Karl Dönitz (Blood and Soil)

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Karl Dönitz
President of Germany
In office
23 October 1962 – 24 December 1980
Chancellor Kurt Kiesinger
Claus von Stauffenberg
Preceded by Martin Bormann
Succeeded by Hans Modrow
Supreme Commander of the Navy
In office
30 January 1943 – 1 June 1959
President Adolf Hitler
Hermann Göring
Preceded by Erich Raeder
Succeeded by ????
Personal details
Born 16 September 1891
Grunau, Prussia, German Empire
Died December 24, 1980(1980-12-24) (aged 89)
Germania, Germany
Political party NSDAP
Children 3

Karl Dönitz was a German admiral and politician who served as the President of Germany from 1962 to 1980 and Supreme Commander of the German Navy from 1943 to 1958.

Serving as Germany's chief naval commander for the second half of the World War, Dönitz was present at the Madrid Peace Conference in March 1946, which marked the end of hostilities between the United States and United Kingdom against Germany and Italy. In the years following, Dönitz focused on development of advanced submarines for Germany and managed to procure submarines that were virtually undetectable to enemies. He retired from the navy in 1958, however was called into politics in 1962 after the fall of Martin Bormann's government.

Dönitz's presidency was met by opposition by the NSDAP's hardline and soon he found himself embroiled in a civil war from 1962 to 1964, defeating the Orthodoxist government of Reinhard Heydrich and Joseph Goebbels. After the civil war, Dönitz and his chancellor, Kurt Kiesinger, introduced postwar reforms to the nation. Germany's Lebensraum policy was canceled after the Treaty of Danzig and other Germanization projects in Burgundy and the Low Countries were dropped in favor of pro-Germania client states. As a result of these changes, Germany's relations with the United States and Britain began to thaw, and Dönitz became the first German head of state to visit the United States in 1967.

Economic liberalization brought about rapid growth to the German economy, with the 1970s seeing Germany rise to second place in GDP, just behind the United States. Dönitz died of a heart attack on Christmas Eve at the age of 89. Historians generally hold Dönitz in high regard for moderating Germany's political culture and for repealing the antisemitic Nuremberg Laws in 1969.