Hochmeister was a title used by the First and Second Teutonic Orders. The title is currently used as designating the supreme leader of the Teutonic Confederacy. Hochmeister in German means Grand Master. Due to a lack of information from the era, this list will not detail the First Order's Grand Masters, but only the Second Order's and the Confederacy's.
Second Teutonic Order
The Second Teutonic Order was a short lived state in between the Duchy of Prussia and the Teutonic Kingdom. There was only a single man who was Grand Master under the Second Order.
Hochmeister Albert I von Reval
When he was thirty, he was promoted to Komtur (Knight Commander), and given jurisdiction of the Order in and around the area of the city of Memel (Klaipeda). From his command, he successfully managed an insurgency campaign against the Polish. His operations led to the Polish losing their grasp on the city of Memel. Albert had occupied the city of Memel, throwing out the Poles in the year 1665. However, without outside help, the garrison of Knights defending Memel was unable to stop a Polish task force sent to reclaim the city. However, his efforts were not in vain. The year the city was taken back in 1666, a meeting of the Generalkapitel (General Chapter) was called.
The Order assembled in the city of Wilna (Vilnius). The former Grand Master had passed away. The meeting was to vote for the next Grand Master. Albert was the opposition candidate to Franz Ludwig, who was the current Grand Knight Commander. Albert, whose accomplishments were notable, lost the vote 30%-70% in favor of Franz Ludwig, who had been in the Order longer, and had done many deeds in the north. However, Franz Ludwig was elderly, and was expected to die soon. However, as an act of good faith, Franz Ludwig appointed Albert as the new Grand Knight Commander, who served as a deputy to the Grand Master.
Albert accompanied Franz Ludwig on Orderly business, and learned much from the man. Albert and Franz were in contact with the Holy Roman Emperor, who had also gone Lutheran in the Reformation. They negotiated for the HRE's support in a potential war with Poland. The Emperor accepted, but was busy with other wars in the west. As years passed, Franz's health began to fail, and after only four years as Grand Master, he passed away in 1670.
In the ensuing General Chapter meeting, Albert was elected as Grand Master unanimously, without any challengers. Albert then began to step up military operations, and began harassing the Polish again. Albert, who was a major Teutonic patriot, wanted to see the lands of the Order free from Polish oppression. Another reason for this was that there were talks within the Order at the last General Chapter meeting about disbanding the Order, as it was a Catholic organization originally, and many Teutons viewed it as such. This led to less support, as many Teutons were Lutherans by this time, including all of the Order itself. Albert believed that stepping up military activity would distract the Order from thoughts of disbanding.
As Grand Master of the Order, he continued to communicate with the Holy Roman Emperor, who was still supportive of a campaign against Poland sometime in the late 1670s. In the year 1676, the Duchy had gotten a new Duke: Zygmunt Vasa I Prus. Zygmunt acted as a tyrant towards the Teutonic peoples, and continued to tighten his grip over the region. Albert continued communications, and military activites until 1678, when he was informed by the Emperor that the HRE was ready for war. He assembled the General Chapter once more in Wilna, and took a vote to declare independence. Unanimously passing, the Knights took control of the city of Wilna in late January of 1678.
News started coming in later in February that Holy Roman troops had begun taking western Polish lands. The Knights then headed out, seeking to retake the largest city in the region, along with being an important port: Memel. The Knights arrived at the city, and faced little resistance, as Polish armies had moved out of the surrounding area to return to Poland. In the city hall of Memel, Albert addressed the people of the city, as he had once before. Twelve years ago, he had liberated Memel once, and he had returned to liberate Memel once more. He instructed the Knight Commanders across the Order to start rising up, and begin recruiting local militias from the populations of the cities. Later that day, the Duke returned to the city, not knowing it was occupied. The Teutons ambushed him and his entourage, taking them prisoner.
Reclamation went on without incident until mid June. By this time, the Knights had taken back much of the Baltic states, and began to reclaim lands in Russia and Belarus. A Knight Banner under command of Albert began marching into northern Polish lands. This Banner consisted of a large number of Teutonic Knights, as well as an even larger number of militias gathered from the Baltics. The Banner continued until they hit the town of Grodno. There, they found a large Polish force marching to the Baltics. The Banner engaged the Poles. After a week of fighting, the Polish army broke and retreated.
