweBayern that consensus has been reached regarding this situation. They are two separate things...your argument that we must have one article to cover four/five potential articles (I doubt the accuracy of such a claim anyway) rather than two to cover them does not hold. Indeed it seems to me that if you feel one article is better suited to cover all these distinct offices (not yet proven to be the case) then you must accept two does the job even better! The Federal Republic Chancellor is adequately covered. If the Reich article must be split then so be it...though again I doubt that is the case. Gavin (talk) 18:09, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

No consensus to split[edit]

As there is, after a lengthy debate, no consensus to split the article, the stable situation (one article) should be restored. UweBayern (talk) 23:57, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

I believe the consensus was to maintain the status quo. Gavin (talk) 01:41, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Term Length[edit]

I don't know why this was added in the first place, but Chancellors (or most other Heads of Government elected by a parliament) do not have term limits, as there is no such thing as terms in the sense of the US-Presidency e.g. An elected chancellor remains chancellor until a successor is elected by parliament, the tenure is de facto independent from parliamentary elections as parliament can elect a new chancellor at any time it is in session. Even if a chancellors tenure was related to parliamentary elections (which are held every 4 years), the term length would still differ due to the time the general election is scheduled, the day the new parliament actually convenes and how fast involved parties choose a new candidate - unlike the US-President, whos term is exactly 4 years long (Jan. 20th to Jan. 20th 4 years later). -- (talk) 19:18, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

I agree. The articles for other parliamentary democracies, such as the UK and Canada, do not specify a fixed term, either. --Boson (talk) 21:42, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

The link at the second footnote is out of date. Bukovets (talk) 13:05, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Two articles?[edit]

see my user page for my question --Luthermütze (talk) 22:11, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

Problem solved. --Luthermütze (talk) 16:33, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

Common name[edit]

The common name of the office is "Chancellor of Germany". The term "Federal Chancellor" is not used in English sources, except by Germans who are not fluent in English. The country is similarly, like all other countries, titled using its common name (Germany) on Wikipedia, not "Federal Republic of Germany." As explained by WP:COMMONNAME, "Wikipedia does not necessarily use the subject's "official" name as an article title; it prefers to use the name that is most frequently used to refer to the subject in English-language reliable sources." This doesn't just apply to the German chancellor, but offices in other countries as well (Prime Minister of Italy, not "President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic"). Tadeusz Nowak (talk) 12:03, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

At first you shouldn't have done a controversial move without discussion and second the new name is wrong, there simply was no chancellor of germany between 1945 and 1990. There was a chancellor of FRG and something similar in the GDR.--Denniss (talk) 14:34, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
No, it's not controversial to use the WP:COMMONNAME of the office, it's actually required by policy. No other articles on similar offices are titled using uncommon "official" forms of the name of the country or title of the office, Prime Minister of Italy being a good example. The Chancellor of Germany was frequently known as the Chancellor of Germany in English language sources—the GDR didn't have a chancellor—but what matters most is that this is the COMMONNAME of the office today. Also, because the country itself if titled simply Germany on Wikipedia, we are required to use the same form of the name in this article title. Tadeusz Nowak (talk) 01:10, 28 October 2014 (UTC)
It's not the common name of this office, this article covers a wide timeframe and in 2/3rd of this timeframe the office in its current form did simply not exist. It did exist for western germany, the FRG, but not for the whole of germany (or did you miss the existance of the GDR?).--Denniss (talk) 07:15, 28 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it's the common, dominant even, name of the office in the English language, a fact that can be easily demonstrated by a few Google searches. If you sincerely believe "Germany" is not the common name of the country, you will have to get consensus to move the main article on the country first, before we can change references to that country in other article titles. The article is concerned with today's office, and what matters is the common title used in contemporary sources, but as pointed out, even Cold War-era English language sources used the term German chancellor/Chancellor of Germany as the WP:COMMONNAME. Very few if any English sources used "Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany." The GDR did never have a chancellor. It's the same office as during the Cold War, the office of chancellor didn't change in any way by the addition of additional territory, as happened twice in German postwar history (1957 and 1990). Tadeusz Nowak (talk) 12:18, 28 October 2014 (UTC)
Sorry Mr Nowak, but many people use ENGLAND instead of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. That's absolutely common, but it's wrong! And second argument: ENGLISH isn't only the language of British people, but a worldwide used lingua france. The Germans who use Federal Chancellor are not not fluent in English, but they just prefer the correct translated word of the office. Why? In this article different offices are put together under the headline "Chancellor of Germany" but I guess most Germans distinguish between Reichskanzler and Bundeskanzler!

Bund und Reich[edit]

Whatever your beef is with the Reich -- I didn't read it all -- just want to point out that Bund and Reich were/are used as shorthands for the State, just as the Crown is in UK (usually for its treasury, the really important part). The official name of Weimar Republic was still Deutsches Reich and Reich has a lot of meanings not only empire. I believe it was the Reich article where I already added some musings about that. Der Bund is often seen in constitution for the Federal state and I'm not aware of any regional chancellors, these we call Ministerpräsident of whatever. -- (talk) 09:21, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Timespan/year in article name[edit]

The lemma suggests a predestined end of the period where Germany has a chancellor, like it’s waiting to change it to Chancellor of Germany (1949–2016). While this may come true surprisingly, I suggest to move the article to Chancellor of Germany (since 1949) or something similiar. -- Gohnarch 13:32, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

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