German historians reinterpret Bismarck

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1972

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Anyone who undertakes to examine the course of historical scholarship in Germany during the nineteenth or twentieth centuries is brought face to face with the figure of Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck-Schoenhausen. This is so for a variety of reasons, not least the controversy which has surrounded Bisaiarck since his fall from power in 1890, During the intervening years, Bismarck has served as a devil incarnate for those historians who have felt that his contributions were essential to the development of the tradition from which Adolf Hitler sprang. Nationalist historians, on the other hand, have seen Bismarck as the quintessence of German genius. The arguments raging about him would make Bismarck a fascinating subject for study, if no other reasons existed. [...]

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