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Quiz about German Leadership During and After the Split
Quiz about German Leadership During and After the Split

German Leadership During and After the Split Quiz

Here we're looking at post WWII German leaders - East, West, and unified. Can you match these ten German heads of state with the descriptions provided?

A matching quiz by PDAZ. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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4 mins
Match Quiz
Quiz #
Dec 03 21
# Qns
Avg Score
7 / 10
Last 3 plays: psnz (10/10), nasty_liar (10/10), ennerdale (8/10).
Mobile instructions: Press on an answer on the right. Then, press on the gray box it matches on the left.
(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer box and then on a left side box to move it.
1. West German Chancellor when the Berlin Wall went up  
Sabine Bergmann-Pohl
2. East German President 1949-1960  
Gerhard Schroeder
3. West German Chancellor during the 1972 Munich Olympics  
Wilhelm Pieck
4. East German Chairman 1960-1973 who authorized the Berlin Wall  
Manfred Gerlach
5. West German Chancellor when the Berlin Wall came down  
Konrad Adenauer
6. East German Chairman 1976-1989 who resigned shortly before the Berlin Wall broke  
Helmut Kohl
7. Last East German Chairman 1989-1990 and a non-Communist  
Angela Merkel
8. Last acting East German head of state 1990 prior to reunification  
Walter Ulbricht
9. Unified German Chancellor 1998-2005  
Erich Honecker
10. First unified German Chancellor from former East Germany  
Willy Brandt

Most Recent Scores
Today : psnz: 10/10
Sep 15 2023 : nasty_liar: 10/10
Sep 15 2023 : ennerdale: 8/10
Sep 13 2023 : bermalt: 10/10
Aug 08 2023 : Guest 159: 0/10

Score Distribution

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. West German Chancellor when the Berlin Wall went up

Answer: Konrad Adenauer

Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967) became the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) in 1949. During WWII, he had been an opponent of Hitler's and had been imprisoned a couple of times, including in 1944 when he was accused of being involved in a plot to kill Hitler. Considered one of the founding fathers of West Germany, Adenauer forged close relations with the west and rebuilt the FRG as an economic power following WWII.

In 1963, Adenauer resigned his position, turning the chancellorship over to Ludwig Erhard.

When Adenauer died a few years later, a poll of German citizens listed his greatest achievement as bringing home the remaining German prisoners from the USSR, and in a 2003 German public television poll, he was voted the greatest German of all time.
2. East German President 1949-1960

Answer: Wilhelm Pieck

The leadership of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) wasn't as clear-cut as the FRG. In the early years, the GDR had both a president and a prime minister who were joint Chairmen of the Socialist Party. Wilhelm Pieck (1876-1960) served as the president, and Otto Grotewohl (1894-1964) was the prime minister. Pieck was the strong communist who was supported by Joseph Stalin.

In 1949, he was declared the State President, a position he held until his death in 1960.
3. West German Chancellor during the 1972 Munich Olympics

Answer: Willy Brandt

Born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm, Willy Brandt (1913-1992) adopted his pseudonym during WWII to avoid being arrested by the Nazis, and he made the name official in 1948. He was a socialist who lectured against the Nazis while living abroad in Norway and Sweden during WWII.

He was the mayor of West Berlin when the Berlin Wall went up and in 1969 became the fourth FRG Chancellor, following Kurt Georg Kiesinger, who had followed Erhard. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971 for working to improve relations with the eastern bloc with his Ostpolitik campaign and pursued an ultimate goal of a united Europe. During the 1972 Munich Olympics, he received some criticism for the athletes' security and for not allowing Israeli special forces to assist, and relations between Israel and the FRG were tense at the time. Brandt left office in 1974 after one of his personal assistants was discovered to be an East German spy. Vice-Chancellor Walter Scheel was the acting Chancellor for just over a week before Helmut Schmidt assumed the position.
4. East German Chairman 1960-1973 who authorized the Berlin Wall

Answer: Walter Ulbricht

Walter Ulbricht (1893-1973) was a communist who left Germany during the Nazi purges and didn't return until the end of WWII. After his return, he played a key role in establishing East Germany as a socialist republic. Following Wilhelm Pieck's death, Johannes Dieckmann briefly served as the State President before the position was abolished and replaced with a State Council, for which Ulbricht became the first Chairman and de facto head of state.

