Otto von Bismarck (1634 words)


Prince Otto von Bismarck was born on the 4th January 1815 at Schönhausen, Brandenburg, into an old family of landed nobility (“Junkers”) and in his early twenties determined to “make his own music in his own way or none at all” (letter to his father, 29 Sept. 1838). Not surprisingly, his reputation is a mixed one, ranging from the “golden legend” of Bismarck the architect of German unification and European order, to the “black legend” of Bismarck the evil power monger and precursor of the Nazi dictatorship. With his unique sense of timing and foresight he became a skillful player on the European stage who employed the art of the possible in foreign affairs (“Realpolitik”). For this r…

Citation: Hoffmeister, Gerhart. "Otto von Bismarck". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 March 2005 [, accessed 07 August 2022.]

5890 Otto von Bismarck 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.