The Banner continued to march to Warsaw, where they met with Holy Roman troops for a siege of the capital of Poland. The siege continued until late October, when the Polish garrison surrendered. Albert, the Holy Roman Emperor, and various other leaders of their Coalition met with Polish and Nordic representatives, signing the Treaty of Warsaw, which demarcated almost all of the modern borders in the region, and rendered the Kingdom of Poland defunct, along with the Scandinavian Union.
The last Duke of Prussia, Zygmunt I, was publicly executed in the town square of Memel. Albert returned to Memel to oversee this, and then afterwards, after much applause, he declared the Second Teutonic Order had been established to cheers from Memel.
He was self-appointed as the Grand Master of the former Teuton lands. As Grand Master, he began to Germanify the new lands that the Order had received in the Treaty of Warsaw. He also began to rebuild his lands after the war, which had fallen into disrepair under Polish rule, and especially after the war.
For the next forty two years, he grew old and kept rebuilding the lands he had worked his life to see independent. However, in the year 1710, when he was 78, he called the General Chapter together again. Since the war, the Order had seen a large shrink in membership, and was widely viewed as one of the last Catholic aspects in a new Lutheran nation. To his displeasure, he called a vote for the dissolution of the Order of Teutonic Knights. The vote, 10%-90%, was in favor of dissolution. Later that day, Albert declared in a public address from the Great Hall in Memel, that the military and religious order formerly known as the Order of Teutonic Knights had ceased to exist. This left his lands in chaos, as all governing bodies and authority was based off of the Order. In 1712, he established the Order of Albert, a Lutheran religious and military order based exactly off the Teutonic Order, but with a new name and new livery.
However, the Order of Albert had only the most faithful of the old Teutonic Knights join. These members were appointed positions in the government, to end the chaos in the lands of Teuton. However, the Albertian Order was not taken seriously by some, and chaos continued, largely in the rural areas. The order was too small to enforce it's authority.
Not only this, but cries for a monarchy began. People did not want to be governed by an old theocratic state. This distressed Albert majorly, as he had envisioned an end to the Teutonic people's suffering under a new Knightly administration. In the year 1720, he had made up his mind. He now saw that the Teutons did not want a return to the old Order's ways, but instead, they wanted to continue on into the future, becoming a modern nation. As he was not getting any younger, at the age of 86, he appeared for the last time publicly, resigning from Grand Master. He declared the old state of the Second Teutonic Order defunct, and allowed his Grand Knight Commander to declare the Kingdom of the Teutons.
The following day, he took a coach out of Memel quietly. The coach took him to his birthplace of Reval. He retired to his family's old cottage, and died peacefully at the old age of eighty-eight in 1722, two years after he had helped establish the Kingdom and resigned as Grand Master.
In the years following his death, he was remembered as a hero of the anti-Slav, and the Germanification movement. His old Grand Knight Commander, who was now King, had a full state burial that went from Reval to Memel, and constructed the Grand Cemetary in his honor, where he is buried to this day. In the Grand Cemetary, he has a large mausoleum, where in the center his body is in a gold-plated sarcophagus. The sarcophagus reads: <i>"Hier liegt Albert die erste und einzige, der Held der Germanen, Befreier der Länder."</i> This can be translated as: "Here lies Albert the first and only, hero of the Teutonic peoples, liberator of lands."
His Germanification efforts have led to the expansion of German culture in the Teutonic lands. His reconstruction efforts also helped the Teutons to become a modern power after his death. In the modern day Confederacy, he is regarded as a Grand Hero of Teuton, a title bestowed upon the most notable figures in Teuton history, and given only by the modern Grand Master.
With the dissolution of the Order of Teutonic Knights, and the state of the Teutonic Order, the term "Grand Master" was not used during the Royal and Imperial eras of the Teutons. The Albertian Order, which was established by Grand Master Albert I, was neglected under the new monarchies. The Grand Knight Commander that took the throne as King of the Teutons never declared himself Grand Master, and after he died, the Order elected to have the title retired in memory of Albert I. Albert I resigned as the Grand Master of the Teutonic state, but not the Albertian Order. The Order decided that by law Albert should be the only Grand Master of the Order.
