Herr Otto Von BismarkWE should all thank Herr Otto Von Bismark. Why we should thank this great German general will emerge further down in the article. He was a formidable figure, famous in his day and is still an historical figure to reckon with. The history of Germany cannot be understood without some knowledge of the ‘Iron Chancellor’, as he was called.
Every fortnight former civil servants should thank this imposing figure from the nineteenth century. In old age he was impressive, with his walrus moustache and bushy eyebrows. He is as quotable as Churchill and his utterances make more sense.
Here are some which still resound through the European mind.
“Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war.”
“I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring.”
“There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America. The Americans cry out ‘God save America’, but Bismark had a different take on the matter.”
He more or less lived through the nineteenth century. The effects he had on Europe are still to be observed.