war and rememberance


Otto Von Bismarck (1815-1898) The Iron chancellor 

If Politics was a game of chess. Otto von bismarck was champion. He dominated 19th century politics and remains an national hero and devoted himself to maintaining peace between the powers. Something which his last king and emperor kaiser wilhelm II did his best to undo. 

Otto von Bismarck was born in 1815. In Prussia. His family was wealthy and he grew up on a large estate. He aspired to be a diplomat and was fitted for the role, being able to speak 5 languges. He trained as a lawyer before abandoning his career to Pursue an english girl he had become infatuated with. He served in the Prussian army for a year before returning to his families estate. Eventually he married a noblewoman called Johanna Von Puttkamer. 

In 1847 Otto was appointed to the new Prussian Legislature. The Landtag. Otto Gained a reputation for being a staunch royalist and a firm believer in the divine right of kings. Later that year the prussian monarchy was swept out of power. Bismarck was one of the key conservative instigators on restoring the king. 

In 1851 king Wilhelm IV appointed bismarck as a representative to the german confederation. Which was a collection of german states constantly bickering but somehow united in a central government. Bismarck himself frequently came to blows with the austrian representative. 

Following a duel with two politicans in the german confederations parliament. Bismarck was appointed representative to france in 1857. When he returned to Prussia he was appointed Prime minister. 

Determined to properly unite Germany. He provoked a war with Denmark and Austria. Using the conflict to unite the states behind Prussia and begin taking territory from Austria and Denmark. He Built a unified northern Germany but the South refuse to take up his offer of unicification and an German empire. Bismarck then started a war with france and southern germany soon jumped off the isolationlist boat. Bismarck using diplomacy and war had united Germany. 

However. Bismarck disliked war at its very heart. Which is odd coming from a man who provoked 3. He maintained that the wars of unicification were nessecary for an united ethnic Germany. The new empire proclaimed Wilhelm I as its emperor and Bismarck its chancellor. 

Britain had to maintain germany’s place. When France allied with Russia. Bismarck made sure to ally with Austria Hungary and Italy. In order to fight the growing socialist movement. Bismarck created the worlds first welfare state by offering pensions and health insurance. He worked hard to fight against the catholic church whom he believed had too much power. 

Bismarck served as chancellor through 2 emperors before kaiser wilhelm II came along. The kaiser was a maniac and a self obssessed nationalist who wanted power to himself. Kaiser tried to take more and more power from the chancellery and his ambition for an empire. (Which he got to the reluctance of bismarck). Made bismarck resign in 1890. 

One year before he died. Bismarck said 

“One day the great european war will come out of some damn foolish thing in the balkans”

17 years later. Archduke franz ferdinand is assisnated in sarajevo sparking ww1

Charles “Lindy” Cavell could never forget what the U.S. military tried to hide. Cavell fought to bring to light the secret mustard gas testing program he had participated in during World War II and for VA compensation for the test subjects. He died at home Wednesday at 89.

Cavell was featured prominently in an NPR investigation last year that found the Department of Veterans Affairs failed to notify mustard gas test subjects — who had been sworn to secrecy about the testing — of their eligibility for compensation, and routinely denied help to those who qualified for it.

During the last year of his life, Cavell was finally granted additional benefits and some back pay after a 26-year battle with the VA, according to his daughter, Linda Smith.

“I think he felt like he had finally accomplished something, and he was relieved that other service members were being recognized” as a result of the stories he was featured in, Smith said.

WWII Veteran, Who Fought To Expose Secret Mustard Gas Experiments, Dies

Photo: Ariel Zambelich/NPR