Definitions

vice

vise

[vahys]

Device consisting of two parallel jaws for holding a workpiece. One of the jaws is fixed, and the other can be moved by a screw, lever, or cam. Vises used for holding a workpiece during hand operations (such as filing, hammering, or sawing) are usually permanently bolted to a bench. In vises designed to hold metallic workpieces, the faces of the jaws are hardened steel plates, often removable, with teeth that grip the workpiece. Woodworking vises have smooth jaws, often of wood, and rely on friction alone rather than on teeth.

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The Vice-Chancellor of Germany (Vizekanzler) in Germany is the second highest position in the cabinet, at least according to the protocol.

In case of the Chancellor's absence, the Vice-Chancellor acts in his place, for instance heading cabinet meetings. The Vice-Chancellor will not automatically become Chancellor for the rest of the term if the Chancellor dies or becomes unable to fulfill his duties in any other way. It is the Federal President who asks a Minister to fulfill the Chancellor's duties until the Federal Parliament elects a new Chancellor. Usually, the Federal President asks the Vice-Chancellor.

The Vice-Chancellor is not an independent office, but a Cabinet minister, often as Minister of Foreign Affairs (see below for exception).

Officially, it is the Chancellor who elects the Vice-Chancellor. Since coalition governments are usual in German politics, the Vice-Chancellor in most cases represents the junior coalition partner and is often the chairman of that party.

Term

The prefix "Vize-" is derived from the Latin "vicis" meaning "in place of". "Kanzler" is the traditional title of the head of government in Germany.

The proper term is in fact not Vizekanzler, although this word is generally used. The German constitution (Basic Law) in article 69 calls him the Stellvertreter des Bundeskanzlers (representative, deputy).

List of Vice-Chancellors

Deutsches Reich 1871-1945

Allgemeiner Stellvertreter des Reichskanzlers (Deputy General to the Chancellor)

Vice-Chancellor

  • Eugen Schiffer (DDP), 13 February - 19 April 1919 (as Deputy Minister-President); also Minister of Finances.
  • Bernhard Dernburg (DDP), 30 April - 20 June 1919 (as Deputy Minister-President); also Minister of Finances.
  • Matthias Erzberger (Centre Party), 21 June - 3 October 1919 (until 14 August 1919 as Deputy Minister-President); also Minister of Finances.
  • Eugen Schiffer (DDP), 3 October 1919 - 27 March 1920; also Minister of Justice.
  • Erich Koch-Weser (DDP), 27 March 1920 - 21 June 1920; also Minster of the Interior.
  • Rudolf Heinze (DVP), 25 June 1920 - 4 May 1921; also Minister of Justice.
  • Gustav Bauer (SPD), 10 May 1921 - 14 November 1922; also Minister of the Treasury.

vacant 1922-1923

  • Robert Schmidt (SPD), 13 August 1923 - 3 November 1923; also Minister for Reconstruction.
  • Karl Jarres (DVP), 30 November 1923 - 15 December 1924; also Minister of the Interior.

vacant 1925-1927

  • Oskar Hergt (DNVP), 28 January 1927 - 12 June 1928; also Minister of Justice.

vacant 1928-1930

vacant 1932-1933

  • Franz von Papen (non-partisan), 30 January 1933 - 7 August 1934; no government department.

After Papen's resignation, the office of Vice-Chancellor remained vacant until the demise of the Third Reich.

Federal Republic of Germany

Vice-Chancellors
# Name Term start Term end Party Portfolio
1 Franz Blücher (1896–1959) 20 September 1949 29 October 1957 FDP/FVP Marshall Plan
2 Ludwig Erhard (1897–1977) 29 October 1957 16 October 1963 CDU Economics
3 Erich Mende (1916–1998) 17 October 1963 28 October 1966 FDP Intra-German Relations
4 Hans-Christoph Seebohm
(1903–1967)
8 November 1966 30 November 1966 CDU Transport
5 Willy Brandt (1913–1992) 1 December 1966 20 October 1969 SPD Foreign Minister
6 Walter Scheel (b. 1919) 21 October 1969 16 May 1974 FDP Foreign Minister
7 Hans-Dietrich Genscher (b. 1927) 17 May 1974 17 September 1982 FDP Foreign Minister
8 Egon Franke (1913–1995) 17 September 1982 1 October 1982 SPD Intra-German Relations
9 Hans-Dietrich Genscher (b. 1927) 1 October 1982 17 May 1992 FDP Foreign Minister
10 Jürgen Möllemann (1945–2003) 18 May 1992 21 January 1993 FDP Economics
11 Klaus Kinkel (b. 1936) 21 January 1993 26 October 1998 FDP Foreign Minister
12 Joschka Fischer (b. 1948) 27 October 1998 22 November 2005 Green Foreign Minister
13 Franz Müntefering (b. 1940) 22 November 2005 21 November 2007 SPD Labour and Social Affairs
14 Frank-Walter Steinmeier (b. 1956) 21 November 2007 present SPD Foreign Minister

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