He convinced Nikita Khrushchev that they needed to build a wall to keep people from emigrating from East Germany, which they did in 1961. Ulbricht apparently lost favor with the Soviets over the years, and in 1971 was forced to resign, reportedly due to ill health.
5. West German Chancellor when the Berlin Wall came down

Answer: Helmut Kohl

In 1982, Helmut Kohl assumed the chancellorship from Helmut Schmidt. Born in 1930, Kohl studied law, history, and political science before going into government service. He held several offices before becoming the Chairman of the Christian Democratic Union in 1973, a position he held until 1988.

He controversially became Chancellor of the FRG in 1982 due to a coalition that was reviewed and ultimately approved by the German Federal Constitutional Court, but he had a convincing victory in federal elections the following year. During his tenure, he saw the end of the Cold War and presided over the unification of East and West Germany.

He also was instrumental in the signing of the Maastricht Treaty, pushing for a unified Europe and a single currency.

His tenure ended in 1998 amid rising unemployment.
6. East German Chairman 1976-1989 who resigned shortly before the Berlin Wall broke

Answer: Erich Honecker

Erich Honecker (1912-1994) was a communist back during the Nazi era and spent WWII in prison for treasonous activities. He joined the Socialist Unity Party after the war and ended up spending two years in Moscow at the School of the Soviet Communist Party.

He returned to the GDR in 1958, becoming the Party Security Secretary. Although the Berlin Wall was authorized under Walter Ulbricht, Honecker was the main organizer and a proponent of the "shoot to kill" orders along the border. In the 1980s, Honecker clashed with Gorbachev and refused to implement the reforms that were being pushed in other Warsaw Pact nations.

In the summer of 1989, illness sidelined him for a couple months at the same time that East Germans were pressing for the freedoms that the citizens of other Eastern bloc nations were starting to receive.

He was finally pushed out of office by the second-in-command, Egon Krenz, who would replace him as the last communist East German Chairman. Honecker was then investigated for corruption during his term in office as well as for manslaughter for the deaths of those who tried to escape from the GDR.

He spent time in custody but the charges were ultimately dropped due to his failing health. Honecker died in exile in Santiago, Chile, at the age of 81.
7. Last East German Chairman 1989-1990 and a non-Communist

Answer: Manfred Gerlach

Manfred Gerlach (1928-2011) was a member of the resistance during World War II and was arrested as a member of an anti-fascist youth group. After the war, he was a supporter of the Liberal Democratic Party of Germany (LDPD), and although he received awards from the GDR government, such as the Order of Karl Marx in 1988, he supported liberalization of the hard-line policies.

After the Berlin Wall fell, he replaced communist Egon Krenz (who had only held the position for a couple of months) as the Chairman of the Council of State, becoming the first non-communist to lead the GDR.
8. Last acting East German head of state 1990 prior to reunification

Answer: Sabine Bergmann-Pohl

Sabine Bergmann-Pohl became the final acting head of state for the GDR in April 1990 and relinquished the role in October 1990. Born in 1946, she was a doctor specializing in lung diseases who began her public career with an election to the district office in East Berlin in 1987.

She was elected to the People's Chamber in March 1990 and was chosen as its President. Since the State Council which formerly supplied the head of state was abolished around the same time, she became the de facto head of state.

She served in Helmut Kohl's government following the reunification.
9. Unified German Chancellor 1998-2005

Answer: Gerhard Schroeder

Gerhard Schroeder became Chancellor of the unified Germany in 1998. Born during WWII in 1944, his father was killed in action several months after his birth. He became a lawyer, and in 1980 was elected to the Bundestag as a member of the Social Democratic Party.

He became President of the Bundesrat in 1997 before becoming Chancellor. During his term, he was known for the Agenda 2010 reform which reduced social welfare benefits and lowered taxes. He was also known for German military participation in NATO, with German troops being sent to Kosovo and Afghanistan.
10. First unified German Chancellor from former East Germany

Answer: Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel assumed the chancellorship from Schroeder following the 2005 elections. Born in 1954 in Hamburg, West Germany, her family moved to Templin in East Germany, shortly after her birth because her father was a pastor and had received an assignment there.

She received a doctorate in physics and worked as a researcher before getting into politics. She was elected to the Bundestag in 1990 following reunification and became the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in 2000. In the 2005 elections, neither the CDU coalition or Shroeder's Social Democratic Party coalition won a majority, and it was only after negotiations that Merkel became Chancellor.
Source: Author PDAZ

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