This category is not for articles on characters who were Chancellors of Germany, but to group the OTL and Alternate Timeline Chancellor categories for supercategorization purposes. Articles on characters who held the office of Chancellor should still be put into one or both of those categories, not this one.
The Chancellor of Germany is the head of government of Germany. In German politics the Chancellor is equivalent to that of a Prime Minister in many other countries.
The office of Chancellor has a long history, stemming back to the Holy Roman Empire. The title was at times used in several states of German-speaking Europe. The modern office of Chancellor was established with the North German Confederation, of which Otto von Bismarck became Chancellor in 1867. After the Unification of Germany in 1871, the office became known in German as Reichskanzler, although it continued to be referred to as Chancellor in English.
With the collapse of the empire in 1918, a republic, known as the Weimar Republic, was formed, with a presidential office replacing the emperor as the German head of state. The Chancellor continued on as head of government. While the intent was that the presidency would share power with the chancellor and the Reichstag, the instability of the Republic resulted in a very powerful presidency, and a relatively weak chancellorship.
In 1933, Adolf Hitler was able to successfully attain the office of chancellor. In 1934, with the death of President Paul von Hindenburg, Hitler also assumed the office of head of state, retitling it Führer. Josef Goebbels very briefly succeeded Hitler as Chancellor in April 1945 upon Hitler's suicide. Goebbels also committed suicide, however, and it fell to Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk as leading minister to surrender to the Allies.
With the split of Germany into West and East in 1949, two lines of heads of government emerged. The 1949 constitution of West Germany gave the Chancellor greater powers than during the Weimar Republic, while diminishing the role of the President. This line of Chancellors was maintained after the reunification of Germany in 1990. Germany is today often referred to as a "chancellor democracy", reflecting the de facto role of the Chancellor as the country's chief executive.
In East Germany, the head of government was the Chairman of the Council of Ministers. As the Socialist Unity Party held the power in East Germany, the chairman was subordinate to the party leader.