After the Teutonic Empire's defeat in World War One, the Teutonic Republic was established and ruled for only a couple years before being overthrown by a new fascist ruler, who had decided to adopt the title Grand Master for himself, glorifying the old Teutonic Order.
The title of Hochmeister returned under the Teutonic Confederation to denote the regime's supreme leader. The name was meant to provoke a sense of historical glory found in the old days of the Teutonic Order.
Hochmeister Helmuth Adler
Helmuth Adler was born to the rich noble family of Adler, which resided in the capital city of Memel. The Adler family was on the Imperial Diet, and owned a large amount of land in and around Memel. He spent his earlier years in an upper class school for the nobility in downtown Memel. He had flown through his primary education, graduating with honors. He then attended the Imperial Military Academy for his secondary education, also graduating with honors from the academy by time he was eighteen.
After he had completed secondary schooling, he enlisted with the Imperial Teutonic Army, using his noble background and he education to get him the rank of Second Lieutenant in the military. He was assigned to the 3rd Platoon of the 1st Company of the 2nd Battalion of the 4th Regiment from the 7th Division of the 2nd Corps of the 25th Army in the 1st Army Group. He served as the commanding officer of the platoon throughout the years before World War One.
In 1902, at the age of 22, he married Angela Adler, and had their only child of Karl Adler. They sent Karl to noble schools, as Helmuth had been sent to when he was a child. Angela, however, was worried that Helmuth might die in action in his military career. Helmuth was also away at long periods of time during wars, leaving Angela to care for the child. This also stressed the relationship that Helmuth and Karl had.
In the minor wars before World War One, Helmuth led his platoon to distinction throughout the preliminary wars, earning the Warrior Merit Medal. He earned it in what would be called the Battle of Grunwald. Here, he lead his platoon to capture a small fortification on one of the hills nearby, which was occupied with artillery. He secured the hill, and afterwards, used the enemy's artillery against themselves, resulting in a decisive victory. After the minor wars were thought to have been over, Helmuth was promoted to 1st Lieutenant, and stayed with his platoon.
When World War One erupted in 1914, Helmuth was sent to defend the eastern front from the slavic invaders. For 1914 and 15, his platoon was mostly stuck in trench warfare along the eastern front, not accomplishing much. However, in 1916, the 25th Army had punched through the lines of the enemy, routing their core. Helmuth was ordered to charge in with the rest of the 2nd Battalion. His platoon led the spearhead of the charge, with Helmuth in front. They broke through the enemy lines, encircling them. Helmuth, who was then the only remaining officer left in the 2nd Battalion, took command of the 2nd, and managed to take the entire enemy trench, and then pressed onto a nearby fort which served as an enemy stockpile.
This enormous feat from just a First Lieutenant had gotten Helmuth invited to the Imperial Palace in Memel to meet with the Imperial Marshals. The Marshals had been discussing a promotion for the Lieutenant, some saying he deserved to command the 2nd, while others said he was too young. They ended up promoting him to Captain, awarding him command of the 1st Company. He also received the Albertian Order Cross, which was later upgraded with swords in 1917.
In 1918, the 2nd Battalion lost it's commander again, and Helmuth continued to be a distinguished leader on the field. Short of good leaders, and needing a new officer, the Imperial Marshals promoted him to Major, giving him command of the battalion. As Major, Helmuth led the 2nd Battalion to capture an enemy General in a later battle of the war. The Marshals awarded him the Grand Cross of the Teutons. the highest order in the Empire. A year later, in 1919, the war was finished, the Central Powers having lost.
Helmuth, being a huge patriot, was extremely disappointed, and the restrictions the Treaty of Versailles placed upon the Teutonic peoples were oppressive. The loss of all the Teutonic colonies, as well as the implementation of a Republic were extremely disheartening to the Teutons. However, the liberal sector of the country was pleased with the turn of events. Helmuth resigned from his position in the military, and retired to the capital city of Memel. He managed to purchase a large flat in the downtown, and started doing odd jobs around town.
