„Not by speeches and votes of the majority are the great questions of the time decided — that was the error of 1848 and 1849 — but by iron and blood.“
— Otto von Bismarck German statesman, Chancellor of Germany 1815 - 1898
Nicht durch Reden und Majoritätsbeschlüsse werden die großen Fragen der Zeit entschieden — daß ist der große Fehler von 1848 und 1849 gewesen — sondern durch Eisen und Blut.
Variant translations :
: It is not by speeches and majority vote that the great questions of our time will be decided — as that was error of 1848 and 1849 — but rather by iron and blood.
The great questions of the time are not decided by speeches and majority decisions — that was the error of 1848 and 1849 — but by iron and blood.
The great issues of the day are not decided through speeches and majority resolutions — that was the great error of 1848 and 1849 — but through blood and iron.
The great questions of the day will not be decided by speeches and the resolutions of majorities — that was the great mistake from 1848 to 1849 — but by blood and iron.
The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions … but by iron and blood.
Speech to the Budget Commission of the Prussian Diet (30 September 1862), published in Fürst Bismarck als Redner, Vol. 2 (after 1881), edited by Wilhelm Böhm, p. 12 http://books.google.de/books?id=3WsIAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA12); after some objections to his initial speech Bismarck returned to the podium and declared:
::Auswärtige Conflicte zu suchen, um über innere Schwierigkeiten hinwegzukommen, dagegen müsse er sich verwahren; das würde frivol sein; er wolle nicht Händel suchen ; er spreche von Conflicten, denen wir nicht entgehen würden, ohne daß wir sie suchten.
:: I must protest that I would never seek foreign conflicts just to go over domestic difficulties; that would be frivolous. I was speaking of conflicts that we could not avoid, even though we do not seek them.
::* Die Reden des Ministerpräsidenten von Bismarck-Schönhausen im Preußischen Landtage 1862-1865 (1903) edited by Horst Kohl, p. 31