List of German Chancellors (1949 - 2030)

TL #6 - Hitlers Rheinfall
What if the United Kingdom and France, with Italo-Austrian support, go to war against Nazi Germany over remilitarisation of the Rhineland?

List of Chancellors of the German Republic

1933: Adolf Hitler (NSDAP)
1937: Otto Braun (SPD-DDP) [1]
1941:
Wilhelm Hoegner (SPD-DDP-BVP) [2]
1950: Hermann Pünder (CNU-
DVP) [3]
1954: Hermann Pünder (CNU-DVP) [4]

1958: Fritz Ebert (SPD-DDP-SAPD) [5]
1960: Robert Bialek (SAPD-SPD) [6]
1965: Robert Bialek (SAPD-SPD-SPÖ) [7]

1968: Annemarie Renger (SAPD-SPD-SPÖ) [7]
1969: Otto von Habsburg independent ( CNU -DÖVP - DDP - DVP - SVWM ) [8]
1971: Fritz Thielen (DNVP/ÖVP-BFB-MStP-HP-PUU) [9]

[1]
France - fearing a far-right/nationalist or a far-left/communist victory in the upcoming election - called upon the United Kingdom for support in a war against Germany, and London agreed that the remilitarisation of the Rhineland was indeed enough to invoke the alliance (Bündnisfall). And, against the only very recently rebuilt Wehrmacht and the as-of-yet meager Luftwaffe, it was a quick war. It was the following (short) civil war against both fanaticised SS units and communist resistance which actually led to more fatalities than the fight against the Wehrmacht. But thanks to Austrian, Polish and even Italian assistance, by 1937, a second constitutional convention had been called. While France advocated a more presidential system, it was an Anglo-Polish-Czech-German proposal of strengthening the role of the Chancellor, more clearly delineating an emergency according to art. 48, limiting the power of the President to rule by such Art. 48 emergency decrees to one year at most, banning changes to the constitution via emergency decrees, clarifying basic human and civil rights, and - most importantly - fundamentally reforming the electoral system to a Westminster system, which was accepted. Contrary to the UK, Germany's diversity of parties meant that coalitions were not quite as unlikely in Berlin as in London. 1937 saw the first free and fair elections held under the new system, and while many expected a rather right-wing Franz von Papen chancellorship, it was Otto Braun's SPD who won the election. Both KPD and NSDAP had been banned by a newly created institution, the Verfassungsgerichtshof (Constitutional Court) in Bremen.
Also, a referendum in Danzig had been held in August 1937, yielding 79,4 % support for rejoining the German Republic. A similar result of 72,5 % was obtained in Memelland, and thus, both once split-off parts rejoined Germany. But a major threat to this new order of Europe was arising, not from Berlin, but from Moscow as Stalin tried to incite communist dissidents and parts of the radicalised working class to rise up across Eastern Europe, especially the Baltics and Poland... Britain and even France saw themselves forced to de facto ally with the new democratic Germany (de jure, they only - relatively quickly - lifted restrictions on the armed forces which, as 1933-36 had shown, were barely enforceable anyway and relaxed on reparations).


[2] To everyone's surprise, the coalition held for the whole 4 year term, but failed to get a majority in the next election, though barely. Otto Braun decided to retire. SPD and DDP where willing to continue governing, but needed a third partner. Eventually they settled on the Bavarian Peoples Party, and Bavarian Social Democrat Hoegner as new chancellor. The advantages of having a fellow Bavarian as chancellor outweighed the downside of him being a Social Democrat. ;-)

[3] The war that everyone thought would already break out in Braun's term (and which might well have torn the new system asunder) broke out in early 1942 when, after the USSR had been able to erect a communist puppet regime under Bolesław Bierut in Poland, Japan incited counter-revolutionaries in Mongolia and the Russian Far East. After an episode of war in Mongolia and Tannu-Tuva, where it became evident that the British and French (at least) had come to support Japan, Stalin attacked the Baltic nations and Finland on April 28, 1942. Wilhelm Hoegner took the opposition of CNU (a merger of Zentrum and the more nationalist parts of the DVP, together with some small Christian/conservative splinter parties, to represent all Christian denominations), DVP and even the DNVP into an all-party coalition. As the war was raging on throughout Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and most parts of Asia, the 1945 election was - as was allowed in "case of war or another national emergency, to be confirmed every year by the Bundestag" - postponed for four years. And the allies (Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, but also Japan and later on the USA) won the war against the USSR, Poland, Yugoslavia, Romania, Mongolia, Tannu-Tuva, and quite a few revolutionary collaborators decisively. The Baltics and Finland were kept free, and Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Dagestan, Chechnya, Mongolia, Tannu-Tuva, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan were liberated. After the war, the USSR was limited to territory east of the Urals and west of the Lena River and some of Central Asia (namely Kazakhstan and parts of Uzbekistan). To the west of the Urals, on the backs of anti-communist rebels/freedom fighters, the Russian Empire was restored under the closest available relative of the Romanovs, while the Far-Eastern Republic was a member of the - unstable - GEACPS. A new type of weapon was also developed, called - even officially - Atombombe, but the test of this device on September 5, 1949 in the remote northern reaches of Finland impressed the USSR into accepting the unconditional surrender and the Treaty of T'bilisi. Hoegner only called elections when the war was over, and at this point, Germany was once again a great power, but a great power within a framework of European allies and newly liberated nations. But, to many people's surprise and even shock, Hoegner and his coalition lost to the candidacy of Hermann Pünder of the CNU, who entered a coalition with the DVP. By the time Pünder was inaugurated as Chancellor, Japan had to retreat from the Far-Eastern Republic, but their occupational duties were taken up by the US soon after, so that the FER was likely to be remodeled on the American system...

[4] Pünder's doctrines of free trade and movement, equal opportunity and economic pragmatism helped establish the conventions of the post-war Parliament and unite (to an extent) the disparate groups which it represented. Even so, the CNU-DVP coalition barely managed to maintain a slim majority in their re-election, . This election also saw the formation and merging of a number of parties including the first socialist-monarchist party to participate in a general election (running in three seats - none would win).

[5] By the end of the 50s, the Germans have become used to the democratic system and to governments lasting for the entire term. Also the Early years of Weimar where seen in a more positive light. This includes most of the politicians of that time. But the CNU and the DVP showed fatigue in governing, it was time for a change. The new government was led by the son of the former Reichspräsident in a coalition iwth the left liberal DDP and the 1931 formed SDAP that had soaked up most of the former KDP electorate.

[6] And this was to be the first government of the "Second Weimar Republic" (called that because the constitutional convention of 1937 had once again been held in Weimar) to not last the entire term. However, transition of power went rather smoothly.
A scandal over armament deals with the far-right military-led government of Turkey and dubious flows of money between officials, magnates of the budding tourism industry and real estate magnates (or "property sharks") - tourism to the southern coast of Turkey was booming in a way that this region was beginning to be called 34. Bundesland ("the thirty-fourth state"), aggravated by hefty debates over liberalisation of morally laden criminal laws - notably, the liberalisation of the 1920s had, not stifled by twelve years of totalitarian insane dictatorship, picked up again by the mid-1950s - led the DDP (ironically, elements of this party were against decriminalisation of homosexuality, adultery, procuration, most forms of blasphemy, against decriminalisation of first-trimester abortion etc.) to withdraw their ministers from the cabinet. Fritz Ebert, after not being able to agree to a coalition with CNU or SAPD, had President Konrad Adenauer dissolve the Bundestag. New elections were called.

And everyone expected Germany to once again elect a right-wing government. CNU, DVP, NLP or even DNVP were expected to make the most gains. And although it indeed was the DVP which made the highest gains in percentage points, SAPD and SPD reached an absolute majority of seats. Minister of Labour and interim Minister of Justice and Postal Services, Robert Bialek, thus became the first chancellor of the SAPD.

In 1962, many came to celebrate Bialek as, after (formal) consent by the Entente powers (as they were still often called) and a referendum yielding 61,9 % approval, Austria joined Germany as another four Bundesländer (one encompassing Vorarlberg, Tyrol and Salzburg; the second one Niederösterreich, Oberösterreich and Burgenland, and the third Carinthia and Styria - now once again including Lower Styria as Yugoslavia had been defeated, and Vienna was spun-off as a city-state like Hamburg, Bremen and Danzig).
However, quite a few also feared the trend of liberalisation and, completely bogus as this claim was, a few ultraconservatives and reactionaries feared a communist takeover of Germany. Some protests and demonstrations against Bialek were seen towards the end of his term, but most were very happy with Bialek's legacy and the new liberty that came with the reformed criminal code, now just called StGB. Many even actively campaigned for him as he ran for reelection in 1965.

[7] Bialek's broad popularity saw the SAPD consolidate its lead over the SPD, though with the new Austrian states, the two parties fell short of a combined majority. The Socialist Party of Austria, which had strongly supported unification and cultivated close ties to both the SAPD and SPD, triumphed in the new states. The governing parties were more than happy to bring the SPÖ into the fold, both for ideological reasons and as a show of national unity. While this result satisfied the greater public, the strengthened position of the socialist forces alarmed the right-wing. They now counted among their ranks two new Austrian parties: the clericalist Catholics, the bulk of whom had opposed unification, and the "Großdeutsche" pan-nationalists, who had enthusiastically supported it. Though more diverse than ever, the conservative opposition all shared a vehement anti-socialism, and spoke with one voice against the Bialek government. Though initially out of step with the public mood, they found themselves vindicated when the economic situation took a turn for the worse. This was exacerbated by difficulties in properly integrating Austria, which lagged behind the rest of the country in economic development and investment. The conservatives hit hard on the Bialek government, attributing the downturn to socialist mismanagement and accusing Bialek of ignoring the health of the economy in favour of pandering to "gays, feminists, and criminals." The public became increasingly dissatisfied, and the situation was not helped by reports that the first Bialek government had sent bribes over the border to entice the Austrian government to pursue unification - Bialek himself had reportedly boasted privately that it would "guarantee a socialist government, not only in the Bundestag but the states too, for 20 years or more."

The government's popularity floundered throughout the winter of 1967-8, and the coalition became increasingly dissatisfied with their situation. With the opposition polling well and Bialek's reputation tarnished, there were rumblings that he had to go. One morning in early March, the Chancellor received a delegation of party powerbrokers in his office. Several hours later, the meeting concluded, and Bialek held a press conference to announce his resignation. He stated that he was no longer the best person to lead the government, but failed to endorse a successor. Speculation ran rampant about who could be next, or whether the SAPD would even remain at the helm of government. In recent years, it seemed that the party had become almost synonymous with Bialek himself. Three frenzied days and sleepless nights later, the governing parties jointly nominated Social Democratic Party whip Annemarie Renger to become the next Chancellor. She was confirmed by a motion of confidence in the Bundestag. Amidst a recession and a slew of scandals, and with an election on the horizon, the first woman to lead Germany was not in an enviable position.


[8] Annemarie Renger had little fortune. On the one hand, there was a demand for change, on the other she had not been long enough in office to get any boost from being the incumbent. And while it had always been her aim to show that a woman can do the job just as well, this time she simply did not have the time. Forming a new government after the election was complicated. While no liberal or conservative party was willing to work under Renger (SPD was still the strongest party) they also had trouble to decide among themselves which party would get the chancellorship.
Eventually and to almost everybodies surprise, they settled on von Habsburg. The German-Austrian unification had gotten rid of the limitations on political engagement for the Habsburg family. Whether deliberatly or by accident is still a popular topic for historical debate today. As an Independent, he not also got the Deutsch-Östereichische-Volkspartei ( German-Austrian-Peoples-Party), but also the tiny Sozialistische Volksbewegung zur Wiedereinführung der Monarchie ( with 2 seats) ( Peoples Movement for the Reintroduction of the Monarchy to back his government.
EDIT: @Harry_Z_Trumen came up with the idea of a Socialist Monarchist party so I thought, ok, let's do that. "Volksbewegung zur Wiedereinführung der Monarchie" is of course a refference to the Andreas Eschbach Novel 'Ein König für Deutschland'

[9]: But the coalition of the liberal centre-right was not stable either, and it did not enact conservative reforms which the people desired after the Bialek andRenger chancellorships. Even Germany's youth, who had grown up with mostly the left in governments (but at the same time hearing stories of how, in World War II, the totalitarian dictatorship of the Soviet Union had been defeated), took to the streets for socially extremely conservative, but economically liberal to libertarian, reforms, and they elected far-right parties. And it was Fritz Thielen's DNVP who gained by far the most votes and seats, even outperforming SPD. By now, most Austrian parties remained only nominally separate from their German counterparts.

Thus, although Thielen's coalition was also composed of six parties, it was anticipated to be much more stable than the two previous governments as DNVP/ÖVP (the NLP had been subsumed into the DNVP/ÖVP again during the Renger chancellorship) and BFB (Bauern- und Forstbund, a Junker/agrarian party) were by far the largest partners. The latter three partners (Mittelstandspartei, Handwerkspartei and Partei Unabhängiger Unternehmer ) were economically libertarian splinter groups from the DDP, DVP and CNU respectively, and some believed they were close to unification.

And almost immediately after Thielen's election, the economy picked up again. Though no ultra-reactionary reforms could be enacted (e.g. homosexuality could not be completely recriminalised), several criminal laws were indeed tightened again and the political climate had now clearly turned towards social conservatism, if not reaction...
 
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TL #6 - Hitlers Rheinfall
What if the United Kingdom and France, with Italo-Austrian support, go to war against Nazi Germany over remilitarisation of the Rhineland?

List of Chancellors of the German Republic

1933: Adolf Hitler (NSDAP)
1937: Otto Braun (SPD-DDP) [1]
1941:
Wilhelm Hoegner (SPD-DDP-BVP) [2]
1950: Hermann Pünder (CNU-
DVP) [3]
1954: Hermann Pünder (CNU-DVP) [4]

1958: Fritz Ebert (SPD-DDP-SAPD) [5]
1960: Robert Bialek (SAPD-SPD) [6]
1965: Robert Bialek (SAPD-SPD-SPÖ) [7]

1968: Annemarie Renger (SAPD-SPD-SPÖ) [7]
1969: Otto von Habsburg independent ( CNU -DÖVP - DDP - DVP - SVWM ) [8]
1971: Fritz Thielen (DNVP/ÖVP-BFB-MStP-HP-PUU) [9]
1973: Fritz Thielen (NVv) [10]

[1]
France - fearing a far-right/nationalist or a far-left/communist victory in the upcoming election - called upon the United Kingdom for support in a war against Germany, and London agreed that the remilitarisation of the Rhineland was indeed enough to invoke the alliance (Bündnisfall). And, against the only very recently rebuilt Wehrmacht and the as-of-yet meager Luftwaffe, it was a quick war. It was the following (short) civil war against both fanaticised SS units and communist resistance which actually led to more fatalities than the fight against the Wehrmacht. But thanks to Austrian, Polish and even Italian assistance, by 1937, a second constitutional convention had been called. While France advocated a more presidential system, it was an Anglo-Polish-Czech-German proposal of strengthening the role of the Chancellor, more clearly delineating an emergency according to art. 48, limiting the power of the President to rule by such Art. 48 emergency decrees to one year at most, banning changes to the constitution via emergency decrees, clarifying basic human and civil rights, and - most importantly - fundamentally reforming the electoral system to a Westminster system, which was accepted. Contrary to the UK, Germany's diversity of parties meant that coalitions were not quite as unlikely in Berlin as in London. 1937 saw the first free and fair elections held under the new system, and while many expected a rather right-wing Franz von Papen chancellorship, it was Otto Braun's SPD who won the election. Both KPD and NSDAP had been banned by a newly created institution, the Verfassungsgerichtshof (Constitutional Court) in Bremen.
Also, a referendum in Danzig had been held in August 1937, yielding 79,4 % support for rejoining the German Republic. A similar result of 72,5 % was obtained in Memelland, and thus, both once split-off parts rejoined Germany. But a major threat to this new order of Europe was arising, not from Berlin, but from Moscow as Stalin tried to incite communist dissidents and parts of the radicalised working class to rise up across Eastern Europe, especially the Baltics and Poland... Britain and even France saw themselves forced to de facto ally with the new democratic Germany (de jure, they only - relatively quickly - lifted restrictions on the armed forces which, as 1933-36 had shown, were barely enforceable anyway and relaxed on reparations).


[2] To everyone's surprise, the coalition held for the whole 4 year term, but failed to get a majority in the next election, though barely. Otto Braun decided to retire. SPD and DDP where willing to continue governing, but needed a third partner. Eventually they settled on the Bavarian Peoples Party, and Bavarian Social Democrat Hoegner as new chancellor. The advantages of having a fellow Bavarian as chancellor outweighed the downside of him being a Social Democrat. ;-)

[3] The war that everyone thought would already break out in Braun's term (and which might well have torn the new system asunder) broke out in early 1942 when, after the USSR had been able to erect a communist puppet regime under Bolesław Bierut in Poland, Japan incited counter-revolutionaries in Mongolia and the Russian Far East. After an episode of war in Mongolia and Tannu-Tuva, where it became evident that the British and French (at least) had come to support Japan, Stalin attacked the Baltic nations and Finland on April 28, 1942. Wilhelm Hoegner took the opposition of CNU (a merger of Zentrum and the more nationalist parts of the DVP, together with some small Christian/conservative splinter parties, to represent all Christian denominations), DVP and even the DNVP into an all-party coalition. As the war was raging on throughout Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and most parts of Asia, the 1945 election was - as was allowed in "case of war or another national emergency, to be confirmed every year by the Bundestag" - postponed for four years. And the allies (Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, but also Japan and later on the USA) won the war against the USSR, Poland, Yugoslavia, Romania, Mongolia, Tannu-Tuva, and quite a few revolutionary collaborators decisively. The Baltics and Finland were kept free, and Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Dagestan, Chechnya, Mongolia, Tannu-Tuva, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan were liberated. After the war, the USSR was limited to territory east of the Urals and west of the Lena River and some of Central Asia (namely Kazakhstan and parts of Uzbekistan). To the west of the Urals, on the backs of anti-communist rebels/freedom fighters, the Russian Empire was restored under the closest available relative of the Romanovs, while the Far-Eastern Republic was a member of the - unstable - GEACPS. A new type of weapon was also developed, called - even officially - Atombombe, but the test of this device on September 5, 1949 in the remote northern reaches of Finland impressed the USSR into accepting the unconditional surrender and the Treaty of T'bilisi. Hoegner only called elections when the war was over, and at this point, Germany was once again a great power, but a great power within a framework of European allies and newly liberated nations. But, to many people's surprise and even shock, Hoegner and his coalition lost to the candidacy of Hermann Pünder of the CNU, who entered a coalition with the DVP. By the time Pünder was inaugurated as Chancellor, Japan had to retreat from the Far-Eastern Republic, but their occupational duties were taken up by the US soon after, so that the FER was likely to be remodeled on the American system...

[4] Pünder's doctrines of free trade and movement, equal opportunity and economic pragmatism helped establish the conventions of the post-war Parliament and unite (to an extent) the disparate groups which it represented. Even so, the CNU-DVP coalition barely managed to maintain a slim majority in their re-election, . This election also saw the formation and merging of a number of parties including the first socialist-monarchist party to participate in a general election (running in three seats - none would win).

[5] By the end of the 50s, the Germans have become used to the democratic system and to governments lasting for the entire term. Also the Early years of Weimar where seen in a more positive light. This includes most of the politicians of that time. But the CNU and the DVP showed fatigue in governing, it was time for a change. The new government was led by the son of the former Reichspräsident in a coalition iwth the left liberal DDP and the 1931 formed SDAP that had soaked up most of the former KDP electorate.

[6] And this was to be the first government of the "Second Weimar Republic" (called that because the constitutional convention of 1937 had once again been held in Weimar) to not last the entire term. However, transition of power went rather smoothly.
A scandal over armament deals with the far-right military-led government of Turkey and dubious flows of money between officials, magnates of the budding tourism industry and real estate magnates (or "property sharks") - tourism to the southern coast of Turkey was booming in a way that this region was beginning to be called 34. Bundesland ("the thirty-fourth state"), aggravated by hefty debates over liberalisation of morally laden criminal laws - notably, the liberalisation of the 1920s had, not stifled by twelve years of totalitarian insane dictatorship, picked up again by the mid-1950s - led the DDP (ironically, elements of this party were against decriminalisation of homosexuality, adultery, procuration, most forms of blasphemy, against decriminalisation of first-trimester abortion etc.) to withdraw their ministers from the cabinet. Fritz Ebert, after not being able to agree to a coalition with CNU or SAPD, had President Konrad Adenauer dissolve the Bundestag. New elections were called.

