Otto von Bismarck Quotes

Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck, 1815 – 1898

Born: 1 April 1815, Sch
Died: 30 July 1898, Friedrichsruh, Schleswig-Holstein, German Empire

Bismarck was born into the aristocratic class known as Junker, his father had a military background and his mother was the educated daughter of a politician. From 1832 he studied law the University of Göttingen where he excelled only at beer drinking and dueling, then transferred to the University of Berlin. He briefly pursued both military and legal careers but bridled at authority and soon was back on the family estate reading. After pursuing a number of women, chiefly English (Bismarck was fluent in English, French, and Russian), he married Johanna von Puttkamer in 1847; they were together until her death in 1894. He entered politics in 1847 and his extremely conservative positions alienated many but his support of the king earned him a seat in the Diet, the parliament of the German federation. By his political understanding and ability to manipulate King Wilhelm (later Kaiser, with Bismarck’s help), he drove Austria out of the federation, wrested Schleswig-Holstein from Danish control, and created the German nation out of Prussia and 17 smaller kingdoms, earning him the sobriquet Founder of Germany. He developed the single currency, a single legal code, and the first social security programs. He got a health insurance bill through the Reichstag in 1883, workers compensation the next year, and the first government-sponsored pension and disability program in 1889. When Kaiser Wilhelm died in 1888 he was replaced by his son Friedrich III, when Friedrich died three months later, his son became Wilhelm II, whom Bismarck was not able to manage. He retired in 1890 to write his memoirs.

Otto von Bismarck quotes:

A Bavarian is half-way between an Austrian and a human being.
    Otto von Bismarck

A conquering army on the border will not be stopped by eloquence.
    Otto von Bismarck – Speech to North German Reichstag (24 September 1867)

A generation that has taken a beating is always followed by a generation that deals one.
    Otto von Bismark

A government must not waver once it has chosen it’s course. It must not look to the left or right but go forward.
    Otto von Bismarck

A little caution outflanks a large cavalry.
    Otto von Bismarck

A really great man is known by three signs: generosity in the design, humanity in the execution, moderation in success.
    Otto von Bismarck

A statesman … must wait until he hears the steps of God sounding through events, then leap up and grasp the hem of His garment.
    Otto von Bismarck

All treaties between great states cease to be binding when they come in conflict with the struggle for existence.
    Otto von Bismarck

An appeal to fear never finds an echo in German hearts.
    Otto von Bismarck

Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war.
    Otto von Bismarck

Be polite; write diplomatically; even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness.
    Otto von Bismarck

Better pointed bullets than pointed speeches.
    Otto von Bismarck

Beware of sentimental alliances where the consciousness of good deeds is the only compensation for noble sacrifices.
    Otto von Bismarck

Faust complained about having two souls in his breast, but I harbor a whole crowd of them and they quarrel. It is like being in a republic.
    Otto von Bismarck

He who has his thumb on the purse has the power.
    Otto von Bismarck – speech to North German Reichstag (21 May 1869)

History is a simple piece of paper covered with print. The main thing is still to make history, not to write it.

Otto von Bismarck
Hit the Poles so hard that they despair of their life; I have full sympathy with their condition, but if we want to survive, we can only exterminate them; the wolf, too, cannot help having been created by God as he is, but people shoot him for it if they can.

Otto von Bismarck

letter to his sister Malwine (26 March 1861)
Hounds follow those who feed them.

Otto von Bismarck
I am accustomed to pay men back in their own coin.

Otto von Bismarck
I consider even a victorious war as an evil, from which statesmanship must endeavor to spare nations.

Otto von Bismarck
I have always found the word ‘Europe’ on the lips of those who wanted something from others which they dared not demand in their own names.

Otto von Bismarck
I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring.

Otto von Bismarck
I must protest that I would never seek foreign conflicts just to go over domestic difficulties; that would be frivolous. I was speaking of conflicts that we could not avoid, even though we do not seek them.

Otto von Bismarck
If there is ever another war in Europe, it will come out of some damned silly thing in the Balkans.

Otto von Bismarck
It is said that only a fool learns from his own mistakes, a wise man from the mistakes of others.

Otto von Bismarck
It is the destiny of the weak to be devoured by the strong.

Otto von Bismarck
Laws are like medicine; they generally cure an evil by a lesser or a passing evil.

Otto von Bismarck
Let us lift Germany, so to speak, into the saddle. It will certainly be able to ride.

Otto von Bismarck

speech to Parliament of Confederation (1867)
Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.

Otto von Bismarck
No question is so difficult to answer as that to which the answer is obvious.

Otto von Bismarck

Not by speeches and votes of the majority, are the great questions of the time decided—that was the error of 1848 and 1849—but by iron and blood.

Otto von Bismarck

speech to the Budget Commission of the Prussian Diet (30 September 1862)
Numerous politicians have seized absolute power and muzzled the press. Never in history has the press seized absolute power and muzzled the politicians.

Otto von Bismarck
One day the great European War will come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans.

Otto von Bismarck
People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election.

Otto von Bismarck
Politics are not a science based on logic; they are the capacity of always choosing at each instant, in constantly changing situations, the least harmful, the most useful.

Otto von Bismarck
Politics is not a science, as the professors are apt to suppose. It is an art.

Otto von Bismarck

Speech to Prussian upper house (18 December 1863)
Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable … the art of the next best.

Otto von Bismarck

remark to Meyer von Waldeck (11 August 1867)
Politics ruins the character.

Otto von Bismarck
Preventive war is like committing suicide out of fear of death.

Otto von Bismarck
The death of Lincoln was a disaster for Christendom. There was no man in the United States great enough to wear his boots and the bankers went anew to grab the riches. I fear that foreign bankers with their craftiness and tortuous tricks will entirely control the exuberant riches of America and use it to systematically corrupt civilisation.

Otto von Bismarck
The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions … but by iron and blood.

Otto von Bismarck
The nation that has the schools has the future.

Otto von Bismarck
The statesman’s task is to hear God’s footsteps marching through history, and to try and catch on to His coattails as He marches past.

Otto von Bismarck
The three signs of great men are generosity in the design, humanity in the execution, moderation in success.

Otto von Bismarck
There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children, and the United States of America.

Otto von Bismarck

(disputed)

Universal suffrage is the government of a house by its nursery.

Otto von Bismarck
We Germans fear God, but nothing else in the world; and that godliness is that which lets us love and foster peace.

Otto von Bismarck

Speech to the Reichstag (6 February 1888)
When you say you agree to a thing in principle you mean that you have not the slightest intention of carrying it out in practice.

Otto von Bismarck
When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.

Otto von Bismarck
With a gentleman I am always a gentleman and a half, and when I have to do with a pirate, I try to be a pirate and a half.

Otto von Bismarck
With a gentleman I try to be a gentleman and a half, and with a fraud I try to be a fraud and a half.

Otto von Bismark
With bad laws and good civil servants it’s still possible to govern. But with bad civil servants even the best laws can’t help.

Otto von Bismarck

What do you think?

2.1k Points
Upvote Downvote

Written by MoneyNet

MoneyNet is the team behind the research and fact-checking of our net worth listings. We strive to provide the most up-to-date listings of the wealthiest people in the world from a wide range of industries and professions. If you have a tip, or think that we have something factually incorrect, then please let us know. Aside from that, enjoy learning everything there is to know about the rich and famous.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Abigail Adams Quotes

Francis Bacon Quotes