One of his friends from the military, Lieutenant August Maxen, learned of his whereabouts, and visited Helmuth. August was still apart of the military, and commanded the local garrison. He tried to get Helmuth to rejoin the military, but Helmuth always stubbornly refused. However, August prodded the idea of Helmuth entering politics, and Helmuth always was intrigued by the idea.
Helmuth finally relented and decided to get into politics. He began scouring the city for any political party that struck his fancy. After searching, he couldn't find any party that was radical enough for his ideas. He told August about his dreams of another Teutonic Empire, and the return of honor to the Teutonic people. August thought similarly. They saw the new fascist parties in other parts of the world, and became inspired. They founded the Fascist Party of Teuton.
From there, they began hosting meetings, and started gathering members. Helmuth's charisma, along with his military past, enchanted many people, and believed that Helmuth would be able to return the country to it's greater days of glory. However, the Party kept getting low vote numbers, and the liberals kept receiving the majority of votes. This led to Helmuth trying more radical ways to get votes. He kept becoming more radical, and more to the right wing of politics. August and he hatched a plan to start a revolt against the government, using the military under August's command. Helmuth negotiated with the law enforcement agencies in the city, and they agreed to assist Helmuth. On June 19th, 1928, the Fascist party, along with the military garrison, started a riot on the streets.
They marched to the parliament building, but were stopped by police. The police had never intended to join the movement, and instead were prepared for the march. The military opened fire upon the police, which led to a firefight in front of parliament. This fight led to the capture of many of the party's officials, including Helmuth. Helmuth was sentenced to five years in prison for treason. During this time, the media coverage of the event led many Teutons to be introduced to the party. The romanticized depiction of Helmuth also helped the party, and soon many Teutons around the Republic were calling for the release of Helmuth.
However, he served his full sentence in the Republican Prison, and when he was released, crowds were there to see him. August, who managed to escape capture, had quietly resigned from the military and had been running for Chancellor in place of Helmuth while he was in prison. August and Helmuth welcomed each other, and Helmuth was placed back onto the ticket of the Party, running for Chancellor. Within two years, the 1935 Cancellarial Elections had Helmuth win the election, and the Party had won a majority in parliament. This led to the disbandment of the Republic, being replaced with the Confederation.
The former Bundestag, which was the parliamentary body, was changed into the Staatenbundstag, which was merely a fake parliament where only the Fascist party could be elected, to give citizens a feeling of democracy. Helmuth, however, adopted the title of Hochmeister, acting as a supreme leader. He had unlimited governmental power, but all personal decisions were claimed to have been passed through the Staatenbundstag.
He reshaped the country in terms of provinces, politics, and more. He rapidly industrialized some sections, and mass migrated other minorities to different regions. He also reinstituted slavery. Furthermore, he built up the military and developed nuclear weapons. He created a secondary position of power, the Allgemeine Minister, or General Minister. This was an elected position, where members of the Fascist party would run for the position, and be put on the ticket. The people would then vote between those party members. For a period of time, the General Minister position was occupied solely by August Maxen, until he died in the mid 1960s. From then on, the position had been changed many times.
In the beginning, the General Minister was an advisor role that also had unlimited power, except anything they did had to be approved by the Grand Master. After Maxen's death, however, the role of the General Minister became almost purely ceremonial. The GM presided over Staatenbundstag meetings, and advised the Hochmeister. The unlimited governmental powers given to the position were stripped after Maxen's death, with the position now having almost no power at all, besides advising the Grand Master. However, the position's secondary power comes with perks, as you become the effective second in command of the state.
The General Minister can also become Grand Master, if certain conditions are met, and then voted upon by the Staatenbundstag. Helmuth, having done all he could to return the state to it's former days of glory, began to wind down his activities, especially after August Maxen's death. In 1972, he died of natural causes at the age of 92. This led to a regency-like government being headed by the current General Minister. However, Helmuth's son then became the new Grand Master.
