Angie Merkel has been given the honour of Time Magazine’s 2015 person of the year, but she’s not the first German to win. Here are 10 of the more interesting winners from the past.
Adolf Hilter, 1938
The German leader was recognized for unifying “Germany with Austria and the Sudetenland in 1938, after the Anschluss and Munich Agreement respectively.”
Joseph Stalin, 1939 and 1942
Selected twice, TIME recognized Stalin’s influence on both years for his varying influence on events leading up to and in the midst of World War II. This was before TIME realized that Stalin was in the midst of murdering 20,000,000 people.
Nikita Khrushchev, 1957
The Cold War-era Russian politician helped unify the country’s varying territories and oversaw Russia’s first foray into space exploration during his tenure. However, despite his genuine attempts to reverse Stalin’s oppressive regime, such policies continued. He also did little to end international hostilities with the United States and others.
Richard Nixon, 1971 and 1972
President Nixon received accolades from TIME for his election and his political dealings with China and Soviet Russia. This all came crashing down in 1973 during the Watergate scandal. Interestingly enough, John Sirica, the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia who ordered Nixon turn over Watergate-related documents, was TIME’s 1973 pick.
Ruhollah Khomeini, 1979
Highlighted for his role in the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini would later play a large part in the hostage crisis and his country’s burgeoning hatred for the United States and other Western nations.
The Computer, 1982
Aside from ambiguous (but human) figures, TIME has also picked inanimate or non-human objects for its annual designation. In 1982, the computer received the pick as the “Machine of the Year.” Sure, the device was growing in popularity and accessibility, and it now rules (and ruins) our lives. Real cute, TIME.
The Endangered Earth, 1988
A few years later, TIME did the same, but this time they did it with the “Endangered Earth.” The selection highlighted then-recent revelations of the planet’s depleting ozone layer and vast amounts of human-caused pollution. Oh, and the official title was “Planet of the Year.” A bit pompous, no?
We are all winners! Do you hear that Michael Mann? Let’s face it, TIME’s selection of the individual content creator on the internet was a bit of a stretch. Yes, content creators produce a great deal of what today’s general population consumes on a daily basis, but this designation hammers additional nails into the coffin of TIME’s singular “Person” of the year.
Vladimir Putin, 2007
Whether he’s president, prime minister or president again, Putin’s place on TIME’s list is highly circumspect. His time as post-Soviet Russia’s leader is fraught with controversy, though he seems to be the only world leader that understands what it takes to defeat ISIS.
Barack Obama, 2008 and 2012
Selected in 2008 and 2012, Obama’s picks coincided with his election and re-election. And while the first was significant for his being the first African-American President of the United States, it jumped the gun in terms of what shape his influence would take, much like his Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.