Otto von Bismarck was a German politician who lived in the nineteenth century, and these Otto von Bismarck quotes from his lifetime prove just how much of an impact he had.
Share which of these Otto von Bismarck quotes you found most thought-provoking in the comments below.
Born in 1815, it did not seem predestined that Bismarck would go into politics.
He joined the civil service as a young adult but was bored of his position and resigned soon after.
Instead, he helped his father manage the family estates for more than 10 years.
Bismarck’s political career would begin in the late 1840s.
In 1847, he joined the Prussian legislature and gained a reputation as an ultra-conservative royalist.
Determined to unite Germany, Bismarck is known for provoking three short wars between Denmark, Austria, and France.
Many historians have praised Bismarck for being a political visionary as well as a skilled diplomat.
We hope you enjoy these Otto von Bismarck quotes.
Don’t forget to also check out these Vladimir Lenin quotes from the soviet leader.
If you like this article, we suggest you explore our most popular quotes article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily encouragement.
Read more related content on our inspirational quotes category page.
Wise Otto von Bismarck quotes
1. “Hounds follow those who feed them.” — Otto von Bismarck
2. “When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.” — Otto von Bismarck
3. “The main thing is to make history, not to write it.” — Otto von Bismarck
4. “It is the destiny of the weak to be devoured by the strong.” — Otto von Bismarck
5. “People never lie so much as before an election, during a war, or after a hunt.” — Otto von Bismarck
6. “Man cannot control the current of events. He can only float with them and steer.” — Otto von Bismarck
7. “Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.” — Otto von Bismarck
8. “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
9. “A really great man is known by three signs: generosity in the design, humanity in the execution, moderation in success.” — Otto von Bismarck
10. “We live in a wondrous time, in which the strong is weak because of his scruples, and the weak grows strong because of his audacity.” — Otto von Bismarck
Otto von Bismarck quotes about life
11. “Love is blind; friendship tries not to notice.” — Otto von Bismarck
12. “We Germans fear God, but nothing else in the world.” — Otto von Bismarck
13. “An appeal to fear never finds an echo in German hearts.” — Otto von Bismarck
14. “You can do anything with children if you only play with them.” — Otto von Bismarck
15. “I have often regretted what I have eaten, but never what I have drunk.” — Otto von Bismarck
16. “Our German forefathers had a very kind religion. They believed that, after death, they would meet again all the good dogs that had been their companions in life. I wish I could believe that too.” — Otto von Bismarck
Otto von Bismarck quotes about politics
17. “Politics ruins the character.” — Otto von Bismarck
18. “I am accustomed to pay men back in their own coin.” — Otto von Bismarck
19. “The secret of politics? Make a good treaty with Russia.” — Otto von Bismarck
20. “Politics is the art of the possible, the science of the relative.” — Otto von Bismarck
21. “Universal suffrage is the government of a house by its nursery.” — Otto von Bismarck
22. “Laws are like sausages. It’s better not to see them being made.” — Otto von Bismarck
23. “Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.” — Otto von Bismarck
24. “Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable — the art of the next best.” — Otto von Bismarck
25. “Whoever speaks of Europe is wrong: it is a geographical expression.” — Otto von Bismarck
26. “I have found that nothing so deceives your adversaries as telling them the truth.” — Otto von Bismarck
27. “I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring.” — Otto von Bismarck
28. “Political judgment is the ability to hear the distant hoofbeats of the horse of history.” — Otto von Bismarck
29. “God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America.” — Otto von Bismarck
30. “Crowned heads, wealth and privilege may well tremble should ever again the Black and Red unite!” — Otto von Bismarck
31. “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
32. “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
33. “[Government] is cancerous in head and limbs; only its belly is sound, and the laws it excretes are the most straightforward shit in the world.” — Otto von Bismarck
34. “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
35. “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
36. “One can put some trust in the gratitude of a sovereign, and also in that of his family; under certain conditions, one can even rely upon it; but one can never expect anything from the gratitude of a nation.” — Otto von Bismarck
37. “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 civilization.” — Otto von Bismarck
Otto von Bismarck quotes on war
38. “I have wished to crush Rome that I might crush Christianity.” — Otto von Bismarck
39. “Preventive war is like committing suicide out of fear of death.” — Otto von Bismarck
40. “You can do everything with bayonets, but you are not able to sit on them.” — Otto von Bismarck
41. “The Balkans aren’t worth the life of a single Pomeranian grenadier.” — Otto von Bismarck
42. “A conquering army on the border will not be stopped by eloquence.” — Otto von Bismarck
43. “Nothing should be left to an invaded people except their eyes for weeping.” — Otto von Bismarck
44. “Let us put Germany, so to speak, in the saddle! You will see that she can ride.” — Otto von Bismarck
45. “If there is ever another war in Europe, it will come out of some damned silly thing in the Balkans.” — Otto von Bismarck
46. “Be polite; write diplomatically; even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness.” — Otto von Bismarck
47. “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
48. “Beware of sentimental alliances where the consciousness of good deeds is the only compensation for noble sacrifices.” — Otto von Bismarck
49. “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
50. “You can’t destroy the polish national-consciousness or Poles on the battlefield, but if you give them power, they will destroy themselves.” — Otto von Bismarck
What did you learn from these Otto von Bismarck quotes?
Otto von Bismarck was known for being a strong-willed politician.
He was very outspoken and determined to accomplish what he wanted, but he was also known for being charming, witty, and polite.
He was extremely conservative and anti-socialist, and anti-Catholic.
His animosity toward these two parties led him to create health insurance and health pensions to help win the favor of those who supported socialist systems.
After unifying Germany, Bismarck devoted himself to maintaining peace between the powers of the world.
He led a successful political career and retired in 1890 after spending 43 years working in the German government.
Did you enjoy these Otto von Bismarck quotes and sayings?
Which quote was your favorite?
Let us know in the comments below.