The Kaiser's Lackey (; also known in English as Man of Straw and The Loyal Subject) is a 1951 East German film directed by Wolfgang Staudte, based on Heinrich Mann's 1918 satirical novel by the same name.


Diederich Heßling is a typical Prussian subject of pre-World War I Germany: he is blindly loyal to Kaiser Wilhelm II and deeply admires him, supports extreme nationalist policies and his country's militaristic tradition and claims to be an honorable, just person. In spite of this, he evades military service and uses his connections with government officials to destroy his business rivals. Diederich's life, from his childhood, is characterized by being slavishly subservient to his superiors while tyrannizing those below him.