By Terry Sofian

By Terry Sofian
Killing Bugs For The Queen

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Kaiser Wilhelm II: A Place in the Sun, 1901


 
Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany:
Speech to the North German Regatta Association, 1901


In spite of the fact that we have no such fleet as we should have,
we have conquered for ourselves a place in the sun. It will now
be my task to see to it that this place in the sun shall remain our
undisputed possession, in order that the sun's rays may fall
fruitfully upon our activity and trade in foreign parts, that our
industry and agriculture may develop within the state and our
sailing sports upon the water, for our future lies upon  the water.
The more Germans go out upon the waters, whether it be in races
or regattas, whether it be in journeys across the ocean, or in the
service of the battle flag, so much the better it will be for us.  For
when the German has once learned to direct his glance upon what
is distant and great, the pettiness which surrounds him in daily life
on all sides will disappear. Whoever wishes to have this larger and
freer outlook can find no better place than one of the Hanseatic
cities....we are now making efforts to do what, in the old time, the
Hanseatic cities could not  accomplish, because they lacked the
vivifying and protecting power of the empire. May it be the function
of my Hansa during many years of peace to protect and advance
commerce and trade! As head of the Empire I therefore rejoice over
every citizen, whether from Hamburg, Bremen, or Lübeck, who goes
forth with this large outlook and seeks new points where we can drive
in the nail on which to hang our armor. Therefore, I believe that I
express the feeling of all your hearts when I recognize gratefully that
the director of this company who has placed at our disposal the
wonderful ship which bears my daughter's name has gone forth as a
courageous servant of the Hansa, in order to make for us friendly
conquests whose fruits will be gathered by our descendants!

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