And everyone expected Germany to once again elect a right-wing government. CNU, DVP, NLP or even DNVP were expected to make the most gains. And although it indeed was the DVP which made the highest gains in percentage points, SAPD and SPD reached an absolute majority of seats. Minister of Labour and interim Minister of Justice and Postal Services, Robert Bialek, thus became the first chancellor of the SAPD.

In 1962, many came to celebrate Bialek as, after (formal) consent by the Entente powers (as they were still often called) and a referendum yielding 61,9 % approval, Austria joined Germany as another four Bundesländer (one encompassing Vorarlberg, Tyrol and Salzburg; the second one Niederösterreich, Oberösterreich and Burgenland, and the third Carinthia and Styria - now once again including Lower Styria as Yugoslavia had been defeated, and Vienna was spun-off as a city-state like Hamburg, Bremen and Danzig).
However, quite a few also feared the trend of liberalisation and, completely bogus as this claim was, a few ultraconservatives and reactionaries feared a communist takeover of Germany. Some protests and demonstrations against Bialek were seen towards the end of his term, but most were very happy with Bialek's legacy and the new liberty that came with the reformed criminal code, now just called StGB. Many even actively campaigned for him as he ran for reelection in 1965.

[7] Bialek's broad popularity saw the SAPD consolidate its lead over the SPD, though with the new Austrian states, the two parties fell short of a combined majority. The Socialist Party of Austria, which had strongly supported unification and cultivated close ties to both the SAPD and SPD, triumphed in the new states. The governing parties were more than happy to bring the SPÖ into the fold, both for ideological reasons and as a show of national unity. While this result satisfied the greater public, the strengthened position of the socialist forces alarmed the right-wing. They now counted among their ranks two new Austrian parties: the clericalist Catholics, the bulk of whom had opposed unification, and the "Großdeutsche" pan-nationalists, who had enthusiastically supported it. Though more diverse than ever, the conservative opposition all shared a vehement anti-socialism, and spoke with one voice against the Bialek government. Though initially out of step with the public mood, they found themselves vindicated when the economic situation took a turn for the worse. This was exacerbated by difficulties in properly integrating Austria, which lagged behind the rest of the country in economic development and investment. The conservatives hit hard on the Bialek government, attributing the downturn to socialist mismanagement and accusing Bialek of ignoring the health of the economy in favour of pandering to "gays, feminists, and criminals." The public became increasingly dissatisfied, and the situation was not helped by reports that the first Bialek government had sent bribes over the border to entice the Austrian government to pursue unification - Bialek himself had reportedly boasted privately that it would "guarantee a socialist government, not only in the Bundestag but the states too, for 20 years or more."

The government's popularity floundered throughout the winter of 1967-8, and the coalition became increasingly dissatisfied with their situation. With the opposition polling well and Bialek's reputation tarnished, there were rumblings that he had to go. One morning in early March, the Chancellor received a delegation of party powerbrokers in his office. Several hours later, the meeting concluded, and Bialek held a press conference to announce his resignation. He stated that he was no longer the best person to lead the government, but failed to endorse a successor. Speculation ran rampant about who could be next, or whether the SAPD would even remain at the helm of government. In recent years, it seemed that the party had become almost synonymous with Bialek himself. Three frenzied days and sleepless nights later, the governing parties jointly nominated Social Democratic Party whip Annemarie Renger to become the next Chancellor. She was confirmed by a motion of confidence in the Bundestag. Amidst a recession and a slew of scandals, and with an election on the horizon, the first woman to lead Germany was not in an enviable position.


[8] Annemarie Renger had little fortune. On the one hand, there was a demand for change, on the other she had not been long enough in office to get any boost from being the incumbent. And while it had always been her aim to show that a woman can do the job just as well, this time she simply did not have the time. Forming a new government after the election was complicated. While no liberal or conservative party was willing to work under Renger (SPD was still the strongest party) they also had trouble to decide among themselves which party would get the chancellorship.
Eventually and to almost everybodies surprise, they settled on von Habsburg. The German-Austrian unification had gotten rid of the limitations on political engagement for the Habsburg family. Whether deliberatly or by accident is still a popular topic for historical debate today. As an Independent, he not also got the Deutsch-Östereichische-Volkspartei ( German-Austrian-Peoples-Party), but also the tiny Sozialistische Volksbewegung zur Wiedereinführung der Monarchie ( with 2 seats) ( Peoples Movement for the Reintroduction of the Monarchy to back his government.
EDIT: @Harry_Z_Trumen came up with the idea of a Socialist Monarchist party so I thought, ok, let's do that. "Volksbewegung zur Wiedereinführung der Monarchie" is of course a refference to the Andreas Eschbach Novel 'Ein König für Deutschland'

[9]: But the coalition of the liberal centre-right was not stable either, and it did not enact conservative reforms which the people desired after the Bialek andRenger chancellorships. Even Germany's youth, who had grown up with mostly the left in governments (but at the same time hearing stories of how, in World War II, the totalitarian dictatorship of the Soviet Union had been defeated), took to the streets for socially extremely conservative, but economically liberal to libertarian, reforms, and they elected far-right parties. And it was Fritz Thielen's DNVP who gained by far the most votes and seats, even outperforming SPD. By now, most Austrian parties remained only nominally separate from their German counterparts.

Thus, although Thielen's coalition was also composed of six parties, it was anticipated to be much more stable than the two previous governments as DNVP/ÖVP (the NLP had been subsumed into the DNVP/ÖVP again during the Renger chancellorship) and BFB (Bauern- und Forstbund, a Junker/agrarian party) were by far the largest partners. The latter three partners (Mittelstandspartei, Handwerkspartei and Partei Unabhängiger Unternehmer ) were economically libertarian splinter groups from the DDP, DVP and CNU respectively, and some believed they were close to unification.

And almost immediately after Thielen's election, the economy picked up again. Though no ultra-reactionary reforms could be enacted (e.g. homosexuality could not be completely recriminalised), several criminal laws were indeed tightened again and the political climate had now clearly turned towards social conservatism, if not reaction...

[10] In a surprising move, Chancellor Thielen negotiated with the SPD/SPÖ the introduction of a new two-round majority voting system, introducing a de facto two-party system in the future. The allied parties of the coalition agreed to merge into the Nationale Volksversammlung, the new main right of center party, which despite some defections of MPs, refusing the merger and forming new minor parties, retained a majority in parliament.
 
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TL #6 - Hitlers Rheinfall
What if the United Kingdom and France, with Italo-Austrian support, go to war against Nazi Germany over remilitarisation of the Rhineland?

List of Chancellors of the German Republic

1933: Adolf Hitler (NSDAP)
1937: Otto Braun (SPD-DDP) [1]
1941:
Wilhelm Hoegner (SPD-DDP-BVP) [2]
1950: Hermann Pünder (CNU-
DVP) [3]
1954: Hermann Pünder (CNU-DVP) [4]

1958: Fritz Ebert (SPD-DDP-SAPD) [5]
1960: Robert Bialek (SAPD-SPD) [6]
1965: Robert Bialek (SAPD-SPD-SPÖ) [7]

1968: Annemarie Renger (SAPD-SPD-SPÖ) [7]
1969: Otto von Habsburg independent ( CNU -DÖVP - DDP - DVP - SVWM ) [8]
1971: Fritz Thielen (DNVP/ÖVP-BFB-MStP-HP-PUU) [9]
1973: Fritz Thielen (NVv) [10]
1977: Fritz Thielen (NVv) [11]



[1]
France - fearing a far-right/nationalist or a far-left/communist victory in the upcoming election - called upon the United Kingdom for support in a war against Germany, and London agreed that the remilitarisation of the Rhineland was indeed enough to invoke the alliance (Bündnisfall). And, against the only very recently rebuilt Wehrmacht and the as-of-yet meager Luftwaffe, it was a quick war. It was the following (short) civil war against both fanaticised SS units and communist resistance which actually led to more fatalities than the fight against the Wehrmacht. But thanks to Austrian, Polish and even Italian assistance, by 1937, a second constitutional convention had been called. While France advocated a more presidential system, it was an Anglo-Polish-Czech-German proposal of strengthening the role of the Chancellor, more clearly delineating an emergency according to art. 48, limiting the power of the President to rule by such Art. 48 emergency decrees to one year at most, banning changes to the constitution via emergency decrees, clarifying basic human and civil rights, and - most importantly - fundamentally reforming the electoral system to a Westminster system, which was accepted. Contrary to the UK, Germany's diversity of parties meant that coalitions were not quite as unlikely in Berlin as in London. 1937 saw the first free and fair elections held under the new system, and while many expected a rather right-wing Franz von Papen chancellorship, it was Otto Braun's SPD who won the election. Both KPD and NSDAP had been banned by a newly created institution, the Verfassungsgerichtshof (Constitutional Court) in Bremen.
Also, a referendum in Danzig had been held in August 1937, yielding 79,4 % support for rejoining the German Republic. A similar result of 72,5 % was obtained in Memelland, and thus, both once split-off parts rejoined Germany. But a major threat to this new order of Europe was arising, not from Berlin, but from Moscow as Stalin tried to incite communist dissidents and parts of the radicalised working class to rise up across Eastern Europe, especially the Baltics and Poland... Britain and even France saw themselves forced to de facto ally with the new democratic Germany (de jure, they only - relatively quickly - lifted restrictions on the armed forces which, as 1933-36 had shown, were barely enforceable anyway and relaxed on reparations).


[2] To everyone's surprise, the coalition held for the whole 4 year term, but failed to get a majority in the next election, though barely. Otto Braun decided to retire. SPD and DDP where willing to continue governing, but needed a third partner. Eventually they settled on the Bavarian Peoples Party, and Bavarian Social Democrat Hoegner as new chancellor. The advantages of having a fellow Bavarian as chancellor outweighed the downside of him being a Social Democrat. ;-)

[3] The war that everyone thought would already break out in Braun's term (and which might well have torn the new system asunder) broke out in early 1942 when, after the USSR had been able to erect a communist puppet regime under Bolesław Bierut in Poland, Japan incited counter-revolutionaries in Mongolia and the Russian Far East. After an episode of war in Mongolia and Tannu-Tuva, where it became evident that the British and French (at least) had come to support Japan, Stalin attacked the Baltic nations and Finland on April 28, 1942. Wilhelm Hoegner took the opposition of CNU (a merger of Zentrum and the more nationalist parts of the DVP, together with some small Christian/conservative splinter parties, to represent all Christian denominations), DVP and even the DNVP into an all-party coalition. As the war was raging on throughout Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and most parts of Asia, the 1945 election was - as was allowed in "case of war or another national emergency, to be confirmed every year by the Bundestag" - postponed for four years. And the allies (Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, but also Japan and later on the USA) won the war against the USSR, Poland, Yugoslavia, Romania, Mongolia, Tannu-Tuva, and quite a few revolutionary collaborators decisively. The Baltics and Finland were kept free, and Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Dagestan, Chechnya, Mongolia, Tannu-Tuva, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan were liberated. After the war, the USSR was limited to territory east of the Urals and west of the Lena River and some of Central Asia (namely Kazakhstan and parts of Uzbekistan). To the west of the Urals, on the backs of anti-communist rebels/freedom fighters, the Russian Empire was restored under the closest available relative of the Romanovs, while the Far-Eastern Republic was a member of the - unstable - GEACPS. A new type of weapon was also developed, called - even officially - Atombombe, but the test of this device on September 5, 1949 in the remote northern reaches of Finland impressed the USSR into accepting the unconditional surrender and the Treaty of T'bilisi. Hoegner only called elections when the war was over, and at this point, Germany was once again a great power, but a great power within a framework of European allies and newly liberated nations. But, to many people's surprise and even shock, Hoegner and his coalition lost to the candidacy of Hermann Pünder of the CNU, who entered a coalition with the DVP. By the time Pünder was inaugurated as Chancellor, Japan had to retreat from the Far-Eastern Republic, but their occupational duties were taken up by the US soon after, so that the FER was likely to be remodeled on the American system...

[4] Pünder's doctrines of free trade and movement, equal opportunity and economic pragmatism helped establish the conventions of the post-war Parliament and unite (to an extent) the disparate groups which it represented. Even so, the CNU-DVP coalition barely managed to maintain a slim majority in their re-election, . This election also saw the formation and merging of a number of parties including the first socialist-monarchist party to participate in a general election (running in three seats - none would win).

[5] By the end of the 50s, the Germans have become used to the democratic system and to governments lasting for the entire term. Also the Early years of Weimar where seen in a more positive light. This includes most of the politicians of that time. But the CNU and the DVP showed fatigue in governing, it was time for a change. The new government was led by the son of the former Reichspräsident in a coalition iwth the left liberal DDP and the 1931 formed SDAP that had soaked up most of the former KDP electorate.

[6] And this was to be the first government of the "Second Weimar Republic" (called that because the constitutional convention of 1937 had once again been held in Weimar) to not last the entire term. However, transition of power went rather smoothly.
A scandal over armament deals with the far-right military-led government of Turkey and dubious flows of money between officials, magnates of the budding tourism industry and real estate magnates (or "property sharks") - tourism to the southern coast of Turkey was booming in a way that this region was beginning to be called 34. Bundesland ("the thirty-fourth state"), aggravated by hefty debates over liberalisation of morally laden criminal laws - notably, the liberalisation of the 1920s had, not stifled by twelve years of totalitarian insane dictatorship, picked up again by the mid-1950s - led the DDP (ironically, elements of this party were against decriminalisation of homosexuality, adultery, procuration, most forms of blasphemy, against decriminalisation of first-trimester abortion etc.) to withdraw their ministers from the cabinet. Fritz Ebert, after not being able to agree to a coalition with CNU or SAPD, had President Konrad Adenauer dissolve the Bundestag. New elections were called.

And everyone expected Germany to once again elect a right-wing government. CNU, DVP, NLP or even DNVP were expected to make the most gains. And although it indeed was the DVP which made the highest gains in percentage points, SAPD and SPD reached an absolute majority of seats. Minister of Labour and interim Minister of Justice and Postal Services, Robert Bialek, thus became the first chancellor of the SAPD.

In 1962, many came to celebrate Bialek as, after (formal) consent by the Entente powers (as they were still often called) and a referendum yielding 61,9 % approval, Austria joined Germany as another four Bundesländer (one encompassing Vorarlberg, Tyrol and Salzburg; the second one Niederösterreich, Oberösterreich and Burgenland, and the third Carinthia and Styria - now once again including Lower Styria as Yugoslavia had been defeated, and Vienna was spun-off as a city-state like Hamburg, Bremen and Danzig).
However, quite a few also feared the trend of liberalisation and, completely bogus as this claim was, a few ultraconservatives and reactionaries feared a communist takeover of Germany. Some protests and demonstrations against Bialek were seen towards the end of his term, but most were very happy with Bialek's legacy and the new liberty that came with the reformed criminal code, now just called StGB. Many even actively campaigned for him as he ran for reelection in 1965.

[7] Bialek's broad popularity saw the SAPD consolidate its lead over the SPD, though with the new Austrian states, the two parties fell short of a combined majority. The Socialist Party of Austria, which had strongly supported unification and cultivated close ties to both the SAPD and SPD, triumphed in the new states. The governing parties were more than happy to bring the SPÖ into the fold, both for ideological reasons and as a show of national unity. While this result satisfied the greater public, the strengthened position of the socialist forces alarmed the right-wing. They now counted among their ranks two new Austrian parties: the clericalist Catholics, the bulk of whom had opposed unification, and the "Großdeutsche" pan-nationalists, who had enthusiastically supported it. Though more diverse than ever, the conservative opposition all shared a vehement anti-socialism, and spoke with one voice against the Bialek government. Though initially out of step with the public mood, they found themselves vindicated when the economic situation took a turn for the worse. This was exacerbated by difficulties in properly integrating Austria, which lagged behind the rest of the country in economic development and investment. The conservatives hit hard on the Bialek government, attributing the downturn to socialist mismanagement and accusing Bialek of ignoring the health of the economy in favour of pandering to "gays, feminists, and criminals." The public became increasingly dissatisfied, and the situation was not helped by reports that the first Bialek government had sent bribes over the border to entice the Austrian government to pursue unification - Bialek himself had reportedly boasted privately that it would "guarantee a socialist government, not only in the Bundestag but the states too, for 20 years or more."

The government's popularity floundered throughout the winter of 1967-8, and the coalition became increasingly dissatisfied with their situation. With the opposition polling well and Bialek's reputation tarnished, there were rumblings that he had to go. One morning in early March, the Chancellor received a delegation of party powerbrokers in his office. Several hours later, the meeting concluded, and Bialek held a press conference to announce his resignation. He stated that he was no longer the best person to lead the government, but failed to endorse a successor. Speculation ran rampant about who could be next, or whether the SAPD would even remain at the helm of government. In recent years, it seemed that the party had become almost synonymous with Bialek himself. Three frenzied days and sleepless nights later, the governing parties jointly nominated Social Democratic Party whip Annemarie Renger to become the next Chancellor. She was confirmed by a motion of confidence in the Bundestag. Amidst a recession and a slew of scandals, and with an election on the horizon, the first woman to lead Germany was not in an enviable position.


[8] Annemarie Renger had little fortune. On the one hand, there was a demand for change, on the other she had not been long enough in office to get any boost from being the incumbent. And while it had always been her aim to show that a woman can do the job just as well, this time she simply did not have the time. Forming a new government after the election was complicated. While no liberal or conservative party was willing to work under Renger (SPD was still the strongest party) they also had trouble to decide among themselves which party would get the chancellorship.
Eventually and to almost everybodies surprise, they settled on von Habsburg. The German-Austrian unification had gotten rid of the limitations on political engagement for the Habsburg family. Whether deliberatly or by accident is still a popular topic for historical debate today. As an Independent, he not also got the Deutsch-Östereichische-Volkspartei ( German-Austrian-Peoples-Party), but also the tiny Sozialistische Volksbewegung zur Wiedereinführung der Monarchie ( with 2 seats) ( Peoples Movement for the Reintroduction of the Monarchy to back his government.
EDIT: @Harry_Z_Trumen came up with the idea of a Socialist Monarchist party so I thought, ok, let's do that. "Volksbewegung zur Wiedereinführung der Monarchie" is of course a refference to the Andreas Eschbach Novel 'Ein König für Deutschland'

[9]: But the coalition of the liberal centre-right was not stable either, and it did not enact conservative reforms which the people desired after the Bialek andRenger chancellorships. Even Germany's youth, who had grown up with mostly the left in governments (but at the same time hearing stories of how, in World War II, the totalitarian dictatorship of the Soviet Union had been defeated), took to the streets for socially extremely conservative, but economically liberal to libertarian, reforms, and they elected far-right parties. And it was Fritz Thielen's DNVP who gained by far the most votes and seats, even outperforming SPD. By now, most Austrian parties remained only nominally separate from their German counterparts.

Thus, although Thielen's coalition was also composed of six parties, it was anticipated to be much more stable than the two previous governments as DNVP/ÖVP (the NLP had been subsumed into the DNVP/ÖVP again during the Renger chancellorship) and BFB (Bauern- und Forstbund, a Junker/agrarian party) were by far the largest partners. The latter three partners (Mittelstandspartei, Handwerkspartei and Partei Unabhängiger Unternehmer ) were economically libertarian splinter groups from the DDP, DVP and CNU respectively, and some believed they were close to unification.

And almost immediately after Thielen's election, the economy picked up again. Though no ultra-reactionary reforms could be enacted (e.g. homosexuality could not be completely recriminalised), several criminal laws were indeed tightened again and the political climate had now clearly turned towards social conservatism, if not reaction...

