97 Best Otto von Bismarck Quotes from The Iron Chancellor

Otto von Bismarck, born into an aristocratic family in 1815, transformed a collection of small German states into the German Empire, becoming its first chancellor.

After a brief stint in civil service and managing family estates, he began his political career as an ultra-conservative royalist in the Prussian legislature.

Appointed as Prussian representative to the German Confederation and later as ambassador to Russia and France, he became prime minister of Prussia in 1862.

Otto von Bismarck

Determined to unite German states under Prussian leadership, he strategically escalated conflicts and won wars against Denmark, Austria and France, ultimately leading to the formation of the German Empire in 1871.

As chancellor, he worked on building a unified national identity, countering the Catholic Church’s influence and preventing socialism by introducing health insurance and pensions.

He also aimed to make Germany a European powerhouse, negotiating alliances to counteract France and Russia, while maintaining good relations with Britain.

In 1890, he resigned due to disagreements with Emperor Wilhelm II and retired until his death in 1898.

In this article, I have noted down the best quotes by Otto von Bismarck.

Best Otto von Bismarck Quotes


Love is blind; friendship tries not to notice. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

I have wished to crush Rome that I might crush Christianity. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

A journalist is a person who has mistaken their calling. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

God has a special providence for fools, drunks, and the United States of America. ~ Otto von Bismarck.


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

Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

Physicians still retain something of their priestly origin; they would gladly do what they forbid. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

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.

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.

Life has taught me to forgive much, but to seek forgiveness still more. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

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

There are two things civilized Man should never see being made: Sausages and Laws. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

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

I have never lived on principles. When I have had to act, I never first asked myself on what principles I was going to act, but I went at it and did what I thought fit. I have often reproached myself for my want of principle. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

Man cannot control the current of events. he can only float with them and steer. ~ Otto Von Bismarck.

The secret of politics? Make a good treaty with Russia. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

A government must not waiver once it has chosen its course. It must not look to the left or right but go forward. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

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

A bad plan that is well executed will yield much better results than a good plan that is poorly executed. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

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

I have only one ambition left: I should like to have a good epitaph. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

We are better off not knowing how sausages and laws are made. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

Universal suffrage is the government of a house by its nursery. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

Nothing should be left to an invaded people except their eyes for weeping. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

Inspirational Otto von Bismarck Quotes

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

Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

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.

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.

This policy cannot succeed through speeches, and shooting-matches, and songs; it can only be carried out through blood and iron. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

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

What we learn from History is that no one learns from History. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

You can do anything with children if you only play with them. ~ Otto von Bismarck.


Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

No civilization other than that which is Christian, is worth seeking or possessing. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

There is only one greater folly than that of the fool who says in his heart there is no God, and that is the folly of the people that says with its head that it does not know whether there is a God or not. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

I am bored. The great things are done. The German Reich is made. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

Famous Otto von Bismarck Quotes

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

Life is like being at the dentist. You always think the worst is still to come, and it is over already. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

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

Great men have great dogs. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

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

Politics is no exact science. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

The social insecurity of the worker is the real cause of their being a peril to the state. ~ Otto Von Bismarck.

A little caution outflanks a large cavalry. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

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

Fools say that they learn by experience. I prefer to profit by others’ experience. ~ Otto Von Bismarck.

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

Great Otto von Bismarck Quotes

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

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. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

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

We Germans fear God, but nothing else in the world. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

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.

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.

Crowned heads, wealth and privilege may well tremble should ever again the Black and Red unite! ~ Otto Von Bismarck.

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

The Catholic priest, from the moment he becomes a priest, is a sworn officer of the pope. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

The less people know about how sausages and laws are made, the better they’ll sleep at night. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

Wise Otto von Bismarck Quotes

Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable – the art of the next best. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

Revolutions in Prussia are started by kings, and since it is a revolution, it is better to start it ourselves than to suffer of it. ~ Otto von Bismarck.


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

That which is imposing here on earth has always something of the quality of the fallen angel who is beautiful but without peace, great in his conceptions and exertions but without success, proud and lonely. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

A conquering army on the border will not be stopped by eloquence. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

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. ~ 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.

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. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

People who love sausage and people who believe in justice should never watch either of them being made. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

Never fight with Russian. On your every stratagem they answer unpredictable stupidity. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

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. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

Top Otto von Bismarck Quotes

Vanity is a mortgage that must be deducted from the value of a man. ~ 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.

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

You can do everything with bayonets, but you are not able to sit on them. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

War should only be used for a policy worth its sacrifices. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

In England the more horses a nobleman has, the more popular he is. So long as the English are devoted to racing, Socialism has no chance with you. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

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

Show me an objective worthy of war and I will go along with you. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

I have often regretted what I have eaten, but never what I have drunk. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

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

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.

Profound Otto von Bismarck Quotes

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

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

Better pointed bullets than pointed words. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

He who has his thumb on the purse has the power. ~ 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.

My subject is my life, and my life is my subject. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

I have found that nothing so deceives your adversaries as telling them the truth. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

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

The luxury of one’s own opinion. ~ 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.


Hounds follow those who feed them. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

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

Politics ruins the character. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

God always looks after the fools and – and the United States. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

The Balkans aren’t worth the life of a single Pomeranian grenadier. ~ Otto von Bismarck.

Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied. ~ Otto Von Bismarck.

So these were the 97 top Otto von Bismarck quotes on life, war and politics.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on John Proctor quotes and Daisy Buchanan quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar