Top 10 historical characters in no particular order
4) Otto Von Bismarck
Look at that moustache and helmet. If that doesn’t say “I’m awesome” what does!?
Bismarck is the man responsible for the unification of Germany by 1871. Using whatever circumstance was thrown his way he was able to create a great power out of what was Prussia and countless minor states.
His shrewd diplomacy was based on “Realpolitik.” Which meant his aims were based on the diplomatic climate. If, for example, Britain would be angry at Germany for taking territorial in part of Africa, he would simply annex other territory to not provoke other Great Powers. Contrast that to the disastrous “Weltpolitik” that was followed by his successors!
His relationship with Kaiser Wilhelm I was rocky with the Emperor saying “It’s not easy being king under this chancellor”. However he knew Bismarck was the most talented politician of his day so did not often go against him. When he did Bismarck was not afraid of throwing tantrums. Including nearly throwing things at the Kaiser and even threatening to kill himself!
His legacy should have been one of peace. He urged closer relations with Britain and a reconciliation policy with France to stop them plotting revenge after the Franco-Prussian war. However his relationship with Kaiser Wilhelm II was abysmal and Bismarck resigned not long after he took power. His legacy in foreign policy was destroyed as his weak successors engaged in a series of disastrous policies which left them with only 1 ally in Europe.
The Iron Chancellor is remembered with great fondness in Germany and for good reason. Elsewhere he is noted as being possibly the most talented politician of all time.
I don’t agree with all of his policies, but I can say that he was not the villain that so many people have made him out to be.
“A Russian survivor, liberated by the 3rd Armored Division of the U.S. First Army, identifies a former camp guard who brutally beat prisoners on April 14, 1945, at the Buchenwald concentration camp in Thuringia, Germany.” (AP Photo)
It must’ve been nice to be able to accuse someone of something after watching that person beat innocent people.