[10] In a surprising move, Chancellor Thielen negotiated with the SPD/SPÖ the introduction of a new two-round majority voting system, introducing a de facto two-party system in the future. The allied parties of the coalition agreed to merge into the Nationale Volksversammlung, the new main right of center party, which despite some defections of MPs, refusing the merger and forming new minor parties, retained a majority in parliament.
[11] The new constitution seemed to stabilizes things. While the centre right parties were mostly united, the left was less cooperative. When the SPD/SPÖ candidate reached the second round the newly founded green party, ÖP, refused to support the social democrat Heinz Kühn.
With the both parliament and the presidency being controlled by the NVV, Thielen finally had the means to get his program done. The only challenge to his rule, was the federal council, where the devided left and centre-left parties still had a majority.
 
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TL #6 - Hitlers Rheinfall
What if the United Kingdom and France, with Italo-Austrian support, go to war against Nazi Germany over remilitarisation of the Rhineland?

List of Chancellors of the German Republic

1933: Adolf Hitler (NSDAP)
1937: Otto Braun (SPD-DDP) [1]
1941:
Wilhelm Hoegner (SPD-DDP-BVP) [2]
1950: Hermann Pünder (CNU-
DVP) [3]
1954: Hermann Pünder (CNU-DVP) [4]

1958: Fritz Ebert (SPD-DDP-SAPD) [5]
1960: Robert Bialek (SAPD-SPD) [6]
1965: Robert Bialek (SAPD-SPD-SPÖ) [7]

1968: Annemarie Renger (SAPD-SPD-SPÖ) [7]
1969: Otto von Habsburg independent ( CNU -DÖVP - DDP - DVP - SVWM ) [8]
1971: Fritz Thielen (DNVP/ÖVP-BFB-MStP-HP-PUU) [9]
1973: Fritz Thielen (NVv) [10]
1977: Fritz Thielen (NVv) [11]
1981: Klaus Hornung (EFP-ÖP) [12]



[1]
France - fearing a far-right/nationalist or a far-left/communist victory in the upcoming election - called upon the United Kingdom for support in a war against Germany, and London agreed that the remilitarisation of the Rhineland was indeed enough to invoke the alliance (Bündnisfall). And, against the only very recently rebuilt Wehrmacht and the as-of-yet meager Luftwaffe, it was a quick war. It was the following (short) civil war against both fanaticised SS units and communist resistance which actually led to more fatalities than the fight against the Wehrmacht. But thanks to Austrian, Polish and even Italian assistance, by 1937, a second constitutional convention had been called. While France advocated a more presidential system, it was an Anglo-Polish-Czech-German proposal of strengthening the role of the Chancellor, more clearly delineating an emergency according to art. 48, limiting the power of the President to rule by such Art. 48 emergency decrees to one year at most, banning changes to the constitution via emergency decrees, clarifying basic human and civil rights, and - most importantly - fundamentally reforming the electoral system to a Westminster system, which was accepted. Contrary to the UK, Germany's diversity of parties meant that coalitions were not quite as unlikely in Berlin as in London. 1937 saw the first free and fair elections held under the new system, and while many expected a rather right-wing Franz von Papen chancellorship, it was Otto Braun's SPD who won the election. Both KPD and NSDAP had been banned by a newly created institution, the Verfassungsgerichtshof (Constitutional Court) in Bremen.
Also, a referendum in Danzig had been held in August 1937, yielding 79,4 % support for rejoining the German Republic. A similar result of 72,5 % was obtained in Memelland, and thus, both once split-off parts rejoined Germany. But a major threat to this new order of Europe was arising, not from Berlin, but from Moscow as Stalin tried to incite communist dissidents and parts of the radicalised working class to rise up across Eastern Europe, especially the Baltics and Poland... Britain and even France saw themselves forced to de facto ally with the new democratic Germany (de jure, they only - relatively quickly - lifted restrictions on the armed forces which, as 1933-36 had shown, were barely enforceable anyway and relaxed on reparations).


[2] To everyone's surprise, the coalition held for the whole 4 year term, but failed to get a majority in the next election, though barely. Otto Braun decided to retire. SPD and DDP where willing to continue governing, but needed a third partner. Eventually they settled on the Bavarian Peoples Party, and Bavarian Social Democrat Hoegner as new chancellor. The advantages of having a fellow Bavarian as chancellor outweighed the downside of him being a Social Democrat. ;-)

[3] The war that everyone thought would already break out in Braun's term (and which might well have torn the new system asunder) broke out in early 1942 when, after the USSR had been able to erect a communist puppet regime under Bolesław Bierut in Poland, Japan incited counter-revolutionaries in Mongolia and the Russian Far East. After an episode of war in Mongolia and Tannu-Tuva, where it became evident that the British and French (at least) had come to support Japan, Stalin attacked the Baltic nations and Finland on April 28, 1942. Wilhelm Hoegner took the opposition of CNU (a merger of Zentrum and the more nationalist parts of the DVP, together with some small Christian/conservative splinter parties, to represent all Christian denominations), DVP and even the DNVP into an all-party coalition. As the war was raging on throughout Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and most parts of Asia, the 1945 election was - as was allowed in "case of war or another national emergency, to be confirmed every year by the Bundestag" - postponed for four years. And the allies (Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, but also Japan and later on the USA) won the war against the USSR, Poland, Yugoslavia, Romania, Mongolia, Tannu-Tuva, and quite a few revolutionary collaborators decisively. The Baltics and Finland were kept free, and Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Dagestan, Chechnya, Mongolia, Tannu-Tuva, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan were liberated. After the war, the USSR was limited to territory east of the Urals and west of the Lena River and some of Central Asia (namely Kazakhstan and parts of Uzbekistan). To the west of the Urals, on the backs of anti-communist rebels/freedom fighters, the Russian Empire was restored under the closest available relative of the Romanovs, while the Far-Eastern Republic was a member of the - unstable - GEACPS. A new type of weapon was also developed, called - even officially - Atombombe, but the test of this device on September 5, 1949 in the remote northern reaches of Finland impressed the USSR into accepting the unconditional surrender and the Treaty of T'bilisi. Hoegner only called elections when the war was over, and at this point, Germany was once again a great power, but a great power within a framework of European allies and newly liberated nations. But, to many people's surprise and even shock, Hoegner and his coalition lost to the candidacy of Hermann Pünder of the CNU, who entered a coalition with the DVP. By the time Pünder was inaugurated as Chancellor, Japan had to retreat from the Far-Eastern Republic, but their occupational duties were taken up by the US soon after, so that the FER was likely to be remodeled on the American system...

[4] Pünder's doctrines of free trade and movement, equal opportunity and economic pragmatism helped establish the conventions of the post-war Parliament and unite (to an extent) the disparate groups which it represented. Even so, the CNU-DVP coalition barely managed to maintain a slim majority in their re-election, . This election also saw the formation and merging of a number of parties including the first socialist-monarchist party to participate in a general election (running in three seats - none would win).

[5] By the end of the 50s, the Germans have become used to the democratic system and to governments lasting for the entire term. Also the Early years of Weimar where seen in a more positive light. This includes most of the politicians of that time. But the CNU and the DVP showed fatigue in governing, it was time for a change. The new government was led by the son of the former Reichspräsident in a coalition iwth the left liberal DDP and the 1931 formed SDAP that had soaked up most of the former KDP electorate.

[6] And this was to be the first government of the "Second Weimar Republic" (called that because the constitutional convention of 1937 had once again been held in Weimar) to not last the entire term. However, transition of power went rather smoothly.
A scandal over armament deals with the far-right military-led government of Turkey and dubious flows of money between officials, magnates of the budding tourism industry and real estate magnates (or "property sharks") - tourism to the southern coast of Turkey was booming in a way that this region was beginning to be called 34. Bundesland ("the thirty-fourth state"), aggravated by hefty debates over liberalisation of morally laden criminal laws - notably, the liberalisation of the 1920s had, not stifled by twelve years of totalitarian insane dictatorship, picked up again by the mid-1950s - led the DDP (ironically, elements of this party were against decriminalisation of homosexuality, adultery, procuration, most forms of blasphemy, against decriminalisation of first-trimester abortion etc.) to withdraw their ministers from the cabinet. Fritz Ebert, after not being able to agree to a coalition with CNU or SAPD, had President Konrad Adenauer dissolve the Bundestag. New elections were called.

And everyone expected Germany to once again elect a right-wing government. CNU, DVP, NLP or even DNVP were expected to make the most gains. And although it indeed was the DVP which made the highest gains in percentage points, SAPD and SPD reached an absolute majority of seats. Minister of Labour and interim Minister of Justice and Postal Services, Robert Bialek, thus became the first chancellor of the SAPD.

In 1962, many came to celebrate Bialek as, after (formal) consent by the Entente powers (as they were still often called) and a referendum yielding 61,9 % approval, Austria joined Germany as another four Bundesländer (one encompassing Vorarlberg, Tyrol and Salzburg; the second one Niederösterreich, Oberösterreich and Burgenland, and the third Carinthia and Styria - now once again including Lower Styria as Yugoslavia had been defeated, and Vienna was spun-off as a city-state like Hamburg, Bremen and Danzig).
However, quite a few also feared the trend of liberalisation and, completely bogus as this claim was, a few ultraconservatives and reactionaries feared a communist takeover of Germany. Some protests and demonstrations against Bialek were seen towards the end of his term, but most were very happy with Bialek's legacy and the new liberty that came with the reformed criminal code, now just called StGB. Many even actively campaigned for him as he ran for reelection in 1965.

[7] Bialek's broad popularity saw the SAPD consolidate its lead over the SPD, though with the new Austrian states, the two parties fell short of a combined majority. The Socialist Party of Austria, which had strongly supported unification and cultivated close ties to both the SAPD and SPD, triumphed in the new states. The governing parties were more than happy to bring the SPÖ into the fold, both for ideological reasons and as a show of national unity. While this result satisfied the greater public, the strengthened position of the socialist forces alarmed the right-wing. They now counted among their ranks two new Austrian parties: the clericalist Catholics, the bulk of whom had opposed unification, and the "Großdeutsche" pan-nationalists, who had enthusiastically supported it. Though more diverse than ever, the conservative opposition all shared a vehement anti-socialism, and spoke with one voice against the Bialek government. Though initially out of step with the public mood, they found themselves vindicated when the economic situation took a turn for the worse. This was exacerbated by difficulties in properly integrating Austria, which lagged behind the rest of the country in economic development and investment. The conservatives hit hard on the Bialek government, attributing the downturn to socialist mismanagement and accusing Bialek of ignoring the health of the economy in favour of pandering to "gays, feminists, and criminals." The public became increasingly dissatisfied, and the situation was not helped by reports that the first Bialek government had sent bribes over the border to entice the Austrian government to pursue unification - Bialek himself had reportedly boasted privately that it would "guarantee a socialist government, not only in the Bundestag but the states too, for 20 years or more."

The government's popularity floundered throughout the winter of 1967-8, and the coalition became increasingly dissatisfied with their situation. With the opposition polling well and Bialek's reputation tarnished, there were rumblings that he had to go. One morning in early March, the Chancellor received a delegation of party powerbrokers in his office. Several hours later, the meeting concluded, and Bialek held a press conference to announce his resignation. He stated that he was no longer the best person to lead the government, but failed to endorse a successor. Speculation ran rampant about who could be next, or whether the SAPD would even remain at the helm of government. In recent years, it seemed that the party had become almost synonymous with Bialek himself. Three frenzied days and sleepless nights later, the governing parties jointly nominated Social Democratic Party whip Annemarie Renger to become the next Chancellor. She was confirmed by a motion of confidence in the Bundestag. Amidst a recession and a slew of scandals, and with an election on the horizon, the first woman to lead Germany was not in an enviable position.


[8] Annemarie Renger had little fortune. On the one hand, there was a demand for change, on the other she had not been long enough in office to get any boost from being the incumbent. And while it had always been her aim to show that a woman can do the job just as well, this time she simply did not have the time. Forming a new government after the election was complicated. While no liberal or conservative party was willing to work under Renger (SPD was still the strongest party) they also had trouble to decide among themselves which party would get the chancellorship.
Eventually and to almost everybodies surprise, they settled on von Habsburg. The German-Austrian unification had gotten rid of the limitations on political engagement for the Habsburg family. Whether deliberatly or by accident is still a popular topic for historical debate today. As an Independent, he not also got the Deutsch-Östereichische-Volkspartei ( German-Austrian-Peoples-Party), but also the tiny Sozialistische Volksbewegung zur Wiedereinführung der Monarchie ( with 2 seats) ( Peoples Movement for the Reintroduction of the Monarchy to back his government.
EDIT: @Harry_Z_Trumen came up with the idea of a Socialist Monarchist party so I thought, ok, let's do that. "Volksbewegung zur Wiedereinführung der Monarchie" is of course a refference to the Andreas Eschbach Novel 'Ein König für Deutschland'

[9]: But the coalition of the liberal centre-right was not stable either, and it did not enact conservative reforms which the people desired after the Bialek andRenger chancellorships. Even Germany's youth, who had grown up with mostly the left in governments (but at the same time hearing stories of how, in World War II, the totalitarian dictatorship of the Soviet Union had been defeated), took to the streets for socially extremely conservative, but economically liberal to libertarian, reforms, and they elected far-right parties. And it was Fritz Thielen's DNVP who gained by far the most votes and seats, even outperforming SPD. By now, most Austrian parties remained only nominally separate from their German counterparts.

Thus, although Thielen's coalition was also composed of six parties, it was anticipated to be much more stable than the two previous governments as DNVP/ÖVP (the NLP had been subsumed into the DNVP/ÖVP again during the Renger chancellorship) and BFB (Bauern- und Forstbund, a Junker/agrarian party) were by far the largest partners. The latter three partners (Mittelstandspartei, Handwerkspartei and Partei Unabhängiger Unternehmer ) were economically libertarian splinter groups from the DDP, DVP and CNU respectively, and some believed they were close to unification.

And almost immediately after Thielen's election, the economy picked up again. Though no ultra-reactionary reforms could be enacted (e.g. homosexuality could not be completely recriminalised), several criminal laws were indeed tightened again and the political climate had now clearly turned towards social conservatism, if not reaction...

[10] In a surprising move, Chancellor Thielen negotiated with the SPD/SPÖ the introduction of a new two-round majority voting system, introducing a de facto two-party system in the future. The allied parties of the coalition agreed to merge into the Nationale Volksversammlung, the new main right of center party, which despite some defections of MPs, refusing the merger and forming new minor parties, retained a majority in parliament.
[11] The new constitution seemed to stabilizes things. While the centre right parties were mostly united, the left was less cooperative. When the SPD/SPÖ candidate reached the second round the newly founded green party, ÖP, refused to support the social democrat Heinz Kühn.
With the both parliament and the presidency being controlled by the NVV, Thielen finally had the means to get his program done. The only challenge to his rule, was the federal council, where the devided left and centre-left parties still had a majority.
[12] But the right proved not to be fully united, either. The NVV had taken up many members of former parties like CNU, DVP, ÖVP, etc., including many liberals. But nationalists and the nationalist far-right were underrepresented. Fritz Thielen had, with the support of most of the Bundestag, the constitution amended in order to lengthen the term of the chancellor to six years and introduce a two-term limit from the next election onwards. But this next election, despite Thielen's program being mostly popular, surprisingly ended not in a victory of the centre-right. Neither did the left or centre-left win the election. Instead, narrowly beating Thielen's NVV to the majority, it was the far-right, reactionary, but also partly populist, EFP (Einheits- und Freiheitspartei "Unity and Freedom Party"), who surprisingly found a "coalition partner" in at least parts of the ÖP. The left wing of ÖP split off as "Grüne Zukunft" (GZ) (mostly just called "the Greens"), but the majority of ÖP remained intact. During the campaign, a few more far-right elements of NVV joined EFP, while the NVV became somewhat more amicable to former DDP voters and voters of smaller liberal parties who had no particularly nationalist or militarist agenda.

Some feared a return of Germany towards authoritarianism or even outright dictatorship, but these fears are commonly seen as overblown, especially with most regions of Europe, especially in Eastern and eastern Central Europe, already having quite conservative - sometimes authoritarian - regimes. Also, the EFP had campaigned, among other things, on introducing referendums on the federal level once again and on holding a referendum on whether to restore the monarchy...
 
TL #6 - Hitlers Rheinfall
What if the United Kingdom and France, with Italo-Austrian support, go to war against Nazi Germany over remilitarisation of the Rhineland?

List of Chancellors of the German Republic

1933: Adolf Hitler (NSDAP)
1937: Otto Braun (SPD-DDP) [1]
1941:
Wilhelm Hoegner (SPD-DDP-BVP) [2]
1950: Hermann Pünder (CNU-
DVP) [3]
1954: Hermann Pünder (CNU-DVP) [4]

1958: Fritz Ebert (SPD-DDP-SAPD) [5]
1960: Robert Bialek (SAPD-SPD) [6]
1965: Robert Bialek (SAPD-SPD-SPÖ) [7]

1968: Annemarie Renger (SAPD-SPD-SPÖ) [7]
1969: Otto von Habsburg independent ( CNU -DÖVP - DDP - DVP - SVWM ) [8]
1971: Fritz Thielen (DNVP/ÖVP-BFB-MStP-HP-PUU) [9]
1973: Fritz Thielen (NVv) [10]
1977: Fritz Thielen (NVv) [11]
1981: Klaus Hornung (EFP-ÖP) [12]

1985: Hans-Jochen Vogel (NVv-SPD-SPÖ-DDP) [13]

[1]
France - fearing a far-right/nationalist or a far-left/communist victory in the upcoming election - called upon the United Kingdom for support in a war against Germany, and London agreed that the remilitarisation of the Rhineland was indeed enough to invoke the alliance (Bündnisfall). And, against the only very recently rebuilt Wehrmacht and the as-of-yet meager Luftwaffe, it was a quick war. It was the following (short) civil war against both fanaticised SS units and communist resistance which actually led to more fatalities than the fight against the Wehrmacht. But thanks to Austrian, Polish and even Italian assistance, by 1937, a second constitutional convention had been called. While France advocated a more presidential system, it was an Anglo-Polish-Czech-German proposal of strengthening the role of the Chancellor, more clearly delineating an emergency according to art. 48, limiting the power of the President to rule by such Art. 48 emergency decrees to one year at most, banning changes to the constitution via emergency decrees, clarifying basic human and civil rights, and - most importantly - fundamentally reforming the electoral system to a Westminster system, which was accepted. Contrary to the UK, Germany's diversity of parties meant that coalitions were not quite as unlikely in Berlin as in London. 1937 saw the first free and fair elections held under the new system, and while many expected a rather right-wing Franz von Papen chancellorship, it was Otto Braun's SPD who won the election. Both KPD and NSDAP had been banned by a newly created institution, the Verfassungsgerichtshof (Constitutional Court) in Bremen.[/COLOR]
Also, a referendum in Danzig had been held in August 1937, yielding 79,4 % support for rejoining the German Republic. A similar result of 72,5 % was obtained in Memelland, and thus, both once split-off parts rejoined Germany. But a major threat to this new order of Europe was arising, not from Berlin, but from Moscow as Stalin tried to incite communist dissidents and parts of the radicalised working class to rise up across Eastern Europe, especially the Baltics and Poland... Britain and even France saw themselves forced to de facto ally with the new democratic Germany (de jure, they only - relatively quickly - lifted restrictions on the armed forces which, as 1933-36 had shown, were barely enforceable anyway and relaxed on reparations).

[2] To everyone's surprise, the coalition held for the whole 4 year term, but failed to get a majority in the next election, though barely. Otto Braun decided to retire. SPD and DDP where willing to continue governing, but needed a third partner. Eventually they settled on the Bavarian Peoples Party, and Bavarian Social Democrat Hoegner as new chancellor. The advantages of having a fellow Bavarian as chancellor outweighed the downside of him being a Social Democrat. ;-)

[3] The war that everyone thought would already break out in Braun's term (and which might well have torn the new system asunder) broke out in early 1942 when, after the USSR had been able to erect a communist puppet regime under Bolesław Bierut in Poland, Japan incited counter-revolutionaries in Mongolia and the Russian Far East. After an episode of war in Mongolia and Tannu-Tuva, where it became evident that the British and French (at least) had come to support Japan, Stalin attacked the Baltic nations and Finland on April 28, 1942. Wilhelm Hoegner took the opposition of CNU (a merger of Zentrum and the more nationalist parts of the DVP, together with some small Christian/conservative splinter parties, to represent all Christian denominations), DVP and even the DNVP into an all-party coalition. As the war was raging on throughout Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and most parts of Asia, the 1945 election was - as was allowed in "case of war or another national emergency, to be confirmed every year by the Bundestag" - postponed for four years. And the allies (Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, but also Japan and later on the USA) won the war against the USSR, Poland, Yugoslavia, Romania, Mongolia, Tannu-Tuva, and quite a few revolutionary collaborators decisively. The Baltics and Finland were kept free, and Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Dagestan, Chechnya, Mongolia, Tannu-Tuva, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan were liberated. After the war, the USSR was limited to territory east of the Urals and west of the Lena River and some of Central Asia (namely Kazakhstan and parts of Uzbekistan). To the west of the Urals, on the backs of anti-communist rebels/freedom fighters, the Russian Empire was restored under the closest available relative of the Romanovs, while the Far-Eastern Republic was a member of the - unstable - GEACPS. A new type of weapon was also developed, called - even officially - Atombombe, but the test of this device on September 5, 1949 in the remote northern reaches of Finland impressed the USSR into accepting the unconditional surrender and the Treaty of T'bilisi. Hoegner only called elections when the war was over, and at this point, Germany was once again a great power, but a great power within a framework of European allies and newly liberated nations. But, to many people's surprise and even shock, Hoegner and his coalition lost to the candidacy of Hermann Pünder of the CNU, who entered a coalition with the DVP. By the time Pünder was inaugurated as Chancellor, Japan had to retreat from the Far-Eastern Republic, but their occupational duties were taken up by the US soon after, so that the FER was likely to be remodeled on the American system...

[4] Pünder's doctrines of free trade and movement, equal opportunity and economic pragmatism helped establish the conventions of the post-war Parliament and unite (to an extent) the disparate groups which it represented. Even so, the CNU-DVP coalition barely managed to maintain a slim majority in their re-election, . This election also saw the formation and merging of a number of parties including the first socialist-monarchist party to participate in a general election (running in three seats - none would win).

[5] By the end of the 50s, the Germans have become used to the democratic system and to governments lasting for the entire term. Also the Early years of Weimar where seen in a more positive light. This includes most of the politicians of that time. But the CNU and the DVP showed fatigue in governing, it was time for a change. The new government was led by the son of the former Reichspräsident in a coalition iwth the left liberal DDP and the 1931 formed SDAP that had soaked up most of the former KDP electorate.

[6] And this was to be the first government of the "Second Weimar Republic" (called that because the constitutional convention of 1937 had once again been held in Weimar) to not last the entire term. However, transition of power went rather smoothly.
A scandal over armament deals with the far-right military-led government of Turkey and dubious flows of money between officials, magnates of the budding tourism industry and real estate magnates (or "property sharks") - tourism to the southern coast of Turkey was booming in a way that this region was beginning to be called 34. Bundesland ("the thirty-fourth state"), aggravated by hefty debates over liberalisation of morally laden criminal laws - notably, the liberalisation of the 1920s had, not stifled by twelve years of totalitarian insane dictatorship, picked up again by the mid-1950s - led the DDP (ironically, elements of this party were against decriminalisation of homosexuality, adultery, procuration, most forms of blasphemy, against decriminalisation of first-trimester abortion etc.) to withdraw their ministers from the cabinet. Fritz Ebert, after not being able to agree to a coalition with CNU or SAPD, had President Konrad Adenauer dissolve the Bundestag. New elections were called.

And everyone expected Germany to once again elect a right-wing government. CNU, DVP, NLP or even DNVP were expected to make the most gains. And although it indeed was the DVP which made the highest gains in percentage points, SAPD and SPD reached an absolute majority of seats. Minister of Labour and interim Minister of Justice and Postal Services, Robert Bialek, thus became the first chancellor of the SAPD.

In 1962, many came to celebrate Bialek as, after (formal) consent by the Entente powers (as they were still often called) and a referendum yielding 61,9 % approval, Austria joined Germany as another four Bundesländer (one encompassing Vorarlberg, Tyrol and Salzburg; the second one Niederösterreich, Oberösterreich and Burgenland, and the third Carinthia and Styria - now once again including Lower Styria as Yugoslavia had been defeated, and Vienna was spun-off as a city-state like Hamburg, Bremen and Danzig).
However, quite a few also feared the trend of liberalisation and, completely bogus as this claim was, a few ultraconservatives and reactionaries feared a communist takeover of Germany. Some protests and demonstrations against Bialek were seen towards the end of his term, but most were very happy with Bialek's legacy and the new liberty that came with the reformed criminal code, now just called StGB. Many even actively campaigned for him as he ran for reelection in 1965.

[7] Bialek's broad popularity saw the SAPD consolidate its lead over the SPD, though with the new Austrian states, the two parties fell short of a combined majority. The Socialist Party of Austria, which had strongly supported unification and cultivated close ties to both the SAPD and SPD, triumphed in the new states. The governing parties were more than happy to bring the SPÖ into the fold, both for ideological reasons and as a show of national unity. While this result satisfied the greater public, the strengthened position of the socialist forces alarmed the right-wing. They now counted among their ranks two new Austrian parties: the clericalist Catholics, the bulk of whom had opposed unification, and the "Großdeutsche" pan-nationalists, who had enthusiastically supported it. Though more diverse than ever, the conservative opposition all shared a vehement anti-socialism, and spoke with one voice against the Bialek government. Though initially out of step with the public mood, they found themselves vindicated when the economic situation took a turn for the worse. This was exacerbated by difficulties in properly integrating Austria, which lagged behind the rest of the country in economic development and investment. The conservatives hit hard on the Bialek government, attributing the downturn to socialist mismanagement and accusing Bialek of ignoring the health of the economy in favour of pandering to "gays, feminists, and criminals." The public became increasingly dissatisfied, and the situation was not helped by reports that the first Bialek government had sent bribes over the border to entice the Austrian government to pursue unification - Bialek himself had reportedly boasted privately that it would "guarantee a socialist government, not only in the Bundestag but the states too, for 20 years or more."

The government's popularity floundered throughout the winter of 1967-8, and the coalition became increasingly dissatisfied with their situation. With the opposition polling well and Bialek's reputation tarnished, there were rumblings that he had to go. One morning in early March, the Chancellor received a delegation of party powerbrokers in his office. Several hours later, the meeting concluded, and Bialek held a press conference to announce his resignation. He stated that he was no longer the best person to lead the government, but failed to endorse a successor. Speculation ran rampant about who could be next, or whether the SAPD would even remain at the helm of government. In recent years, it seemed that the party had become almost synonymous with Bialek himself. Three frenzied days and sleepless nights later, the governing parties jointly nominated Social Democratic Party whip Annemarie Renger to become the next Chancellor. She was confirmed by a motion of confidence in the Bundestag. Amidst a recession and a slew of scandals, and with an election on the horizon, the first woman to lead Germany was not in an enviable position.


[8] Annemarie Renger had little fortune. On the one hand, there was a demand for change, on the other she had not been long enough in office to get any boost from being the incumbent. And while it had always been her aim to show that a woman can do the job just as well, this time she simply did not have the time. Forming a new government after the election was complicated. While no liberal or conservative party was willing to work under Renger (SPD was still the strongest party) they also had trouble to decide among themselves which party would get the chancellorship.
Eventually and to almost everybodies surprise, they settled on von Habsburg. The German-Austrian unification had gotten rid of the limitations on political engagement for the Habsburg family. Whether deliberatly or by accident is still a popular topic for historical debate today. As an Independent, he not also got the Deutsch-Östereichische-Volkspartei ( German-Austrian-Peoples-Party), but also the tiny Sozialistische Volksbewegung zur Wiedereinführung der Monarchie ( with 2 seats) ( Peoples Movement for the Reintroduction of the Monarchy to back his government.[/COLOR]
EDIT: @Harry_Z_Trumen came up with the idea of a Socialist Monarchist party so I thought, ok, let's do that. "Volksbewegung zur Wiedereinführung der Monarchie" is of course a refference to the Andreas Eschbach Novel 'Ein König für Deutschland'

[9]: But the coalition of the liberal centre-right was not stable either, and it did not enact conservative reforms which the people desired after the Bialek andRenger chancellorships. Even Germany's youth, who had grown up with mostly the left in governments (but at the same time hearing stories of how, in World War II, the totalitarian dictatorship of the Soviet Union had been defeated), took to the streets for socially extremely conservative, but economically liberal to libertarian, reforms, and they elected far-right parties. And it was Fritz Thielen's DNVP who gained by far the most votes and seats, even outperforming SPD. By now, most Austrian parties remained only nominally separate from their German counterparts.

Thus, although Thielen's coalition was also composed of six parties, it was anticipated to be much more stable than the two previous governments as DNVP/ÖVP (the NLP had been subsumed into the DNVP/ÖVP again during the Renger chancellorship) and BFB (Bauern- und Forstbund, a Junker/agrarian party) were by far the largest partners. The latter three partners (Mittelstandspartei, Handwerkspartei and Partei Unabhängiger Unternehmer ) were economically libertarian splinter groups from the DDP, DVP and CNU respectively, and some believed they were close to unification.

And almost immediately after Thielen's election, the economy picked up again. Though no ultra-reactionary reforms could be enacted (e.g. homosexuality could not be completely recriminalised), several criminal laws were indeed tightened again and the political climate had now clearly turned towards social conservatism, if not reaction...

[10] In a surprising move, Chancellor Thielen negotiated with the SPD/SPÖ the introduction of a new two-round majority voting system, introducing a de facto two-party system in the future. The allied parties of the coalition agreed to merge into the Nationale Volksversammlung, the new main right of center party, which despite some defections of MPs, refusing the merger and forming new minor parties, retained a majority in parliament.[/COLOR]
[11] The new constitution seemed to stabilizes things. While the centre right parties were mostly united, the left was less cooperative. When the SPD/SPÖ candidate reached the second round the newly founded green party, ÖP, refused to support the social democrat Heinz Kühn.
With the both parliament and the presidency being controlled by the NVV, Thielen finally had the means to get his program done. The only challenge to his rule, was the federal council, where the devided left and centre-left parties still had a majority.
[12] But the right proved not to be fully united, either. The NVV had taken up many members of former parties like CNU, DVP, ÖVP, etc., including many liberals. But nationalists and the nationalist far-right were underrepresented. Fritz Thielen had, with the support of most of the Bundestag, the constitution amended in order to lengthen the term of the chancellor to six years and introduce a two-term limit from the next election onwards. But this next election, despite Thielen's program being mostly popular, surprisingly ended not in a victory of the centre-right. Neither did the left or centre-left win the election. Instead, narrowly beating Thielen's NVV to the majority, it was the far-right, reactionary, but also partly populist, EFP (Einheits- und Freiheitspartei "Unity and Freedom Party"), who surprisingly found a "coalition partner" in at least parts of the ÖP. The left wing of ÖP split off as "Grüne Zukunft" (GZ) (mostly just called "the Greens"), but the majority of ÖP remained intact. During the campaign, a few more far-right elements of NVV joined EFP, while the NVV became somewhat more amicable to former DDP voters and voters of smaller liberal parties who had no particularly nationalist or militarist agenda.

Some feared a return of Germany towards authoritarianism or even outright dictatorship, but these fears are commonly seen as overblown, especially with most regions of Europe, especially in Eastern and eastern Central Europe, already having quite conservative - sometimes authoritarian - regimes. Also, the EFP had campaigned, among other things, on introducing referendums on the federal level once again and on holding a referendum on whether to restore the monarchy...

[13] With new majorities in both chambers of parliament, the EFP rapidly implemented its agenda. A series of federal referendums were arranged on various issues, including the codification of German as the sole language of administration and education, to the exclusion of minority languages such as Polish and Danish; the insertion of a phrase into the constitution defining the German Republic as synonymous with "the German people and nation"; and the introduction of mandatory military service. Though turnout was low, most proposals were passed fairly comfortably. These successes emboldened the government to pursue its more radical policies: specifically, the restoration of the monarchy and cracking down on the significant power of trade unions in the German economy. They organised two simultaneous referendums on these issues, hoping to win both. They proposed that Prince Wilhelm, the now-elderly grandson of Wilhelm II, take the throne. On the issue of trade unions, they proposed the dissolution of all unions over 500,000 members, and a new agency to regulate the formation and operations of unions.

Both ideas predictably outraged the left. The issue of monarchy had remained fringe despite the EFP's rise in popularity, and was generally unpopular, even among conservatives - this was especially true among the younger generations, who had been born into a stable republic and had little desire for change. While restricting the power of unions had been an important issue for the right-wing since the Bialek era, it played poorly with many of the EFP's working-class supporters who had been wooed by the party's populist stances. The referendums were slated for early May 1985. However, in April, the incumbent NVV President spoke out against restoration of the monarchy. The EFP, whose monarchist majority resented the elected presidency, were incensed. The government hurriedly arranged a third referendum, proposing to place restrictions on the power of the President.

On May Day 1985, all of Germany's major unions launched a series of general strikes in protest of the referendums. The centre and moderate right, though more or less unsympathetic to the unions, were put off by the EFP's attitude toward the institutions of government, particularly the disempowerment of the President. The left encouraged a boycott on the referendums, while much of the right failed to endorse either "yes" or "no" votes. Ultimately, all three proposals passed with low turnout. After the results became clear, Chancellor Hornung demanded the immediate resignation of the President, and formally invited Prince Wilhelm to take the throne. He arranged an emergency session of the Bundestag for the next day, seeking to pass amendments defining Germany as an imperial monarchy.

This sparked immediate and intense reaction from groups across the political spectrum. Both left and moderate right took to the streets to protest what they saw as a power grab by Hornung. Meanwhile, when the President refused to resign, Hornung ordered police to detain him; however, the presidential security detail obstructed them and an armed standoff ensued. The situation deteriorated when a detachment of soldiers, sent to escort Wilhelm to Berlin, defected and join the anti-EFP demonstrations outside the Reichstag. Further military defections took place throughout the night and rioting began around the country. Shortly after midnight, the police at the President's residence relented and withdrew. He quickly declared a state of emergency, dismissing Hornung as Chancellor and dissolving the Bundestag for a new election. Urging calm and an end to the riots, he appointed Hans-Jochen Vogel, a moderate Social Democrat, as interim Chancellor in a coalition of national unity with the NVV, SPD/SPÖ, and DDP.
 
TL #6 - Hitlers Rheinfall
What if the United Kingdom and France, with Italo-Austrian support, go to war against Nazi Germany over remilitarisation of the Rhineland?

List of Chancellors of the German Republic

1933: Adolf Hitler (NSDAP)
1937: Otto Braun (SPD-DDP) [1]
1941:
Wilhelm Hoegner (SPD-DDP-BVP) [2]
1950: Hermann Pünder (CNU-
DVP) [3]
1954: Hermann Pünder (CNU-DVP) [4]

1958: Fritz Ebert (SPD-DDP-SAPD) [5]
1960: Robert Bialek (SAPD-SPD) [6]
1965: Robert Bialek (SAPD-SPD-SPÖ) [7]

1968: Annemarie Renger (SAPD-SPD-SPÖ) [7]
1969: Otto von Habsburg independent ( CNU -DÖVP - DDP - DVP - SVWM ) [8]
1971: Fritz Thielen (DNVP/ÖVP-BFB-MStP-HP-PUU) [9]
1973: Fritz Thielen (NVv) [10]
1977: Fritz Thielen (NVv) [11]
1981: Klaus Hornung (EFP-ÖP) [12]

1985: Hans-Jochen Vogel (NVv-SPD-SPÖ-DDP) [13]
1986: Hans-Ulrich Klose (REP-D85-DDP) [14]

[1]
France - fearing a far-right/nationalist or a far-left/communist victory in the upcoming election - called upon the United Kingdom for support in a war against Germany, and London agreed that the remilitarisation of the Rhineland was indeed enough to invoke the alliance (Bündnisfall). And, against the only very recently rebuilt Wehrmacht and the as-of-yet meager Luftwaffe, it was a quick war. It was the following (short) civil war against both fanaticised SS units and communist resistance which actually led to more fatalities than the fight against the Wehrmacht. But thanks to Austrian, Polish and even Italian assistance, by 1937, a second constitutional convention had been called. While France advocated a more presidential system, it was an Anglo-Polish-Czech-German proposal of strengthening the role of the Chancellor, more clearly delineating an emergency according to art. 48, limiting the power of the President to rule by such Art. 48 emergency decrees to one year at most, banning changes to the constitution via emergency decrees, clarifying basic human and civil rights, and - most importantly - fundamentally reforming the electoral system to a Westminster system, which was accepted. Contrary to the UK, Germany's diversity of parties meant that coalitions were not quite as unlikely in Berlin as in London. 1937 saw the first free and fair elections held under the new system, and while many expected a rather right-wing Franz von Papen chancellorship, it was Otto Braun's SPD who won the election. Both KPD and NSDAP had been banned by a newly created institution, the Verfassungsgerichtshof (Constitutional Court) in Bremen.
Also, a referendum in Danzig had been held in August 1937, yielding 79,4 % support for rejoining the German Republic. A similar result of 72,5 % was obtained in Memelland, and thus, both once split-off parts rejoined Germany. But a major threat to this new order of Europe was arising, not from Berlin, but from Moscow as Stalin tried to incite communist dissidents and parts of the radicalised working class to rise up across Eastern Europe, especially the Baltics and Poland... Britain and even France saw themselves forced to de facto ally with the new democratic Germany (de jure, they only - relatively quickly - lifted restrictions on the armed forces which, as 1933-36 had shown, were barely enforceable anyway and relaxed on reparations).

[2] To everyone's surprise, the coalition held for the whole 4 year term, but failed to get a majority in the next election, though barely. Otto Braun decided to retire. SPD and DDP where willing to continue governing, but needed a third partner. Eventually they settled on the Bavarian Peoples Party, and Bavarian Social Democrat Hoegner as new chancellor. The advantages of having a fellow Bavarian as chancellor outweighed the downside of him being a Social Democrat. ;-)

[3] The war that everyone thought would already break out in Braun's term (and which might well have torn the new system asunder) broke out in early 1942 when, after the USSR had been able to erect a communist puppet regime under Bolesław Bierut in Poland, Japan incited counter-revolutionaries in Mongolia and the Russian Far East. After an episode of war in Mongolia and Tannu-Tuva, where it became evident that the British and French (at least) had come to support Japan, Stalin attacked the Baltic nations and Finland on April 28, 1942. Wilhelm Hoegner took the opposition of CNU (a merger of Zentrum and the more nationalist parts of the DVP, together with some small Christian/conservative splinter parties, to represent all Christian denominations), DVP and even the DNVP into an all-party coalition. As the war was raging on throughout Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and most parts of Asia, the 1945 election was - as was allowed in "case of war or another national emergency, to be confirmed every year by the Bundestag" - postponed for four years. And the allies (Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, but also Japan and later on the USA) won the war against the USSR, Poland, Yugoslavia, Romania, Mongolia, Tannu-Tuva, and quite a few revolutionary collaborators decisively. The Baltics and Finland were kept free, and Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Dagestan, Chechnya, Mongolia, Tannu-Tuva, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan were liberated. After the war, the USSR was limited to territory east of the Urals and west of the Lena River and some of Central Asia (namely Kazakhstan and parts of Uzbekistan). To the west of the Urals, on the backs of anti-communist rebels/freedom fighters, the Russian Empire was restored under the closest available relative of the Romanovs, while the Far-Eastern Republic was a member of the - unstable - GEACPS. A new type of weapon was also developed, called - even officially - Atombombe, but the test of this device on September 5, 1949 in the remote northern reaches of Finland impressed the USSR into accepting the unconditional surrender and the Treaty of T'bilisi. Hoegner only called elections when the war was over, and at this point, Germany was once again a great power, but a great power within a framework of European allies and newly liberated nations. But, to many people's surprise and even shock, Hoegner and his coalition lost to the candidacy of Hermann Pünder of the CNU, who entered a coalition with the DVP. By the time Pünder was inaugurated as Chancellor, Japan had to retreat from the Far-Eastern Republic, but their occupational duties were taken up by the US soon after, so that the FER was likely to be remodeled on the American system...

