All the News of the World Comment on the centenary of Otto von Bismarck's death
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The Independent Culture
IT IS natural that Federal Chancellors are not merely successors of the first Reich Chancellor, who had united Germany with skill and force. But German politics is unthinkable without seeing it in the context of Bismarck - the good as well as the bad. On 29 October 1996 Helmut Kohl reached Konrad Adenauer's record tenure in office, and could henceforth set his eyes on matching Bismarck's longevity. But Kohl derives his strength from another tradition - the pro-European Catholic values of Adenauer."

General-Anzeiger, Germany

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."

Suddeutsche Zeitung,