Bernhard von Bülow

German und Prussian politician (1849–1929)

Bernhard Heinrich Karl Martin von Bülow (3 May 1849 – 28 October 1929), created Fürst von Bülow in 1905, was a German statesman who served as Foreign Minister for three years and then as Chancellor of the German Empire from 1900 to 1909. A fervent supporter of Weltpolitik, Bülow single-mindedly devoted his chancellorship to making Germany a leading power on the world stage. Despite presiding over sustained economic growth and technological advancement within his country, his government's foreign policy did much to antagonize the international community and significantly contributed to the outbreak of the First World War.

We ourselves brought about [this war] through the ultimatum to Serbia (which we either permitted or inspired).

QuotesEdit

  • We ourselves brought about [this war] through the ultimatum to Serbia (which we either permitted or inspired).
    • Notebook entry (1916), quoted in John C. G. Röhl, 'Germany', in Keith Wilson (ed.), Decisions for War 1914 (1995), p. 29
  • You have given [the Austrians] carte blanche – do you realize what you have done? If the late Prince Bismarck could appear here before you, his first words would be: "How could you do such a thing, how could you transform a Germany that was the rider into a Germany that is now being ridden by Austria?"
    • Remarks to Theodor Wolff, explaining what he would have said in July 1914 if he had been summoned to the Wilhelmstrasse (c. 1916), quoted in John C. G. Röhl, 'Germany', in Keith Wilson (ed.), Decisions for War 1914 (1995), p. 29
  • But they did not want to listen and this nice fellow Bethmann, who has no inkling of the world out there, this miserable Jagow who tries to get by on malicious little tricks and has never even seen France, or Russia, or England, or the Orient, and this Stumm, who is insane, or at least half-mad, they were the ones who brought about this catastrophe.
    • Remarks to Theodor Wolff (c. 1916), quoted in John C. G. Röhl, 'Germany', in Keith Wilson (ed.), Decisions for War 1914 (1995), p. 31
  • [It was] through the ineptitude and stupidity of Bethmann and Jagow [that Germany had] blundered into war [in den Krieg taumelten].
    • Letter to Theodor Wolff (30 April 1925), quoted in John C. G. Röhl, 'Germany', in Keith Wilson (ed.), Decisions for War 1914 (1995), p. 29
  • The Auswärtiges Amt of 1914 was the incubator in which the monstrous egg of the ultimatum to Serbia was hatched. This where almost all the terrible mistakes were made through which we came to be involved in war.
    • Denkwürdigkeiten, Vol. I (1930), p. 13, quoted in John C. G. Röhl, 'Germany', in Keith Wilson (ed.), Decisions for War 1914 (1995), p. 29

UndatedEdit

  • What does their hate matter to us? ... Oderint dum metuant! Let them hate us, but let them fear us!
    • W. W. Coole and M. F. Potter (eds.), Thus Spake Germany (1941), p. 156

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