[4] Pünder's doctrines of free trade and movement, equal opportunity and economic pragmatism helped establish the conventions of the post-war Parliament and unite (to an extent) the disparate groups which it represented. Even so, the CNU-DVP coalition barely managed to maintain a slim majority in their re-election, . This election also saw the formation and merging of a number of parties including the first socialist-monarchist party to participate in a general election (running in three seats - none would win).

[5] By the end of the 50s, the Germans have become used to the democratic system and to governments lasting for the entire term. Also the Early years of Weimar where seen in a more positive light. This includes most of the politicians of that time. But the CNU and the DVP showed fatigue in governing, it was time for a change. The new government was led by the son of the former Reichspräsident in a coalition iwth the left liberal DDP and the 1931 formed SDAP that had soaked up most of the former KDP electorate.

[6] And this was to be the first government of the "Second Weimar Republic" (called that because the constitutional convention of 1937 had once again been held in Weimar) to not last the entire term. However, transition of power went rather smoothly.
A scandal over armament deals with the far-right military-led government of Turkey and dubious flows of money between officials, magnates of the budding tourism industry and real estate magnates (or "property sharks") - tourism to the southern coast of Turkey was booming in a way that this region was beginning to be called 34. Bundesland ("the thirty-fourth state"), aggravated by hefty debates over liberalisation of morally laden criminal laws - notably, the liberalisation of the 1920s had, not stifled by twelve years of totalitarian insane dictatorship, picked up again by the mid-1950s - led the DDP (ironically, elements of this party were against decriminalisation of homosexuality, adultery, procuration, most forms of blasphemy, against decriminalisation of first-trimester abortion etc.) to withdraw their ministers from the cabinet. Fritz Ebert, after not being able to agree to a coalition with CNU or SAPD, had President Konrad Adenauer dissolve the Bundestag. New elections were called.

And everyone expected Germany to once again elect a right-wing government. CNU, DVP, NLP or even DNVP were expected to make the most gains. And although it indeed was the DVP which made the highest gains in percentage points, SAPD and SPD reached an absolute majority of seats. Minister of Labour and interim Minister of Justice and Postal Services, Robert Bialek, thus became the first chancellor of the SAPD.

In 1962, many came to celebrate Bialek as, after (formal) consent by the Entente powers (as they were still often called) and a referendum yielding 61,9 % approval, Austria joined Germany as another four Bundesländer (one encompassing Vorarlberg, Tyrol and Salzburg; the second one Niederösterreich, Oberösterreich and Burgenland, and the third Carinthia and Styria - now once again including Lower Styria as Yugoslavia had been defeated, and Vienna was spun-off as a city-state like Hamburg, Bremen and Danzig).
However, quite a few also feared the trend of liberalisation and, completely bogus as this claim was, a few ultraconservatives and reactionaries feared a communist takeover of Germany. Some protests and demonstrations against Bialek were seen towards the end of his term, but most were very happy with Bialek's legacy and the new liberty that came with the reformed criminal code, now just called StGB. Many even actively campaigned for him as he ran for reelection in 1965.

[7] Bialek's broad popularity saw the SAPD consolidate its lead over the SPD, though with the new Austrian states, the two parties fell short of a combined majority. The Socialist Party of Austria, which had strongly supported unification and cultivated close ties to both the SAPD and SPD, triumphed in the new states. The governing parties were more than happy to bring the SPÖ into the fold, both for ideological reasons and as a show of national unity. While this result satisfied the greater public, the strengthened position of the socialist forces alarmed the right-wing. They now counted among their ranks two new Austrian parties: the clericalist Catholics, the bulk of whom had opposed unification, and the "Großdeutsche" pan-nationalists, who had enthusiastically supported it. Though more diverse than ever, the conservative opposition all shared a vehement anti-socialism, and spoke with one voice against the Bialek government. Though initially out of step with the public mood, they found themselves vindicated when the economic situation took a turn for the worse. This was exacerbated by difficulties in properly integrating Austria, which lagged behind the rest of the country in economic development and investment. The conservatives hit hard on the Bialek government, attributing the downturn to socialist mismanagement and accusing Bialek of ignoring the health of the economy in favour of pandering to "gays, feminists, and criminals." The public became increasingly dissatisfied, and the situation was not helped by reports that the first Bialek government had sent bribes over the border to entice the Austrian government to pursue unification - Bialek himself had reportedly boasted privately that it would "guarantee a socialist government, not only in the Bundestag but the states too, for 20 years or more."

The government's popularity floundered throughout the winter of 1967-8, and the coalition became increasingly dissatisfied with their situation. With the opposition polling well and Bialek's reputation tarnished, there were rumblings that he had to go. One morning in early March, the Chancellor received a delegation of party powerbrokers in his office. Several hours later, the meeting concluded, and Bialek held a press conference to announce his resignation. He stated that he was no longer the best person to lead the government, but failed to endorse a successor. Speculation ran rampant about who could be next, or whether the SAPD would even remain at the helm of government. In recent years, it seemed that the party had become almost synonymous with Bialek himself. Three frenzied days and sleepless nights later, the governing parties jointly nominated Social Democratic Party whip Annemarie Renger to become the next Chancellor. She was confirmed by a motion of confidence in the Bundestag. Amidst a recession and a slew of scandals, and with an election on the horizon, the first woman to lead Germany was not in an enviable position.


[8] Annemarie Renger had little fortune. On the one hand, there was a demand for change, on the other she had not been long enough in office to get any boost from being the incumbent. And while it had always been her aim to show that a woman can do the job just as well, this time she simply did not have the time. Forming a new government after the election was complicated. While no liberal or conservative party was willing to work under Renger (SPD was still the strongest party) they also had trouble to decide among themselves which party would get the chancellorship.
Eventually and to almost everybodies surprise, they settled on von Habsburg. The German-Austrian unification had gotten rid of the limitations on political engagement for the Habsburg family. Whether deliberatly or by accident is still a popular topic for historical debate today. As an Independent, he not also got the Deutsch-Östereichische-Volkspartei ( German-Austrian-Peoples-Party), but also the tiny Sozialistische Volksbewegung zur Wiedereinführung der Monarchie ( with 2 seats) ( Peoples Movement for the Reintroduction of the Monarchy to back his government.[/COLOR]
EDIT: @Harry_Z_Trumen came up with the idea of a Socialist Monarchist party so I thought, ok, let's do that. "Volksbewegung zur Wiedereinführung der Monarchie" is of course a refference to the Andreas Eschbach Novel 'Ein König für Deutschland'

[9]: But the coalition of the liberal centre-right was not stable either, and it did not enact conservative reforms which the people desired after the Bialek andRenger chancellorships. Even Germany's youth, who had grown up with mostly the left in governments (but at the same time hearing stories of how, in World War II, the totalitarian dictatorship of the Soviet Union had been defeated), took to the streets for socially extremely conservative, but economically liberal to libertarian, reforms, and they elected far-right parties. And it was Fritz Thielen's DNVP who gained by far the most votes and seats, even outperforming SPD. By now, most Austrian parties remained only nominally separate from their German counterparts.

Thus, although Thielen's coalition was also composed of six parties, it was anticipated to be much more stable than the two previous governments as DNVP/ÖVP (the NLP had been subsumed into the DNVP/ÖVP again during the Renger chancellorship) and BFB (Bauern- und Forstbund, a Junker/agrarian party) were by far the largest partners. The latter three partners (Mittelstandspartei, Handwerkspartei and Partei Unabhängiger Unternehmer ) were economically libertarian splinter groups from the DDP, DVP and CNU respectively, and some believed they were close to unification.

And almost immediately after Thielen's election, the economy picked up again. Though no ultra-reactionary reforms could be enacted (e.g. homosexuality could not be completely recriminalised), several criminal laws were indeed tightened again and the political climate had now clearly turned towards social conservatism, if not reaction...

[10] In a surprising move, Chancellor Thielen negotiated with the SPD/SPÖ the introduction of a new two-round majority voting system, introducing a de facto two-party system in the future. The allied parties of the coalition agreed to merge into the Nationale Volksversammlung, the new main right of center party, which despite some defections of MPs, refusing the merger and forming new minor parties, retained a majority in parliament.[/COLOR]
[11] The new constitution seemed to stabilizes things. While the centre right parties were mostly united, the left was less cooperative. When the SPD/SPÖ candidate reached the second round the newly founded green party, ÖP, refused to support the social democrat Heinz Kühn.
With the both parliament and the presidency being controlled by the NVV, Thielen finally had the means to get his program done. The only challenge to his rule, was the federal council, where the devided left and centre-left parties still had a majority.
[12] But the right proved not to be fully united, either. The NVV had taken up many members of former parties like CNU, DVP, ÖVP, etc., including many liberals. But nationalists and the nationalist far-right were underrepresented. Fritz Thielen had, with the support of most of the Bundestag, the constitution amended in order to lengthen the term of the chancellor to six years and introduce a two-term limit from the next election onwards. But this next election, despite Thielen's program being mostly popular, surprisingly ended not in a victory of the centre-right. Neither did the left or centre-left win the election. Instead, narrowly beating Thielen's NVV to the majority, it was the far-right, reactionary, but also partly populist, EFP (Einheits- und Freiheitspartei "Unity and Freedom Party"), who surprisingly found a "coalition partner" in at least parts of the ÖP. The left wing of ÖP split off as "Grüne Zukunft" (GZ) (mostly just called "the Greens"), but the majority of ÖP remained intact. During the campaign, a few more far-right elements of NVV joined EFP, while the NVV became somewhat more amicable to former DDP voters and voters of smaller liberal parties who had no particularly nationalist or militarist agenda.

Some feared a return of Germany towards authoritarianism or even outright dictatorship, but these fears are commonly seen as overblown, especially with most regions of Europe, especially in Eastern and eastern Central Europe, already having quite conservative - sometimes authoritarian - regimes. Also, the EFP had campaigned, among other things, on introducing referendums on the federal level once again and on holding a referendum on whether to restore the monarchy...

[13] With new majorities in both chambers of parliament, the EFP rapidly implemented its agenda. A series of federal referendums were arranged on various issues, including the codification of German as the sole language of administration and education, to the exclusion of minority languages such as Polish and Danish; the insertion of a phrase into the constitution defining the German Republic as synonymous with "the German people and nation"; and the introduction of mandatory military service. Though turnout was low, most proposals were passed fairly comfortably. These successes emboldened the government to pursue its more radical policies: specifically, the restoration of the monarchy and cracking down on the significant power of trade unions in the German economy. They organised two simultaneous referendums on these issues, hoping to win both. They proposed that Prince Wilhelm, the now-elderly grandson of Wilhelm II, take the throne. On the issue of trade unions, they proposed the dissolution of all unions over 500,000 members, and a new agency to regulate the formation and operations of unions.

Both ideas predictably outraged the left. The issue of monarchy had remained fringe despite the EFP's rise in popularity, and was generally unpopular, even among conservatives - this was especially true among the younger generations, who had been born into a stable republic and had little desire for change. While restricting the power of unions had been an important issue for the right-wing since the Bialek era, it played poorly with many of the EFP's working-class supporters who had been wooed by the party's populist stances. The referendums were slated for early May 1985. However, in April, the incumbent NVV President spoke out against restoration of the monarchy. The EFP, whose monarchist majority resented the elected presidency, were incensed. The government hurriedly arranged a third referendum, proposing to place restrictions on the power of the President.

On May Day 1985, all of Germany's major unions launched a series of general strikes in protest of the referendums. The centre and moderate right, though more or less unsympathetic to the unions, were put off by the EFP's attitude toward the institutions of government, particularly the disempowerment of the President. The left encouraged a boycott on the referendums, while much of the right failed to endorse either "yes" or "no" votes. Ultimately, all three proposals passed with low turnout. After the results became clear, Chancellor Hornung demanded the immediate resignation of the President, and formally invited Prince Wilhelm to take the throne. He arranged an emergency session of the Bundestag for the next day, seeking to pass amendments defining Germany as an imperial monarchy.

This sparked immediate and intense reaction from groups across the political spectrum. Both left and moderate right took to the streets to protest what they saw as a power grab by Hornung. Meanwhile, when the President refused to resign, Hornung ordered police to detain him; however, the presidential security detail obstructed them and an armed standoff ensued. The situation deteriorated when a detachment of soldiers, sent to escort Wilhelm to Berlin, defected and join the anti-EFP demonstrations outside the Reichstag. Further military defections took place throughout the night and rioting began around the country. Shortly after midnight, the police at the President's residence relented and withdrew. He quickly declared a state of emergency, dismissing Hornung as Chancellor and dissolving the Bundestag for a new election. Urging calm and an end to the riots, he appointed Hans-Jochen Vogel, a moderate Social Democrat, as interim Chancellor in a coalition of national unity with the NVV, SPD/SPÖ, and DDP.

[14] The interim period was a whirlwind for the German political landscape, many constitutional laws were passed with emergency powers, the banning of extremist parties was pronounced at the same time as a major decentralisation reform. In the 1986 elections, the single list of the center-left to left-wing parties under the label "Die Republikaner" with the young mayor of Hamburg at its head came out on top. If a coalition could have won a majority with the DDP, the chancellor cordially invited "Demokraten 85", a new rally of the anti-Hornung centre and right, to prolong the national union and to continue the work of reconstruction and protection of German democracy.
 
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TL #6 - Hitlers Rheinfall
What if the United Kingdom and France, with Italo-Austrian support, go to war against Nazi Germany over remilitarisation of the Rhineland?

List of Chancellors of the German Republic

1933: Adolf Hitler (NSDAP)
1937: Otto Braun (SPD-DDP) [1]
1941:
Wilhelm Hoegner (SPD-DDP-BVP) [2]
1950: Hermann Pünder (CNU-
DVP) [3]
1954: Hermann Pünder (CNU-DVP) [4]

1958: Fritz Ebert (SPD-DDP-SAPD) [5]
1960: Robert Bialek (SAPD-SPD) [6]
1965: Robert Bialek (SAPD-SPD-SPÖ) [7]

1968: Annemarie Renger (SAPD-SPD-SPÖ) [7]
1969: Otto von Habsburg independent ( CNU -DÖVP - DDP - DVP - SVWM ) [8]
1971: Fritz Thielen (DNVP/ÖVP-BFB-MStP-HP-PUU) [9]
1973: Fritz Thielen (NVv) [10]
1977: Fritz Thielen (NVv) [11]
1981: Klaus Hornung (EFP-ÖP) [12]

1985: Hans-Jochen Vogel (NVv-SPD-SPÖ-DDP) [13]
1986: Hans-Ulrich Klose (REP-D85-DDP) [14]
1991: Kazimierz "Káka" Deyna (SRP-AP-PLAU-BDS-TRB) [14]

[1]
France - fearing a far-right/nationalist or a far-left/communist victory in the upcoming election - called upon the United Kingdom for support in a war against Germany, and London agreed that the remilitarisation of the Rhineland was indeed enough to invoke the alliance (Bündnisfall). And, against the only very recently rebuilt Wehrmacht and the as-of-yet meager Luftwaffe, it was a quick war. It was the following (short) civil war against both fanaticised SS units and communist resistance which actually led to more fatalities than the fight against the Wehrmacht. But thanks to Austrian, Polish and even Italian assistance, by 1937, a second constitutional convention had been called. While France advocated a more presidential system, it was an Anglo-Polish-Czech-German proposal of strengthening the role of the Chancellor, more clearly delineating an emergency according to art. 48, limiting the power of the President to rule by such Art. 48 emergency decrees to one year at most, banning changes to the constitution via emergency decrees, clarifying basic human and civil rights, and - most importantly - fundamentally reforming the electoral system to a Westminster system, which was accepted. Contrary to the UK, Germany's diversity of parties meant that coalitions were not quite as unlikely in Berlin as in London. 1937 saw the first free and fair elections held under the new system, and while many expected a rather right-wing Franz von Papen chancellorship, it was Otto Braun's SPD who won the election. Both KPD and NSDAP had been banned by a newly created institution, the Verfassungsgerichtshof (Constitutional Court) in Bremen.
Also, a referendum in Danzig had been held in August 1937, yielding 79,4 % support for rejoining the German Republic. A similar result of 72,5 % was obtained in Memelland, and thus, both once split-off parts rejoined Germany. But a major threat to this new order of Europe was arising, not from Berlin, but from Moscow as Stalin tried to incite communist dissidents and parts of the radicalised working class to rise up across Eastern Europe, especially the Baltics and Poland... Britain and even France saw themselves forced to de facto ally with the new democratic Germany (de jure, they only - relatively quickly - lifted restrictions on the armed forces which, as 1933-36 had shown, were barely enforceable anyway and relaxed on reparations).

[2] To everyone's surprise, the coalition held for the whole 4 year term, but failed to get a majority in the next election, though barely. Otto Braun decided to retire. SPD and DDP where willing to continue governing, but needed a third partner. Eventually they settled on the Bavarian Peoples Party, and Bavarian Social Democrat Hoegner as new chancellor. The advantages of having a fellow Bavarian as chancellor outweighed the downside of him being a Social Democrat. ;-)

[3] The war that everyone thought would already break out in Braun's term (and which might well have torn the new system asunder) broke out in early 1942 when, after the USSR had been able to erect a communist puppet regime under Bolesław Bierut in Poland, Japan incited counter-revolutionaries in Mongolia and the Russian Far East. After an episode of war in Mongolia and Tannu-Tuva, where it became evident that the British and French (at least) had come to support Japan, Stalin attacked the Baltic nations and Finland on April 28, 1942. Wilhelm Hoegner took the opposition of CNU (a merger of Zentrum and the more nationalist parts of the DVP, together with some small Christian/conservative splinter parties, to represent all Christian denominations), DVP and even the DNVP into an all-party coalition. As the war was raging on throughout Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and most parts of Asia, the 1945 election was - as was allowed in "case of war or another national emergency, to be confirmed every year by the Bundestag" - postponed for four years. And the allies (Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, but also Japan and later on the USA) won the war against the USSR, Poland, Yugoslavia, Romania, Mongolia, Tannu-Tuva, and quite a few revolutionary collaborators decisively. The Baltics and Finland were kept free, and Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Dagestan, Chechnya, Mongolia, Tannu-Tuva, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan were liberated. After the war, the USSR was limited to territory east of the Urals and west of the Lena River and some of Central Asia (namely Kazakhstan and parts of Uzbekistan). To the west of the Urals, on the backs of anti-communist rebels/freedom fighters, the Russian Empire was restored under the closest available relative of the Romanovs, while the Far-Eastern Republic was a member of the - unstable - GEACPS. A new type of weapon was also developed, called - even officially - Atombombe, but the test of this device on September 5, 1949 in the remote northern reaches of Finland impressed the USSR into accepting the unconditional surrender and the Treaty of T'bilisi. Hoegner only called elections when the war was over, and at this point, Germany was once again a great power, but a great power within a framework of European allies and newly liberated nations. But, to many people's surprise and even shock, Hoegner and his coalition lost to the candidacy of Hermann Pünder of the CNU, who entered a coalition with the DVP. By the time Pünder was inaugurated as Chancellor, Japan had to retreat from the Far-Eastern Republic, but their occupational duties were taken up by the US soon after, so that the FER was likely to be remodeled on the American system...

[4] Pünder's doctrines of free trade and movement, equal opportunity and economic pragmatism helped establish the conventions of the post-war Parliament and unite (to an extent) the disparate groups which it represented. Even so, the CNU-DVP coalition barely managed to maintain a slim majority in their re-election, . This election also saw the formation and merging of a number of parties including the first socialist-monarchist party to participate in a general election (running in three seats - none would win).

[5] By the end of the 50s, the Germans have become used to the democratic system and to governments lasting for the entire term. Also the Early years of Weimar where seen in a more positive light. This includes most of the politicians of that time. But the CNU and the DVP showed fatigue in governing, it was time for a change. The new government was led by the son of the former Reichspräsident in a coalition iwth the left liberal DDP and the 1931 formed SDAP that had soaked up most of the former KDP electorate.

