Otto von Bismarck Quotes

Home / Leader / Otto von Bismarck Quotes
Otto von Bismarck

Bismarck in 1881
1st Chancellor of Germany
In office
21 March 1871 â€“ 20 March 1890
Monarch Wilhelm I
Friedrich III
Wilhelm II
Deputy Otto zu Stolberg-Wernigerode
Karl Heinrich von Boetticher
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Leo von Caprivi
Minister President of Prussia
In office
9 November 1873 â€“ 20 March 1890
Monarch Wilhelm I
Friedrich III
Wilhelm II
Preceded by Albrecht von Roon
Succeeded by Leo von Caprivi
In office
23 September 1862 â€“ 1 January 1873
Monarch Wilhelm I
Preceded by Adolf zu Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen
Succeeded by Albrecht von Roon
Chancellor of the North German Confederation
In office
1 July 1867 â€“ 21 March 1871
President Wilhelm I
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Position abolished
Foreign Minister of Prussia
In office
23 November 1862 â€“ 20 March 1890
Prime Minister Himself
Albrecht von Roon
Preceded by Albrecht von Bernstorff
Succeeded by Leo von Caprivi
Personal details
Born 1 April 1815
Schönhausen, Kreis Jerichow II, Province of Saxony, Prussia
(in modern Saxony-Anhalt, Germany)
Died 30 July 1898 (aged 83)
Friedrichsruh, Schleswig-Holstein, German Empire
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Johanna von Puttkamer
(1847–94; her death)
Children Marie
Herbert
Wilhelm
Alma mater University of Göttingen
University of Berlin
University of Greifswald[1]
Profession Lawyer
Religion Lutheranism

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
A journalist is a person who has mistaken their calling.
Be polite; write diplomatically; even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness.
Otto von Bismarck
There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America.
Otto von Bismarck
Whoever speaks of Europe is wrong: it is a geographical expression.
No civilization other than that which is Christian, is worth seeking or possessing.
Otto von Bismarck
When a man says he approves of something in principle, it means he hasn't the slightest intention of carrying it out in practice.
Otto von Bismarck
The secret of politics? Make a good treaty with Russia.
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
The main thing is to make history, not to write it.
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
An appeal to fear never finds an echo in German hearts.
I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring.
Otto von Bismarck
People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election.
Otto von Bismarck
Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.
With a gentleman I am always a gentleman and a half, and with a fraud I try to be a fraud and a half.
Otto von Bismarck
Politics is the art of the possible.
A government must not waiver once it has chosen it's course. It must not look to the left or right but go forward.
Otto von Bismarck
Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.
Politics is the art of the next best.

The secret of politics? Make a good treaty with Russia.
Politics is not an exact science.
Politics ruins the character.
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
When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.
To retain respect for sausages and laws, one must not watch them in the making.
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