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"Führer" (sometimes rendered Fuehrer) was the title granted by German Chancellor Adolf Hitler to himself by law in 1934. The new position, fully named Führer und Reichskanzler ("Leader and Chancellor of the (Third) Reich"), unified the offices of President and Chancellor, formally making Hitler Germany's Head of State as well as Head of Government respectively; in practice, the Dictator of the Nazi German Reich.

For military matters, Hitler used the style Führer und Oberster Befehlshaber der Wehrmacht ("Leader and Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht"), until that addition was dropped by decree of the Führer. The style of the Head of State for use in foreign affairs was Führer und Reichskanzler ("Leader and National Chancellor") until it was changed to Führer des Grossdeutschen Reichs ("Leader of the Greater German Nation").

The title fell into disuse immediately upon Hitler's death in 1945.

Literary CommentEdit

Harry Turtledove has depicted the continued use of the title Führer in several timelines. In Worldwar, Hitler's successors used the title Führer und Reichskanzler. In In the Presence of Mine Enemies, Hitler's successors used the title Führer des Grossdeutschen Reichs or simply, Führer, implying that the office of chancellor had gone defunct.

In the Presence of Mine Enemies Edit

Between 1934 and 2011, the Greater German Reich was ruled by four different Führers. Otto von Bismarck was given honorary status posthumously.


Führer Term
1 Hitler Adolf Hitler 1934-mid 1960s
2 Himmler Heinrich Himmler Mid 1960s-1985
3 Nophoto Kurt Haldweim 1985-2010
4 Nophoto Heinz Buckliger 2010-2011
- Nophoto Odilo Globocnik Acting Führer,
24 hours in June 2011
(4) Nophoto Heinz Buckliger 2011-
Incumbent at novel's end

In 2011, the reform-minded Heinz Buckliger was temporarily overthrown during a Putsch launched by Reichsführer-SS Lothar Prützmann. Odilo Globocnik held the position of Acting Führer for about 24 hours until the Putsch was defeated and Buckliger was reinstalled.

Worldwar Edit

Between 1934 and 1966, four men are known to have held the office of Führer and Chancellor of Germany.


Führer and Chancellor Term
1 Hitler Adolf Hitler 1934-195?
2 Himmler Heinrich Himmler 195?-1964
3 Kaltenbrunner Ernst Kaltenbrunner 1965
4 Dornberger Walter Dornberger 1965-1980(?)
5-? Successors unnamed 1980(?)-2032

Heinrich Himmler died unexpectedly in 1964, while in the midst of planning an attack on Race-controlled Poland. After a brief regency by the Committee of Eight, his successor Ernst Kaltenbrunner initiated Himmler's plan, leading to the brief and catastrophic Race-German War of 1965, which saw the death of Kaltenbrunner, and the ascension of the moderate Walter Dornberger, essentially the last senior official still alive.

Under Dornberger and his successors, Germany rebuilt in secret, away from the watchful eyes of the Race. By 2031, the Reich had become a space-faring power once again, and the Race respected it as a potential rival once more.

Other FührersEdit

Adolf Hitler is or was the Führer of the Greater German Reich in the vast majority of Harry Turtledove works involving the Nazis and/or World War II, including After the Downfall, "Cayos in the Stream", the Days of Infamy series, "The Eighth-Grade History Class Visits the Hebrew Home for the Aging", "In This Season," Joe Steele (both novel and short story), "The Last Article", The Man With the Iron Heart, "Must and Shall," "News From the Front", and "The Phantom Tolbukhin". His role in these stories is usually limited to references.

Unnamed fantasy analogs of Hitler are referenced in The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump and The House of Daniel.

In "Shtetl Days," Hitler is remembered as the first Führer, but none of his successors are named.

In The War That Came Early series, Hitler is the only Führer of Germany. He is assassinated in a military coup in April 1944, and succeeded as German leader by Heinz Guderian, who abolishes the Nazi Party and its titles. 

In "Ready for the Fatherland", Erich von Manstein takes control of Germany after killing Hitler in 1943, and is still in power in 1953. Whatever title he uses as German leader is not revealed, nor is the identity of his successor.

See AlsoEdit

  • German Emperor, the head of state of Germany from 1871 to 1918 in OTL. Turtledove has presented nearly as many alternate versions of this office as he has of the Führer.
  • Duce, an Italian title meaning "boss" or "leader" used by Benito Mussolini. He was informally called this title during most of his term as the Prime Minister of Italy, and officially adopted it as the title of head of state of the short-lived Italian Social Republic. Hitler and other fascist leaders adopted Mussolini's model, styling themselves as "leaders" of their respective countries. In In the Presence of Mine Enemies, Mussolini's successors officially adopted the title "Duce" for the office of Italy's head of government, and continued to use it into the 21st Century.

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