[6] And this was to be the first government of the "Second Weimar Republic" (called that because the constitutional convention of 1937 had once again been held in Weimar) to not last the entire term. However, transition of power went rather smoothly.
A scandal over armament deals with the far-right military-led government of Turkey and dubious flows of money between officials, magnates of the budding tourism industry and real estate magnates (or "property sharks") - tourism to the southern coast of Turkey was booming in a way that this region was beginning to be called 34. Bundesland ("the thirty-fourth state"), aggravated by hefty debates over liberalisation of morally laden criminal laws - notably, the liberalisation of the 1920s had, not stifled by twelve years of totalitarian insane dictatorship, picked up again by the mid-1950s - led the DDP (ironically, elements of this party were against decriminalisation of homosexuality, adultery, procuration, most forms of blasphemy, against decriminalisation of first-trimester abortion etc.) to withdraw their ministers from the cabinet. Fritz Ebert, after not being able to agree to a coalition with CNU or SAPD, had President Konrad Adenauer dissolve the Bundestag. New elections were called.

And everyone expected Germany to once again elect a right-wing government. CNU, DVP, NLP or even DNVP were expected to make the most gains. And although it indeed was the DVP which made the highest gains in percentage points, SAPD and SPD reached an absolute majority of seats. Minister of Labour and interim Minister of Justice and Postal Services, Robert Bialek, thus became the first chancellor of the SAPD.

In 1962, many came to celebrate Bialek as, after (formal) consent by the Entente powers (as they were still often called) and a referendum yielding 61,9 % approval, Austria joined Germany as another four Bundesländer (one encompassing Vorarlberg, Tyrol and Salzburg; the second one Niederösterreich, Oberösterreich and Burgenland, and the third Carinthia and Styria - now once again including Lower Styria as Yugoslavia had been defeated, and Vienna was spun-off as a city-state like Hamburg, Bremen and Danzig).
However, quite a few also feared the trend of liberalisation and, completely bogus as this claim was, a few ultraconservatives and reactionaries feared a communist takeover of Germany. Some protests and demonstrations against Bialek were seen towards the end of his term, but most were very happy with Bialek's legacy and the new liberty that came with the reformed criminal code, now just called StGB. Many even actively campaigned for him as he ran for reelection in 1965.

[7] Bialek's broad popularity saw the SAPD consolidate its lead over the SPD, though with the new Austrian states, the two parties fell short of a combined majority. The Socialist Party of Austria, which had strongly supported unification and cultivated close ties to both the SAPD and SPD, triumphed in the new states. The governing parties were more than happy to bring the SPÖ into the fold, both for ideological reasons and as a show of national unity. While this result satisfied the greater public, the strengthened position of the socialist forces alarmed the right-wing. They now counted among their ranks two new Austrian parties: the clericalist Catholics, the bulk of whom had opposed unification, and the "Großdeutsche" pan-nationalists, who had enthusiastically supported it. Though more diverse than ever, the conservative opposition all shared a vehement anti-socialism, and spoke with one voice against the Bialek government. Though initially out of step with the public mood, they found themselves vindicated when the economic situation took a turn for the worse. This was exacerbated by difficulties in properly integrating Austria, which lagged behind the rest of the country in economic development and investment. The conservatives hit hard on the Bialek government, attributing the downturn to socialist mismanagement and accusing Bialek of ignoring the health of the economy in favour of pandering to "gays, feminists, and criminals." The public became increasingly dissatisfied, and the situation was not helped by reports that the first Bialek government had sent bribes over the border to entice the Austrian government to pursue unification - Bialek himself had reportedly boasted privately that it would "guarantee a socialist government, not only in the Bundestag but the states too, for 20 years or more."

The government's popularity floundered throughout the winter of 1967-8, and the coalition became increasingly dissatisfied with their situation. With the opposition polling well and Bialek's reputation tarnished, there were rumblings that he had to go. One morning in early March, the Chancellor received a delegation of party powerbrokers in his office. Several hours later, the meeting concluded, and Bialek held a press conference to announce his resignation. He stated that he was no longer the best person to lead the government, but failed to endorse a successor. Speculation ran rampant about who could be next, or whether the SAPD would even remain at the helm of government. In recent years, it seemed that the party had become almost synonymous with Bialek himself. Three frenzied days and sleepless nights later, the governing parties jointly nominated Social Democratic Party whip Annemarie Renger to become the next Chancellor. She was confirmed by a motion of confidence in the Bundestag. Amidst a recession and a slew of scandals, and with an election on the horizon, the first woman to lead Germany was not in an enviable position.


[8] Annemarie Renger had little fortune. On the one hand, there was a demand for change, on the other she had not been long enough in office to get any boost from being the incumbent. And while it had always been her aim to show that a woman can do the job just as well, this time she simply did not have the time. Forming a new government after the election was complicated. While no liberal or conservative party was willing to work under Renger (SPD was still the strongest party) they also had trouble to decide among themselves which party would get the chancellorship.
Eventually and to almost everybodies surprise, they settled on von Habsburg. The German-Austrian unification had gotten rid of the limitations on political engagement for the Habsburg family. Whether deliberatly or by accident is still a popular topic for historical debate today. As an Independent, he not also got the Deutsch-Östereichische-Volkspartei ( German-Austrian-Peoples-Party), but also the tiny Sozialistische Volksbewegung zur Wiedereinführung der Monarchie ( with 2 seats) ( Peoples Movement for the Reintroduction of the Monarchy to back his government.[/COLOR]
EDIT: @Harry_Z_Trumen came up with the idea of a Socialist Monarchist party so I thought, ok, let's do that. "Volksbewegung zur Wiedereinführung der Monarchie" is of course a refference to the Andreas Eschbach Novel 'Ein König für Deutschland'

[9]: But the coalition of the liberal centre-right was not stable either, and it did not enact conservative reforms which the people desired after the Bialek andRenger chancellorships. Even Germany's youth, who had grown up with mostly the left in governments (but at the same time hearing stories of how, in World War II, the totalitarian dictatorship of the Soviet Union had been defeated), took to the streets for socially extremely conservative, but economically liberal to libertarian, reforms, and they elected far-right parties. And it was Fritz Thielen's DNVP who gained by far the most votes and seats, even outperforming SPD. By now, most Austrian parties remained only nominally separate from their German counterparts.

Thus, although Thielen's coalition was also composed of six parties, it was anticipated to be much more stable than the two previous governments as DNVP/ÖVP (the NLP had been subsumed into the DNVP/ÖVP again during the Renger chancellorship) and BFB (Bauern- und Forstbund, a Junker/agrarian party) were by far the largest partners. The latter three partners (Mittelstandspartei, Handwerkspartei and Partei Unabhängiger Unternehmer ) were economically libertarian splinter groups from the DDP, DVP and CNU respectively, and some believed they were close to unification.

And almost immediately after Thielen's election, the economy picked up again. Though no ultra-reactionary reforms could be enacted (e.g. homosexuality could not be completely recriminalised), several criminal laws were indeed tightened again and the political climate had now clearly turned towards social conservatism, if not reaction...

[10] In a surprising move, Chancellor Thielen negotiated with the SPD/SPÖ the introduction of a new two-round majority voting system, introducing a de facto two-party system in the future. The allied parties of the coalition agreed to merge into the Nationale Volksversammlung, the new main right of center party, which despite some defections of MPs, refusing the merger and forming new minor parties, retained a majority in parliament.[/COLOR]
[11] The new constitution seemed to stabilizes things. While the centre right parties were mostly united, the left was less cooperative. When the SPD/SPÖ candidate reached the second round the newly founded green party, ÖP, refused to support the social democrat Heinz Kühn.
With the both parliament and the presidency being controlled by the NVV, Thielen finally had the means to get his program done. The only challenge to his rule, was the federal council, where the devided left and centre-left parties still had a majority.
[12] But the right proved not to be fully united, either. The NVV had taken up many members of former parties like CNU, DVP, ÖVP, etc., including many liberals. But nationalists and the nationalist far-right were underrepresented. Fritz Thielen had, with the support of most of the Bundestag, the constitution amended in order to lengthen the term of the chancellor to six years and introduce a two-term limit from the next election onwards. But this next election, despite Thielen's program being mostly popular, surprisingly ended not in a victory of the centre-right. Neither did the left or centre-left win the election. Instead, narrowly beating Thielen's NVV to the majority, it was the far-right, reactionary, but also partly populist, EFP (Einheits- und Freiheitspartei "Unity and Freedom Party"), who surprisingly found a "coalition partner" in at least parts of the ÖP. The left wing of ÖP split off as "Grüne Zukunft" (GZ) (mostly just called "the Greens"), but the majority of ÖP remained intact. During the campaign, a few more far-right elements of NVV joined EFP, while the NVV became somewhat more amicable to former DDP voters and voters of smaller liberal parties who had no particularly nationalist or militarist agenda.

Some feared a return of Germany towards authoritarianism or even outright dictatorship, but these fears are commonly seen as overblown, especially with most regions of Europe, especially in Eastern and eastern Central Europe, already having quite conservative - sometimes authoritarian - regimes. Also, the EFP had campaigned, among other things, on introducing referendums on the federal level once again and on holding a referendum on whether to restore the monarchy...

[13] With new majorities in both chambers of parliament, the EFP rapidly implemented its agenda. A series of federal referendums were arranged on various issues, including the codification of German as the sole language of administration and education, to the exclusion of minority languages such as Polish and Danish; the insertion of a phrase into the constitution defining the German Republic as synonymous with "the German people and nation"; and the introduction of mandatory military service. Though turnout was low, most proposals were passed fairly comfortably. These successes emboldened the government to pursue its more radical policies: specifically, the restoration of the monarchy and cracking down on the significant power of trade unions in the German economy. They organised two simultaneous referendums on these issues, hoping to win both. They proposed that Prince Wilhelm, the now-elderly grandson of Wilhelm II, take the throne. On the issue of trade unions, they proposed the dissolution of all unions over 500,000 members, and a new agency to regulate the formation and operations of unions.

Both ideas predictably outraged the left. The issue of monarchy had remained fringe despite the EFP's rise in popularity, and was generally unpopular, even among conservatives - this was especially true among the younger generations, who had been born into a stable republic and had little desire for change. While restricting the power of unions had been an important issue for the right-wing since the Bialek era, it played poorly with many of the EFP's working-class supporters who had been wooed by the party's populist stances. The referendums were slated for early May 1985. However, in April, the incumbent NVV President spoke out against restoration of the monarchy. The EFP, whose monarchist majority resented the elected presidency, were incensed. The government hurriedly arranged a third referendum, proposing to place restrictions on the power of the President.

On May Day 1985, all of Germany's major unions launched a series of general strikes in protest of the referendums. The centre and moderate right, though more or less unsympathetic to the unions, were put off by the EFP's attitude toward the institutions of government, particularly the disempowerment of the President. The left encouraged a boycott on the referendums, while much of the right failed to endorse either "yes" or "no" votes. Ultimately, all three proposals passed with low turnout. After the results became clear, Chancellor Hornung demanded the immediate resignation of the President, and formally invited Prince Wilhelm to take the throne. He arranged an emergency session of the Bundestag for the next day, seeking to pass amendments defining Germany as an imperial monarchy.

This sparked immediate and intense reaction from groups across the political spectrum. Both left and moderate right took to the streets to protest what they saw as a power grab by Hornung. Meanwhile, when the President refused to resign, Hornung ordered police to detain him; however, the presidential security detail obstructed them and an armed standoff ensued. The situation deteriorated when a detachment of soldiers, sent to escort Wilhelm to Berlin, defected and join the anti-EFP demonstrations outside the Reichstag. Further military defections took place throughout the night and rioting began around the country. Shortly after midnight, the police at the President's residence relented and withdrew. He quickly declared a state of emergency, dismissing Hornung as Chancellor and dissolving the Bundestag for a new election. Urging calm and an end to the riots, he appointed Hans-Jochen Vogel, a moderate Social Democrat, as interim Chancellor in a coalition of national unity with the NVV, SPD/SPÖ, and DDP.

[14] The interim period was a whirlwind for the German political landscape, many constitutional laws were passed with emergency powers, the banning of extremist parties was pronounced at the same time as a major decentralisation reform. In the 1986 elections, the single list of the center-left to left-wing parties under the label "Die Republikaner" with the young mayor of Hamburg at its head came out on top. If a coalition could have won a majority with the DDP, the chancellor cordially invited "Demokraten 85", a new rally of the anti-Hornung centre and right, to prolong the national union and to continue the work of reconstruction and protection of German democracy.

[15] Acute constitutional reforms and turbulences subsided over the next new years, as the term of Hans-Ulrich Klose progressed. But on economic policy, the left-wing Republikaner and the centre-right to right-wing Demokraten 85 and especially the economically liberal DDP diverged once again. No snap elections had t obe called for the entire five years, some say miraculously so, but it was a consequence of the parties focusing on the rescuing and strengthening of German democracy and, wherever necessary, of democracy in Europe (and in some cases also beyond Europe). By the late 1980s, the authoritarian governments of Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Georgia had been overthrown in (relatively) peaceful revolutions (rather "Tunisia 2011" than "East Germany 1989" though) - and in Europe, only Armenia, Turkey and Spain were still ruled by authoritarians.

Complete unity of Die Republikaner didn't last, but only small sections of the party split off. Notably, some more conservative elements moved to Demokraten 85. Fully fledged new parties forming was rare, the most notable of them was the more democratic socialist to syndicalist AP (Arbeiterpartei). Together with three small regional parties who had never been subsumed into Die Republikaner - namely PLAU (Polnisch-Litauische Autonome Union), BDS (Bund Demokratischer Sorben) and TRB (Tschechischer Republikanischer Bund) who all three want to achieve devolution for majority-Polish, majority-Sorb and Sudeten German/Czech parts of Germany, and with Die Republikaner very nearly achieving an absolute majority of seats, Kazimierz "Káka" Deyna was elected Chancellor of Germany. With his small coalition partners, he was able to reach a majority of 65 % of seats, three seats shy of a constitution-changing two thirds majority.
But there was one major issue: the issue of energy. Scientists had by now clearly outlined that failing to reduce (and, at some point, abandon) fossilf uel usage -notably coal - would lead humanity into catastrophic climate change. However, despite some more left-wing environmentalists in Die Republikaner, causes of environmental protection had been discredited as right-wing to far-right during the Hornung administration and the following constitutional crisis.
 
I'm lost. To many parties...
In my view, there are three major parties: SRP, Demokraten 85 (centrist, liberal) and DDP (centre-right to right-wing, neoliberal to libertarian economically). The coalition partners of Deyna are minor, regional parties desiring devolution. And of course the far-left (SAPD-like) AP (Arbeiterpartei)...
 
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TL #6 - Hitlers Rheinfall
What if the United Kingdom and France, with Italo-Austrian support, go to war against Nazi Germany over remilitarisation of the Rhineland?

List of Chancellors of the German Republic

1933: Adolf Hitler (NSDAP)
1937: Otto Braun (SPD-DDP) [1]
1941:
Wilhelm Hoegner (SPD-DDP-BVP) [2]
1950: Hermann Pünder (CNU-
DVP) [3]
1954: Hermann Pünder (CNU-DVP) [4]

1958: Fritz Ebert (SPD-DDP-SAPD) [5]
1960: Robert Bialek (SAPD-SPD) [6]
1965: Robert Bialek (SAPD-SPD-SPÖ) [7]

1968: Annemarie Renger (SAPD-SPD-SPÖ) [7]
1969: Otto von Habsburg independent ( CNU -DÖVP - DDP - DVP - SVWM ) [8]
1971: Fritz Thielen (DNVP/ÖVP-BFB-MStP-HP-PUU) [9]
1973: Fritz Thielen (NVv) [10]
1977: Fritz Thielen (NVv) [11]
1981: Klaus Hornung (EFP-ÖP) [12]

1985: Hans-Jochen Vogel (NVv-SPD-SPÖ-DDP) [13]
1986: Hans-Ulrich Klose (REP-D85-DDP) [14]
1991: Kazimierz "Káka" Deyna (SRP-AP-PLAU-BDS-TRB) [14]
1996: Kazimierz "Káka" Deyna (SRP-AP-PLAU-BDS-TRB) [14]


[1]
France - fearing a far-right/nationalist or a far-left/communist victory in the upcoming election - called upon the United Kingdom for support in a war against Germany, and London agreed that the remilitarisation of the Rhineland was indeed enough to invoke the alliance (Bündnisfall). And, against the only very recently rebuilt Wehrmacht and the as-of-yet meager Luftwaffe, it was a quick war. It was the following (short) civil war against both fanaticised SS units and communist resistance which actually led to more fatalities than the fight against the Wehrmacht. But thanks to Austrian, Polish and even Italian assistance, by 1937, a second constitutional convention had been called. While France advocated a more presidential system, it was an Anglo-Polish-Czech-German proposal of strengthening the role of the Chancellor, more clearly delineating an emergency according to art. 48, limiting the power of the President to rule by such Art. 48 emergency decrees to one year at most, banning changes to the constitution via emergency decrees, clarifying basic human and civil rights, and - most importantly - fundamentally reforming the electoral system to a Westminster system, which was accepted. Contrary to the UK, Germany's diversity of parties meant that coalitions were not quite as unlikely in Berlin as in London. 1937 saw the first free and fair elections held under the new system, and while many expected a rather right-wing Franz von Papen chancellorship, it was Otto Braun's SPD who won the election. Both KPD and NSDAP had been banned by a newly created institution, the Verfassungsgerichtshof (Constitutional Court) in Bremen.
Also, a referendum in Danzig had been held in August 1937, yielding 79,4 % support for rejoining the German Republic. A similar result of 72,5 % was obtained in Memelland, and thus, both once split-off parts rejoined Germany. But a major threat to this new order of Europe was arising, not from Berlin, but from Moscow as Stalin tried to incite communist dissidents and parts of the radicalised working class to rise up across Eastern Europe, especially the Baltics and Poland... Britain and even France saw themselves forced to de facto ally with the new democratic Germany (de jure, they only - relatively quickly - lifted restrictions on the armed forces which, as 1933-36 had shown, were barely enforceable anyway and relaxed on reparations).

[2] To everyone's surprise, the coalition held for the whole 4 year term, but failed to get a majority in the next election, though barely. Otto Braun decided to retire. SPD and DDP where willing to continue governing, but needed a third partner. Eventually they settled on the Bavarian Peoples Party, and Bavarian Social Democrat Hoegner as new chancellor. The advantages of having a fellow Bavarian as chancellor outweighed the downside of him being a Social Democrat. ;-)

[3] The war that everyone thought would already break out in Braun's term (and which might well have torn the new system asunder) broke out in early 1942 when, after the USSR had been able to erect a communist puppet regime under Bolesław Bierut in Poland, Japan incited counter-revolutionaries in Mongolia and the Russian Far East. After an episode of war in Mongolia and Tannu-Tuva, where it became evident that the British and French (at least) had come to support Japan, Stalin attacked the Baltic nations and Finland on April 28, 1942. Wilhelm Hoegner took the opposition of CNU (a merger of Zentrum and the more nationalist parts of the DVP, together with some small Christian/conservative splinter parties, to represent all Christian denominations), DVP and even the DNVP into an all-party coalition. As the war was raging on throughout Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and most parts of Asia, the 1945 election was - as was allowed in "case of war or another national emergency, to be confirmed every year by the Bundestag" - postponed for four years. And the allies (Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, but also Japan and later on the USA) won the war against the USSR, Poland, Yugoslavia, Romania, Mongolia, Tannu-Tuva, and quite a few revolutionary collaborators decisively. The Baltics and Finland were kept free, and Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Dagestan, Chechnya, Mongolia, Tannu-Tuva, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan were liberated. After the war, the USSR was limited to territory east of the Urals and west of the Lena River and some of Central Asia (namely Kazakhstan and parts of Uzbekistan). To the west of the Urals, on the backs of anti-communist rebels/freedom fighters, the Russian Empire was restored under the closest available relative of the Romanovs, while the Far-Eastern Republic was a member of the - unstable - GEACPS. A new type of weapon was also developed, called - even officially - Atombombe, but the test of this device on September 5, 1949 in the remote northern reaches of Finland impressed the USSR into accepting the unconditional surrender and the Treaty of T'bilisi. Hoegner only called elections when the war was over, and at this point, Germany was once again a great power, but a great power within a framework of European allies and newly liberated nations. But, to many people's surprise and even shock, Hoegner and his coalition lost to the candidacy of Hermann Pünder of the CNU, who entered a coalition with the DVP. By the time Pünder was inaugurated as Chancellor, Japan had to retreat from the Far-Eastern Republic, but their occupational duties were taken up by the US soon after, so that the FER was likely to be remodeled on the American system...