Helmuth's wife, Angela Adler, had supported her husband through his political ventures, but eventually died around the same time of August Maxen, which also contributed to Helmuth's diminishing presence as a leader in the government, combined with his age. Angela was mostly out of the public eye during most of Helmuth's rule, due to Helmuth not wanting anything bad to happen to his wife.
Helmuth has the greatest legacy among any other Teutonic rulers. He managed to tear down the Teutonic Republic, and established a cult of personality around himself. His body was embalmed, and sent around the Confederation for all to weep at the sight of their dead Grand Master. He was then returned to the city of Memel, and given the largest funeral in Teutonic history, surpassing Royal and Imperial funerals of the past. The event lasted for hours, culminating in his entombment in the largest mausoleum on the grounds of the Grand Cemetary in Memel.
Monuments of Helmuth have been made all across the Teutonic nation, and it is against the law to deface the monuments or speak lowly about Helmuth. His mausoleum is also a giant monument, and is guarded at all times by honor guard from the Teutonic Military. His popularity has led to him being named de jure the eternal Grand Master of the Teutons. However, de facto his descendants are the Grand Masters, and are still referred to as such in daily life. The current state of the Teutonic people was created by him, and his influence is felt everywhere.
Hochmeister Karl Adler
Karl Adler was the only son of Helmuth Adler. He went to a noble primary school in Memel, like his father. He graduated primary school with honors, and then attended the Imperial Military Academy, until its dissolution in 1919, when he was 17. He spent his last year in a commoner school, graduating with honors. He moved around the nation of Teuton, doing odd jobs, as the Teutonic economy was in a steep decline.
He married Harlene Adler, an English immigrant to Teuton. They had a child, Otto Adler, in 1935. Karl was appointed to the Staatenbundstag by his father, Helmuth Adler, after Helmuth had gained control of the nation. He went to all the meetings, and was fairly involved in politics, but much rather preferred to stay at home and do work.
When his father died in 1972, Karl was appointed Grand Master. He didn't change anything his father had done, and only did enough to keep the nation running. He died of natural causes in 1975 at the age of 73.
The reign of Karl Adler was marked by stagnation, as he did not progress the country, however, he did not reverse it either. Karl was buried in a state funeral and put into the Grand Cemetery. He is not remembered for much of anything, other than being the son of Helmuth.
Hochmeister Otto Adler
Otto Adler was the son of Karl Adler. He spent his early years being homeschooled by the Adler family. Afterwards, he worked as a minor minister in government, until he was appointed as the Grand Master of the Teutons from 1972 to 1995. He had one son with his wife, Helga Adler, and named him Leopold Adler. Otto Adler, who was the son of Karl Adler, was taught by his father. Due to this, Karl's inexperience with leading transferred over to his son.
Otto was appointed as Grand Master after his father's death. Although he had no political experience, he took advice from his General Minister. For the first half of his rule, he began progressing the state, although slowly. The economy started to be stimulated, growing slowly at the same time. However, in 1983, the economy started to sky rocket, leading to a large amount of economic prosperity.
Unfortunately, the next year, in 1984, the economy crashed down to great-depression levels, creating an event known as the Teutonic Depression. During this time, martial law was declared, and the countryside grew with insurgency, while the cities began experiencing large and rapid urban decay, except in Memel, which all funding for upkeep was put into because it was the capital city.
Otto, who had been a hero a year before for making the Teutons into an economic power in a single year, was now demonized for crashing the economy. However, ten years later, in 1994, the depression suddenly began to subside, but the damage to the country was done. The countryside had largely become lawless, while the cities were oppressive and decaying. As soon as the economy began to grow again, Otto enacted some economic reforms, which sped the process up marginally.
Otto then saw the economy surge again to normal levels in 1995, where it then leveled. Otto, as his health began to fail, started to enact new acts which helped revitalize and rebuild the urban areas. This hope would not be fully realized until his son's rule.
Otto is thought fondly of by some, and negatively by others. Some remember his economic successes as his best features, with the large growth in 1983, and the recovery of 1994-95. However, others remember the large crash of 1984-1994, which led to many deaths and great dissension within the realm. Nonetheless, he is buried in the Grand Cemetery as apart of the Adler family, and is respected to this day as a Grand Master.