Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.

— Otto von Bismarck

The most cheerful Otto von Bismarck quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening

One day the great European War will come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans (1888).

236

The Americans are a very lucky people.

They're bordered to the north and south by weak neighbors, and to the east and west by fish.

222

We live in a wondrous time in which the strong is weak because of his moral scruples and the weak grows strong because of his audacity.

215

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

212

Do not expect that once taking advantage of Russia's weakness, you will receive dividends forever. Russian has always come for their money. And when they come - do not rely on an agreement signed by you, you are supposed to justify. They are not worth the paper it is written. Therefore, with the Russian is to play fair, or do not play.

209

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

200

The secret of politics? Make a good treaty with Russia.

196

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.

188

Never fight with Russian. On your every stratagem they answer unpredictable stupidity.

178

When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.

176

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

153

Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.

136

About Otto von Bismarck

Quotes 115 sayings
Nationality German
Profession Leader
Birthday October 16

People who love sausage and people who believe in justice should never watch either of them being made

128

Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.

124

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

116

Preventive war is like committing suicide out of fear of death.

96

The most significant event of the 20th century will be the fact that the North Americans speak English.

80

We Germans fear God, but nothing else in the world.

80

The main thing is to make history, not to write it.

73

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!

66

man cannot control the current of events. he can only float with them and steer

66

Love is blind; friendship tries not to notice.

57

Your map of Africa is really quite nice.

But my map of Africa lies in Europe. Here is Russia, and here... is France, and we're in the middle - that's my map of Africa.

55

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

53

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.

41

With a gentleman I am always a gentleman and a half, and with a fraud I try to be a fraud and a half.

37

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.

35

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

33

Great men have great dogs.

32

Fools you are who say you like to learn from your mistakes.

I prefer to learn from the mistakes of others, and avoid the cost of my own.

31

Even the most favorable outcome of the war will never lead to the decomposition of the main forces of Russia, which is based on millions of Russian ... The latter, even if they break up international treaties, just as quickly re-connect with each other, like pieces of a particle of mercury.

24

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

23

The Balkans arent worth the life of a single Pomeranian grenadier.

21

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

20

A little caution outflanks a large cavalry.

20

Hounds follow those who feed them.

20

History is simply a piece of paper covered with print: the main thing is to make history, not to write it.

19

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

19

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.

19

No, a fool learns from experience. A wise man learns from the experience of others.

18

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.

16

When a man says he approves of something in principle, it means he hasn't the slightest intention of carrying it out in practice.

15

I have only one ambition left: I should like to have a good epitaph.

15

Earthly majesty is always akin to the fallen angel, who is proud and unhappy, beautiful but troubled, and whose plans and efforts, though vast, are denied access.

15

A journalist is a person who has mistaken their calling.

14

If you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made.

13

Let us put Germany, so to speak, in the saddle! you will see that she can ride.

13

To retain respect for sausages and laws, one must not watch them in the making.

13

The less people know about how sausages and laws are made, the better they'll sleep at night

12
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