[4] Pünder's doctrines of free trade and movement, equal opportunity and economic pragmatism helped establish the conventions of the post-war Parliament and unite (to an extent) the disparate groups which it represented. Even so, the CNU-DVP coalition barely managed to maintain a slim majority in their re-election, . This election also saw the formation and merging of a number of parties including the first socialist-monarchist party to participate in a general election (running in three seats - none would win).

[5] By the end of the 50s, the Germans have become used to the democratic system and to governments lasting for the entire term. Also the Early years of Weimar where seen in a more positive light. This includes most of the politicians of that time. But the CNU and the DVP showed fatigue in governing, it was time for a change. The new government was led by the son of the former Reichspräsident in a coalition iwth the left liberal DDP and the 1931 formed SDAP that had soaked up most of the former KDP electorate.

[6] And this was to be the first government of the "Second Weimar Republic" (called that because the constitutional convention of 1937 had once again been held in Weimar) to not last the entire term. However, transition of power went rather smoothly.
A scandal over armament deals with the far-right military-led government of Turkey and dubious flows of money between officials, magnates of the budding tourism industry and real estate magnates (or "property sharks") - tourism to the southern coast of Turkey was booming in a way that this region was beginning to be called 34. Bundesland ("the thirty-fourth state"), aggravated by hefty debates over liberalisation of morally laden criminal laws - notably, the liberalisation of the 1920s had, not stifled by twelve years of totalitarian insane dictatorship, picked up again by the mid-1950s - led the DDP (ironically, elements of this party were against decriminalisation of homosexuality, adultery, procuration, most forms of blasphemy, against decriminalisation of first-trimester abortion etc.) to withdraw their ministers from the cabinet. Fritz Ebert, after not being able to agree to a coalition with CNU or SAPD, had President Konrad Adenauer dissolve the Bundestag. New elections were called.

And everyone expected Germany to once again elect a right-wing government. CNU, DVP, NLP or even DNVP were expected to make the most gains. And although it indeed was the DVP which made the highest gains in percentage points, SAPD and SPD reached an absolute majority of seats. Minister of Labour and interim Minister of Justice and Postal Services, Robert Bialek, thus became the first chancellor of the SAPD.

In 1962, many came to celebrate Bialek as, after (formal) consent by the Entente powers (as they were still often called) and a referendum yielding 61,9 % approval, Austria joined Germany as another four Bundesländer (one encompassing Vorarlberg, Tyrol and Salzburg; the second one Niederösterreich, Oberösterreich and Burgenland, and the third Carinthia and Styria - now once again including Lower Styria as Yugoslavia had been defeated, and Vienna was spun-off as a city-state like Hamburg, Bremen and Danzig).
However, quite a few also feared the trend of liberalisation and, completely bogus as this claim was, a few ultraconservatives and reactionaries feared a communist takeover of Germany. Some protests and demonstrations against Bialek were seen towards the end of his term, but most were very happy with Bialek's legacy and the new liberty that came with the reformed criminal code, now just called StGB. Many even actively campaigned for him as he ran for reelection in 1965.

[7] Bialek's broad popularity saw the SAPD consolidate its lead over the SPD, though with the new Austrian states, the two parties fell short of a combined majority. The Socialist Party of Austria, which had strongly supported unification and cultivated close ties to both the SAPD and SPD, triumphed in the new states. The governing parties were more than happy to bring the SPÖ into the fold, both for ideological reasons and as a show of national unity. While this result satisfied the greater public, the strengthened position of the socialist forces alarmed the right-wing. They now counted among their ranks two new Austrian parties: the clericalist Catholics, the bulk of whom had opposed unification, and the "Großdeutsche" pan-nationalists, who had enthusiastically supported it. Though more diverse than ever, the conservative opposition all shared a vehement anti-socialism, and spoke with one voice against the Bialek government. Though initially out of step with the public mood, they found themselves vindicated when the economic situation took a turn for the worse. This was exacerbated by difficulties in properly integrating Austria, which lagged behind the rest of the country in economic development and investment. The conservatives hit hard on the Bialek government, attributing the downturn to socialist mismanagement and accusing Bialek of ignoring the health of the economy in favour of pandering to "gays, feminists, and criminals." The public became increasingly dissatisfied, and the situation was not helped by reports that the first Bialek government had sent bribes over the border to entice the Austrian government to pursue unification - Bialek himself had reportedly boasted privately that it would "guarantee a socialist government, not only in the Bundestag but the states too, for 20 years or more."

The government's popularity floundered throughout the winter of 1967-8, and the coalition became increasingly dissatisfied with their situation. With the opposition polling well and Bialek's reputation tarnished, there were rumblings that he had to go. One morning in early March, the Chancellor received a delegation of party powerbrokers in his office. Several hours later, the meeting concluded, and Bialek held a press conference to announce his resignation. He stated that he was no longer the best person to lead the government, but failed to endorse a successor. Speculation ran rampant about who could be next, or whether the SAPD would even remain at the helm of government. In recent years, it seemed that the party had become almost synonymous with Bialek himself. Three frenzied days and sleepless nights later, the governing parties jointly nominated Social Democratic Party whip Annemarie Renger to become the next Chancellor. She was confirmed by a motion of confidence in the Bundestag. Amidst a recession and a slew of scandals, and with an election on the horizon, the first woman to lead Germany was not in an enviable position.


[8] Annemarie Renger had little fortune. On the one hand, there was a demand for change, on the other she had not been long enough in office to get any boost from being the incumbent. And while it had always been her aim to show that a woman can do the job just as well, this time she simply did not have the time. Forming a new government after the election was complicated. While no liberal or conservative party was willing to work under Renger (SPD was still the strongest party) they also had trouble to decide among themselves which party would get the chancellorship.
Eventually and to almost everybodies surprise, they settled on von Habsburg. The German-Austrian unification had gotten rid of the limitations on political engagement for the Habsburg family. Whether deliberatly or by accident is still a popular topic for historical debate today. As an Independent, he not also got the Deutsch-Östereichische-Volkspartei ( German-Austrian-Peoples-Party), but also the tiny Sozialistische Volksbewegung zur Wiedereinführung der Monarchie ( with 2 seats) ( Peoples Movement for the Reintroduction of the Monarchy to back his government.[/COLOR]
EDIT: @Harry_Z_Trumen came up with the idea of a Socialist Monarchist party so I thought, ok, let's do that. "Volksbewegung zur Wiedereinführung der Monarchie" is of course a refference to the Andreas Eschbach Novel 'Ein König für Deutschland'

[9]: But the coalition of the liberal centre-right was not stable either, and it did not enact conservative reforms which the people desired after the Bialek andRenger chancellorships. Even Germany's youth, who had grown up with mostly the left in governments (but at the same time hearing stories of how, in World War II, the totalitarian dictatorship of the Soviet Union had been defeated), took to the streets for socially extremely conservative, but economically liberal to libertarian, reforms, and they elected far-right parties. And it was Fritz Thielen's DNVP who gained by far the most votes and seats, even outperforming SPD. By now, most Austrian parties remained only nominally separate from their German counterparts.

Thus, although Thielen's coalition was also composed of six parties, it was anticipated to be much more stable than the two previous governments as DNVP/ÖVP (the NLP had been subsumed into the DNVP/ÖVP again during the Renger chancellorship) and BFB (Bauern- und Forstbund, a Junker/agrarian party) were by far the largest partners. The latter three partners (Mittelstandspartei, Handwerkspartei and Partei Unabhängiger Unternehmer ) were economically libertarian splinter groups from the DDP, DVP and CNU respectively, and some believed they were close to unification.

And almost immediately after Thielen's election, the economy picked up again. Though no ultra-reactionary reforms could be enacted (e.g. homosexuality could not be completely recriminalised), several criminal laws were indeed tightened again and the political climate had now clearly turned towards social conservatism, if not reaction...

[10] In a surprising move, Chancellor Thielen negotiated with the SPD/SPÖ the introduction of a new two-round majority voting system, introducing a de facto two-party system in the future. The allied parties of the coalition agreed to merge into the Nationale Volksversammlung, the new main right of center party, which despite some defections of MPs, refusing the merger and forming new minor parties, retained a majority in parliament.[/COLOR]
[11] The new constitution seemed to stabilizes things. While the centre right parties were mostly united, the left was less cooperative. When the SPD/SPÖ candidate reached the second round the newly founded green party, ÖP, refused to support the social democrat Heinz Kühn.
With the both parliament and the presidency being controlled by the NVV, Thielen finally had the means to get his program done. The only challenge to his rule, was the federal council, where the devided left and centre-left parties still had a majority.
[12] But the right proved not to be fully united, either. The NVV had taken up many members of former parties like CNU, DVP, ÖVP, etc., including many liberals. But nationalists and the nationalist far-right were underrepresented. Fritz Thielen had, with the support of most of the Bundestag, the constitution amended in order to lengthen the term of the chancellor to six years and introduce a two-term limit from the next election onwards. But this next election, despite Thielen's program being mostly popular, surprisingly ended not in a victory of the centre-right. Neither did the left or centre-left win the election. Instead, narrowly beating Thielen's NVV to the majority, it was the far-right, reactionary, but also partly populist, EFP (Einheits- und Freiheitspartei "Unity and Freedom Party"), who surprisingly found a "coalition partner" in at least parts of the ÖP. The left wing of ÖP split off as "Grüne Zukunft" (GZ) (mostly just called "the Greens"), but the majority of ÖP remained intact. During the campaign, a few more far-right elements of NVV joined EFP, while the NVV became somewhat more amicable to former DDP voters and voters of smaller liberal parties who had no particularly nationalist or militarist agenda.

Some feared a return of Germany towards authoritarianism or even outright dictatorship, but these fears are commonly seen as overblown, especially with most regions of Europe, especially in Eastern and eastern Central Europe, already having quite conservative - sometimes authoritarian - regimes. Also, the EFP had campaigned, among other things, on introducing referendums on the federal level once again and on holding a referendum on whether to restore the monarchy...

[13] With new majorities in both chambers of parliament, the EFP rapidly implemented its agenda. A series of federal referendums were arranged on various issues, including the codification of German as the sole language of administration and education, to the exclusion of minority languages such as Polish and Danish; the insertion of a phrase into the constitution defining the German Republic as synonymous with "the German people and nation"; and the introduction of mandatory military service. Though turnout was low, most proposals were passed fairly comfortably. These successes emboldened the government to pursue its more radical policies: specifically, the restoration of the monarchy and cracking down on the significant power of trade unions in the German economy. They organised two simultaneous referendums on these issues, hoping to win both. They proposed that Prince Wilhelm, the now-elderly grandson of Wilhelm II, take the throne. On the issue of trade unions, they proposed the dissolution of all unions over 500,000 members, and a new agency to regulate the formation and operations of unions.

Both ideas predictably outraged the left. The issue of monarchy had remained fringe despite the EFP's rise in popularity, and was generally unpopular, even among conservatives - this was especially true among the younger generations, who had been born into a stable republic and had little desire for change. While restricting the power of unions had been an important issue for the right-wing since the Bialek era, it played poorly with many of the EFP's working-class supporters who had been wooed by the party's populist stances. The referendums were slated for early May 1985. However, in April, the incumbent NVV President spoke out against restoration of the monarchy. The EFP, whose monarchist majority resented the elected presidency, were incensed. The government hurriedly arranged a third referendum, proposing to place restrictions on the power of the President.

On May Day 1985, all of Germany's major unions launched a series of general strikes in protest of the referendums. The centre and moderate right, though more or less unsympathetic to the unions, were put off by the EFP's attitude toward the institutions of government, particularly the disempowerment of the President. The left encouraged a boycott on the referendums, while much of the right failed to endorse either "yes" or "no" votes. Ultimately, all three proposals passed with low turnout. After the results became clear, Chancellor Hornung demanded the immediate resignation of the President, and formally invited Prince Wilhelm to take the throne. He arranged an emergency session of the Bundestag for the next day, seeking to pass amendments defining Germany as an imperial monarchy.

This sparked immediate and intense reaction from groups across the political spectrum. Both left and moderate right took to the streets to protest what they saw as a power grab by Hornung. Meanwhile, when the President refused to resign, Hornung ordered police to detain him; however, the presidential security detail obstructed them and an armed standoff ensued. The situation deteriorated when a detachment of soldiers, sent to escort Wilhelm to Berlin, defected and join the anti-EFP demonstrations outside the Reichstag. Further military defections took place throughout the night and rioting began around the country. Shortly after midnight, the police at the President's residence relented and withdrew. He quickly declared a state of emergency, dismissing Hornung as Chancellor and dissolving the Bundestag for a new election. Urging calm and an end to the riots, he appointed Hans-Jochen Vogel, a moderate Social Democrat, as interim Chancellor in a coalition of national unity with the NVV, SPD/SPÖ, and DDP.

[14] The interim period was a whirlwind for the German political landscape, many constitutional laws were passed with emergency powers, the banning of extremist parties was pronounced at the same time as a major decentralisation reform. In the 1986 elections, the single list of the center-left to left-wing parties under the label "Die Republikaner" with the young mayor of Hamburg at its head came out on top. If a coalition could have won a majority with the DDP, the chancellor cordially invited "Demokraten 85", a new rally of the anti-Hornung centre and right, to prolong the national union and to continue the work of reconstruction and protection of German democracy.

[15] Acute constitutional reforms and turbulences subsided over the next new years, as the term of Hans-Ulrich Klose progressed. But on economic policy, the left-wing Republikaner and the centre-right to right-wing Demokraten 85 and especially the economically liberal DDP diverged once again. No snap elections had t obe called for the entire five years, some say miraculously so, but it was a consequence of the parties focusing on the rescuing and strengthening of German democracy and, wherever necessary, of democracy in Europe (and in some cases also beyond Europe). By the late 1980s, the authoritarian governments of Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Georgia had been overthrown in (relatively) peaceful revolutions (rather "Tunisia 2011" than "East Germany 1989" though) - and in Europe, only Armenia, Turkey and Spain were still ruled by authoritarians.

Complete unity of Die Republikaner didn't last, but only small sections of the party split off. Notably, some more conservative elements moved to Demokraten 85. Fully fledged new parties forming was rare, the most notable of them was the more democratic socialist to syndicalist AP (Arbeiterpartei). Together with three small regional parties who had never been subsumed into Die Republikaner - namely PLAU (Polnisch-Litauische Autonome Union), BDS (Bund Demokratischer Sorben) and TRB (Tschechischer Republikanischer Bund) who all three want to achieve devolution for majority-Polish, majority-Sorb and Sudeten German/Czech parts of Germany, and with Die Republikaner very nearly achieving an absolute majority of seats, Kazimierz "Káka" Deyna was elected Chancellor of Germany. With his small coalition partners, he was able to reach a majority of 65 % of seats, three seats shy of a constitution-changing two thirds majority.
But there was one major issue: the issue of energy. Scientists had by now clearly outlined that failing to reduce (and, at some point, abandon) fossil fuel usage -notably coal - would lead humanity into catastrophic climate change. However, despite some more left-wing environmentalists in Die Republikaner, causes of environmental protection had been discredited as right-wing to far-right during the Hornung administration and the following constitutional crisis.

[16] Denya´s policy seemed to relativly popular among the German citizens. The Social Democrats passed several education reforms with the goal to give child a fair chance. Even the Demokraten and parts of the DDP (who held a majority in the federal council) supported the education reforms. But there were still 2 problems for Denya and his party. The environment and the seperatists.
Environmental issues have always been popular among the Social Democrats, but there were also influental lobbies who opposed it. One of these groups was the Mining Union (Bergbaubund (BBB)), the other was the influental energy cooperation RWE. The Miner´s have always been supporters of the Social Democrats and parts of the party felt that if they abandon coal too fast, they would betray their own voters. Unable to find a clear solution Denya still won the election, but only narrowingly.

Outside of Germany things have also been changing very fast. The newly established democracies in eastern Europe did not last very long. Almost all of them elected radical christian parties into office, which destabelized the region even further. In Bulgaria and Romania the military quickly regained power, only in Hungary and Croatia the democratic opposition came out on top. The exception was Georgia, where a theocracy had been established. In most of eastern Europe christian fundamentalists were responsible for several terror attacks. It seems the region could not calm down.
 
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TL #6 - Hitlers Rheinfall
What if the United Kingdom and France, with Italo-Austrian support, go to war against Nazi Germany over remilitarisation of the Rhineland?

List of Chancellors of the German Republic

1933: Adolf Hitler (NSDAP)
1937: Otto Braun (SPD-DDP) [1]
1941:
Wilhelm Hoegner (SPD-DDP-BVP) [2]
1950: Hermann Pünder (CNU-
DVP) [3]
1954: Hermann Pünder (CNU-DVP) [4]

1958: Fritz Ebert (SPD-DDP-SAPD) [5]
1960: Robert Bialek (SAPD-SPD) [6]
1965: Robert Bialek (SAPD-SPD-SPÖ) [7]

1968: Annemarie Renger (SAPD-SPD-SPÖ) [7]
1969: Otto von Habsburg independent ( CNU -DÖVP - DDP - DVP - SVWM ) [8]
1971: Fritz Thielen (DNVP/ÖVP-BFB-MStP-HP-PUU) [9]
1973: Fritz Thielen (NVv) [10]
1977: Fritz Thielen (NVv) [11]
1981: Klaus Hornung (EFP-ÖP) [12]

1985: Hans-Jochen Vogel (NVv-SPD-SPÖ-DDP) [13]
1986: Hans-Ulrich Klose (REP-D85-DDP) [14]
1991: Kazimierz "Káka" Deyna (SRP-AP-PLAU-BDS-TRB) [15]
1996: Kazimierz "Káka" Deyna (SRP-AP-PLAU-BDS-TRB) [16]
2001: Antje Hermenau (D85) [17]


[1]
France - fearing a far-right/nationalist or a far-left/communist victory in the upcoming election - called upon the United Kingdom for support in a war against Germany, and London agreed that the remilitarisation of the Rhineland was indeed enough to invoke the alliance (Bündnisfall). And, against the only very recently rebuilt Wehrmacht and the as-of-yet meager Luftwaffe, it was a quick war. It was the following (short) civil war against both fanaticised SS units and communist resistance which actually led to more fatalities than the fight against the Wehrmacht. But thanks to Austrian, Polish and even Italian assistance, by 1937, a second constitutional convention had been called. While France advocated a more presidential system, it was an Anglo-Polish-Czech-German proposal of strengthening the role of the Chancellor, more clearly delineating an emergency according to art. 48, limiting the power of the President to rule by such Art. 48 emergency decrees to one year at most, banning changes to the constitution via emergency decrees, clarifying basic human and civil rights, and - most importantly - fundamentally reforming the electoral system to a Westminster system, which was accepted. Contrary to the UK, Germany's diversity of parties meant that coalitions were not quite as unlikely in Berlin as in London. 1937 saw the first free and fair elections held under the new system, and while many expected a rather right-wing Franz von Papen chancellorship, it was Otto Braun's SPD who won the election. Both KPD and NSDAP had been banned by a newly created institution, the Verfassungsgerichtshof (Constitutional Court) in Bremen.
Also, a referendum in Danzig had been held in August 1937, yielding 79,4 % support for rejoining the German Republic. A similar result of 72,5 % was obtained in Memelland, and thus, both once split-off parts rejoined Germany. But a major threat to this new order of Europe was arising, not from Berlin, but from Moscow as Stalin tried to incite communist dissidents and parts of the radicalised working class to rise up across Eastern Europe, especially the Baltics and Poland... Britain and even France saw themselves forced to de facto ally with the new democratic Germany (de jure, they only - relatively quickly - lifted restrictions on the armed forces which, as 1933-36 had shown, were barely enforceable anyway and relaxed on reparations).

