THE GERMAN left continues to be cautious where Bismarck is concerned: the SDP and "Green" party were violently opposed to the creation of a "Bismarck Foundation" financed with public funds, in 1994. But it is less and less frequently that we see Bismarck as precursor to the Nazis. Anyway, Hitler was of the opinion that, in spite of all his talents, Bismarck "didn't understand the Jewish problem".
Le Monde, France
BISMARCK FORGED the Reich of German princes, subordinated to King Wilhelm I of Prussia, who claimed the title "Emperor of Germany" for himself. All that remained for Germans is federalism. The Reich represented unification from above, rather like the act of state-building we are currently experiencing with the European Union. In 1989 the push for German re-unification came from below, driven by Central Europe's "Away from Moscow" movement. Unlike Bismarck in his time, Helmut Kohl was not the initiator of unification."
Welt am Sonntag, Germany
BISMARCK WAS a prisoner of the 18th century, and especially of the political precedent set by Frederick II of Prussia. He was thus reduced to the unconditional pursuit of objectives which served only one purpose: the preservation and extension of the power of the Prussian state. It was in the interest of the state to sanction no representative or legitimate parliament. Rather, power was vested in one man who regarded himself the most important vassal of the Prussian crown: namely Bismarck."