[2] To everyone's surprise, the coalition held for the whole 4 year term, but failed to get a majority in the next election, though barely. Otto Braun decided to retire. SPD and DDP where willing to continue governing, but needed a third partner. Eventually they settled on the Bavarian Peoples Party, and Bavarian Social Democrat Hoegner as new chancellor. The advantages of having a fellow Bavarian as chancellor outweighed the downside of him being a Social Democrat. ;-)

[3] The war that everyone thought would already break out in Braun's term (and which might well have torn the new system asunder) broke out in early 1942 when, after the USSR had been able to erect a communist puppet regime under Bolesław Bierut in Poland, Japan incited counter-revolutionaries in Mongolia and the Russian Far East. After an episode of war in Mongolia and Tannu-Tuva, where it became evident that the British and French (at least) had come to support Japan, Stalin attacked the Baltic nations and Finland on April 28, 1942. Wilhelm Hoegner took the opposition of CNU (a merger of Zentrum and the more nationalist parts of the DVP, together with some small Christian/conservative splinter parties, to represent all Christian denominations), DVP and even the DNVP into an all-party coalition. As the war was raging on throughout Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and most parts of Asia, the 1945 election was - as was allowed in "case of war or another national emergency, to be confirmed every year by the Bundestag" - postponed for four years. And the allies (Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, but also Japan and later on the USA) won the war against the USSR, Poland, Yugoslavia, Romania, Mongolia, Tannu-Tuva, and quite a few revolutionary collaborators decisively. The Baltics and Finland were kept free, and Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Dagestan, Chechnya, Mongolia, Tannu-Tuva, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan were liberated. After the war, the USSR was limited to territory east of the Urals and west of the Lena River and some of Central Asia (namely Kazakhstan and parts of Uzbekistan). To the west of the Urals, on the backs of anti-communist rebels/freedom fighters, the Russian Empire was restored under the closest available relative of the Romanovs, while the Far-Eastern Republic was a member of the - unstable - GEACPS. A new type of weapon was also developed, called - even officially - Atombombe, but the test of this device on September 5, 1949 in the remote northern reaches of Finland impressed the USSR into accepting the unconditional surrender and the Treaty of T'bilisi. Hoegner only called elections when the war was over, and at this point, Germany was once again a great power, but a great power within a framework of European allies and newly liberated nations. But, to many people's surprise and even shock, Hoegner and his coalition lost to the candidacy of Hermann Pünder of the CNU, who entered a coalition with the DVP. By the time Pünder was inaugurated as Chancellor, Japan had to retreat from the Far-Eastern Republic, but their occupational duties were taken up by the US soon after, so that the FER was likely to be remodeled on the American system...

[4] Pünder's doctrines of free trade and movement, equal opportunity and economic pragmatism helped establish the conventions of the post-war Parliament and unite (to an extent) the disparate groups which it represented. Even so, the CNU-DVP coalition barely managed to maintain a slim majority in their re-election, . This election also saw the formation and merging of a number of parties including the first socialist-monarchist party to participate in a general election (running in three seats - none would win).

[5] By the end of the 50s, the Germans have become used to the democratic system and to governments lasting for the entire term. Also the Early years of Weimar where seen in a more positive light. This includes most of the politicians of that time. But the CNU and the DVP showed fatigue in governing, it was time for a change. The new government was led by the son of the former Reichspräsident in a coalition iwth the left liberal DDP and the 1931 formed SDAP that had soaked up most of the former KDP electorate.

[6] And this was to be the first government of the "Second Weimar Republic" (called that because the constitutional convention of 1937 had once again been held in Weimar) to not last the entire term. However, transition of power went rather smoothly.
A scandal over armament deals with the far-right military-led government of Turkey and dubious flows of money between officials, magnates of the budding tourism industry and real estate magnates (or "property sharks") - tourism to the southern coast of Turkey was booming in a way that this region was beginning to be called 34. Bundesland ("the thirty-fourth state"), aggravated by hefty debates over liberalisation of morally laden criminal laws - notably, the liberalisation of the 1920s had, not stifled by twelve years of totalitarian insane dictatorship, picked up again by the mid-1950s - led the DDP (ironically, elements of this party were against decriminalisation of homosexuality, adultery, procuration, most forms of blasphemy, against decriminalisation of first-trimester abortion etc.) to withdraw their ministers from the cabinet. Fritz Ebert, after not being able to agree to a coalition with CNU or SAPD, had President Konrad Adenauer dissolve the Bundestag. New elections were called.

And everyone expected Germany to once again elect a right-wing government. CNU, DVP, NLP or even DNVP were expected to make the most gains. And although it indeed was the DVP which made the highest gains in percentage points, SAPD and SPD reached an absolute majority of seats. Minister of Labour and interim Minister of Justice and Postal Services, Robert Bialek, thus became the first chancellor of the SAPD.

In 1962, many came to celebrate Bialek as, after (formal) consent by the Entente powers (as they were still often called) and a referendum yielding 61,9 % approval, Austria joined Germany as another four Bundesländer (one encompassing Vorarlberg, Tyrol and Salzburg; the second one Niederösterreich, Oberösterreich and Burgenland, and the third Carinthia and Styria - now once again including Lower Styria as Yugoslavia had been defeated, and Vienna was spun-off as a city-state like Hamburg, Bremen and Danzig).
However, quite a few also feared the trend of liberalisation and, completely bogus as this claim was, a few ultraconservatives and reactionaries feared a communist takeover of Germany. Some protests and demonstrations against Bialek were seen towards the end of his term, but most were very happy with Bialek's legacy and the new liberty that came with the reformed criminal code, now just called StGB. Many even actively campaigned for him as he ran for reelection in 1965.

[7] Bialek's broad popularity saw the SAPD consolidate its lead over the SPD, though with the new Austrian states, the two parties fell short of a combined majority. The Socialist Party of Austria, which had strongly supported unification and cultivated close ties to both the SAPD and SPD, triumphed in the new states. The governing parties were more than happy to bring the SPÖ into the fold, both for ideological reasons and as a show of national unity. While this result satisfied the greater public, the strengthened position of the socialist forces alarmed the right-wing. They now counted among their ranks two new Austrian parties: the clericalist Catholics, the bulk of whom had opposed unification, and the "Großdeutsche" pan-nationalists, who had enthusiastically supported it. Though more diverse than ever, the conservative opposition all shared a vehement anti-socialism, and spoke with one voice against the Bialek government. Though initially out of step with the public mood, they found themselves vindicated when the economic situation took a turn for the worse. This was exacerbated by difficulties in properly integrating Austria, which lagged behind the rest of the country in economic development and investment. The conservatives hit hard on the Bialek government, attributing the downturn to socialist mismanagement and accusing Bialek of ignoring the health of the economy in favour of pandering to "gays, feminists, and criminals." The public became increasingly dissatisfied, and the situation was not helped by reports that the first Bialek government had sent bribes over the border to entice the Austrian government to pursue unification - Bialek himself had reportedly boasted privately that it would "guarantee a socialist government, not only in the Bundestag but the states too, for 20 years or more."

The government's popularity floundered throughout the winter of 1967-8, and the coalition became increasingly dissatisfied with their situation. With the opposition polling well and Bialek's reputation tarnished, there were rumblings that he had to go. One morning in early March, the Chancellor received a delegation of party powerbrokers in his office. Several hours later, the meeting concluded, and Bialek held a press conference to announce his resignation. He stated that he was no longer the best person to lead the government, but failed to endorse a successor. Speculation ran rampant about who could be next, or whether the SAPD would even remain at the helm of government. In recent years, it seemed that the party had become almost synonymous with Bialek himself. Three frenzied days and sleepless nights later, the governing parties jointly nominated Social Democratic Party whip Annemarie Renger to become the next Chancellor. She was confirmed by a motion of confidence in the Bundestag. Amidst a recession and a slew of scandals, and with an election on the horizon, the first woman to lead Germany was not in an enviable position.


[8] Annemarie Renger had little fortune. On the one hand, there was a demand for change, on the other she had not been long enough in office to get any boost from being the incumbent. And while it had always been her aim to show that a woman can do the job just as well, this time she simply did not have the time. Forming a new government after the election was complicated. While no liberal or conservative party was willing to work under Renger (SPD was still the strongest party) they also had trouble to decide among themselves which party would get the chancellorship.
Eventually and to almost everybodies surprise, they settled on von Habsburg. The German-Austrian unification had gotten rid of the limitations on political engagement for the Habsburg family. Whether deliberatly or by accident is still a popular topic for historical debate today. As an Independent, he not also got the Deutsch-Östereichische-Volkspartei ( German-Austrian-Peoples-Party), but also the tiny Sozialistische Volksbewegung zur Wiedereinführung der Monarchie ( with 2 seats) ( Peoples Movement for the Reintroduction of the Monarchy to back his government.[/COLOR]
EDIT: @Harry_Z_Trumen came up with the idea of a Socialist Monarchist party so I thought, ok, let's do that. "Volksbewegung zur Wiedereinführung der Monarchie" is of course a refference to the Andreas Eschbach Novel 'Ein König für Deutschland'

[9]: But the coalition of the liberal centre-right was not stable either, and it did not enact conservative reforms which the people desired after the Bialek andRenger chancellorships. Even Germany's youth, who had grown up with mostly the left in governments (but at the same time hearing stories of how, in World War II, the totalitarian dictatorship of the Soviet Union had been defeated), took to the streets for socially extremely conservative, but economically liberal to libertarian, reforms, and they elected far-right parties. And it was Fritz Thielen's DNVP who gained by far the most votes and seats, even outperforming SPD. By now, most Austrian parties remained only nominally separate from their German counterparts.

Thus, although Thielen's coalition was also composed of six parties, it was anticipated to be much more stable than the two previous governments as DNVP/ÖVP (the NLP had been subsumed into the DNVP/ÖVP again during the Renger chancellorship) and BFB (Bauern- und Forstbund, a Junker/agrarian party) were by far the largest partners. The latter three partners (Mittelstandspartei, Handwerkspartei and Partei Unabhängiger Unternehmer ) were economically libertarian splinter groups from the DDP, DVP and CNU respectively, and some believed they were close to unification.

And almost immediately after Thielen's election, the economy picked up again. Though no ultra-reactionary reforms could be enacted (e.g. homosexuality could not be completely recriminalised), several criminal laws were indeed tightened again and the political climate had now clearly turned towards social conservatism, if not reaction...

[10] In a surprising move, Chancellor Thielen negotiated with the SPD/SPÖ the introduction of a new two-round majority voting system, introducing a de facto two-party system in the future. The allied parties of the coalition agreed to merge into the Nationale Volksversammlung, the new main right of center party, which despite some defections of MPs, refusing the merger and forming new minor parties, retained a majority in parliament.[/COLOR]
[11] The new constitution seemed to stabilizes things. While the centre right parties were mostly united, the left was less cooperative. When the SPD/SPÖ candidate reached the second round the newly founded green party, ÖP, refused to support the social democrat Heinz Kühn.
With the both parliament and the presidency being controlled by the NVV, Thielen finally had the means to get his program done. The only challenge to his rule, was the federal council, where the devided left and centre-left parties still had a majority.
[12] But the right proved not to be fully united, either. The NVV had taken up many members of former parties like CNU, DVP, ÖVP, etc., including many liberals. But nationalists and the nationalist far-right were underrepresented. Fritz Thielen had, with the support of most of the Bundestag, the constitution amended in order to lengthen the term of the chancellor to six years and introduce a two-term limit from the next election onwards. But this next election, despite Thielen's program being mostly popular, surprisingly ended not in a victory of the centre-right. Neither did the left or centre-left win the election. Instead, narrowly beating Thielen's NVV to the majority, it was the far-right, reactionary, but also partly populist, EFP (Einheits- und Freiheitspartei "Unity and Freedom Party"), who surprisingly found a "coalition partner" in at least parts of the ÖP. The left wing of ÖP split off as "Grüne Zukunft" (GZ) (mostly just called "the Greens"), but the majority of ÖP remained intact. During the campaign, a few more far-right elements of NVV joined EFP, while the NVV became somewhat more amicable to former DDP voters and voters of smaller liberal parties who had no particularly nationalist or militarist agenda.

Some feared a return of Germany towards authoritarianism or even outright dictatorship, but these fears are commonly seen as overblown, especially with most regions of Europe, especially in Eastern and eastern Central Europe, already having quite conservative - sometimes authoritarian - regimes. Also, the EFP had campaigned, among other things, on introducing referendums on the federal level once again and on holding a referendum on whether to restore the monarchy...

[13] With new majorities in both chambers of parliament, the EFP rapidly implemented its agenda. A series of federal referendums were arranged on various issues, including the codification of German as the sole language of administration and education, to the exclusion of minority languages such as Polish and Danish; the insertion of a phrase into the constitution defining the German Republic as synonymous with "the German people and nation"; and the introduction of mandatory military service. Though turnout was low, most proposals were passed fairly comfortably. These successes emboldened the government to pursue its more radical policies: specifically, the restoration of the monarchy and cracking down on the significant power of trade unions in the German economy. They organised two simultaneous referendums on these issues, hoping to win both. They proposed that Prince Wilhelm, the now-elderly grandson of Wilhelm II, take the throne. On the issue of trade unions, they proposed the dissolution of all unions over 500,000 members, and a new agency to regulate the formation and operations of unions.

Both ideas predictably outraged the left. The issue of monarchy had remained fringe despite the EFP's rise in popularity, and was generally unpopular, even among conservatives - this was especially true among the younger generations, who had been born into a stable republic and had little desire for change. While restricting the power of unions had been an important issue for the right-wing since the Bialek era, it played poorly with many of the EFP's working-class supporters who had been wooed by the party's populist stances. The referendums were slated for early May 1985. However, in April, the incumbent NVV President spoke out against restoration of the monarchy. The EFP, whose monarchist majority resented the elected presidency, were incensed. The government hurriedly arranged a third referendum, proposing to place restrictions on the power of the President.

On May Day 1985, all of Germany's major unions launched a series of general strikes in protest of the referendums. The centre and moderate right, though more or less unsympathetic to the unions, were put off by the EFP's attitude toward the institutions of government, particularly the disempowerment of the President. The left encouraged a boycott on the referendums, while much of the right failed to endorse either "yes" or "no" votes. Ultimately, all three proposals passed with low turnout. After the results became clear, Chancellor Hornung demanded the immediate resignation of the President, and formally invited Prince Wilhelm to take the throne. He arranged an emergency session of the Bundestag for the next day, seeking to pass amendments defining Germany as an imperial monarchy.

This sparked immediate and intense reaction from groups across the political spectrum. Both left and moderate right took to the streets to protest what they saw as a power grab by Hornung. Meanwhile, when the President refused to resign, Hornung ordered police to detain him; however, the presidential security detail obstructed them and an armed standoff ensued. The situation deteriorated when a detachment of soldiers, sent to escort Wilhelm to Berlin, defected and join the anti-EFP demonstrations outside the Reichstag. Further military defections took place throughout the night and rioting began around the country. Shortly after midnight, the police at the President's residence relented and withdrew. He quickly declared a state of emergency, dismissing Hornung as Chancellor and dissolving the Bundestag for a new election. Urging calm and an end to the riots, he appointed Hans-Jochen Vogel, a moderate Social Democrat, as interim Chancellor in a coalition of national unity with the NVV, SPD/SPÖ, and DDP.

[14] The interim period was a whirlwind for the German political landscape, many constitutional laws were passed with emergency powers, the banning of extremist parties was pronounced at the same time as a major decentralisation reform. In the 1986 elections, the single list of the center-left to left-wing parties under the label "Die Republikaner" with the young mayor of Hamburg at its head came out on top. If a coalition could have won a majority with the DDP, the chancellor cordially invited "Demokraten 85", a new rally of the anti-Hornung centre and right, to prolong the national union and to continue the work of reconstruction and protection of German democracy.

[15] Acute constitutional reforms and turbulences subsided over the next new years, as the term of Hans-Ulrich Klose progressed. But on economic policy, the left-wing Republikaner and the centre-right to right-wing Demokraten 85 and especially the economically liberal DDP diverged once again. No snap elections had t obe called for the entire five years, some say miraculously so, but it was a consequence of the parties focusing on the rescuing and strengthening of German democracy and, wherever necessary, of democracy in Europe (and in some cases also beyond Europe). By the late 1980s, the authoritarian governments of Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Georgia had been overthrown in (relatively) peaceful revolutions (rather "Tunisia 2011" than "East Germany 1989" though) - and in Europe, only Armenia, Turkey and Spain were still ruled by authoritarians.

Complete unity of Die Republikaner didn't last, but only small sections of the party split off. Notably, some more conservative elements moved to Demokraten 85. Fully fledged new parties forming was rare, the most notable of them was the more democratic socialist to syndicalist AP (Arbeiterpartei). Together with three small regional parties who had never been subsumed into Die Republikaner - namely PLAU (Polnisch-Litauische Autonome Union), BDS (Bund Demokratischer Sorben) and TRB (Tschechischer Republikanischer Bund) who all three want to achieve devolution for majority-Polish, majority-Sorb and Sudeten German/Czech parts of Germany, and with Die Republikaner very nearly achieving an absolute majority of seats, Kazimierz "Káka" Deyna was elected Chancellor of Germany. With his small coalition partners, he was able to reach a majority of 65 % of seats, three seats shy of a constitution-changing two thirds majority.
But there was one major issue: the issue of energy. Scientists had by now clearly outlined that failing to reduce (and, at some point, abandon) fossil fuel usage -notably coal - would lead humanity into catastrophic climate change. However, despite some more left-wing environmentalists in Die Republikaner, causes of environmental protection had been discredited as right-wing to far-right during the Hornung administration and the following constitutional crisis.

[16] Denya´s policy seemed to relativly popular among the German citizens. The Social Democrats passed several education reforms with the goal to give child a fair chance. Even the Demokraten and parts of the DDP (who held a majority in the federal council) supported the education reforms. But there were still 2 problems for Denya and his party. The environment and the seperatists.
Environmental issues have always been popular among the Social Democrats, but there were also influental lobbies who opposed it. One of these groups was the Mining Union (Bergbaubund (BBB)), the other was the influental energy cooperation RWE. The Miner´s have always been supporters of the Social Democrats and parts of the party felt that if they abandon coal too fast, they would betray their own voters. Unable to find a clear solution Denya still won the election, but only narrowingly.

Outside of Germany things have also been changing very fast. The newly established democracies in eastern Europe did not last very long. Almost all of them elected radical christian parties into office, which destabelized the region even further. In Bulgaria and Romania the military quickly regained power, only in Hungary and Croatia the democratic opposition came out on top. The exception was Georgia, where a theocracy had been established. In most of eastern Europe christian fundamentalists were responsible for several terror attacks. It seems the region could not calm down.

[17] At the beginning of the election year, nobody would have betted against the incumbent. The only question seemed wether the SRP would even need coalition partners at all.
The DDP would be lead by controversial right winger Horst Mahler. The moderates in the party had given up their resistance in hoope of getting rid of him after loosing an election and a let him take one for the team attitude.
After loosing half the seats in the 1996 election, D85 went through 4 chairmen in in 3 years and finally decided to put the leadership question to the party members. In a 3 way competition, Antje Hermenau (36 %) from Saxony defeated Guido Westerwelle (Bonn 33%) and Austrian Arnold Schwarzenegger (30%). The one round competition without a run-off did not make thing easy within the party. But then in March 2001 a huge campaign finance scandal hit the SRP and Antje Hermenau found just the right topic for the elction campaign. Within weeks the polls showed an enourmous swing towards D85. In the September election D85 managed to make the second round in almost every seat and do very well in the 2. rounds too ending up with 59% of the seats in the Reichstag. Antje Hermenau became the second woman to hold the office and the first to win it in her own right.
 
I had a very similar idea: an elected woman from Demokraten 85 - but without the Spendenskandal, @oberdada (instead, I would have gone with climate/energy policy)! A good turn!
 
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