Wilhelm II of Germany

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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.

Wilhelm II of Germany (27 January 1859 - 4 June 1941) born Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert von Preußen was the last German Emperor (Kaiser) and the last King (König) of Prussia, ruling from 1888 to 1918.


  • 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.
    • Speech in Hamburg (18 June 1901)
    • Variant: Germany must have her place in the sun. (is not of Wilhelm himself but of Bernhard von Bülow
      • As quoted in Germanism from Within (1916) by Alexander Duncan Mclaren
  • You will be home before the leaves fall from the trees.
    • Addressing German soldiers departing for the front in WWI (August 1914), as quoted in The Chanak Affair (1969) by David Walder, p. 21
    • Variant: You men will be home when the leaves fall.
  • For the first time, I am ashamed to be a German.
    • In regard to Adolf Hitler's anti-Jewish campaign, after Kristallnacht (November 1938); as quoted in Our German Cousins : Anglo-German Relations in the 19th and 20th Centuries (1974) by John Mander, p. 219

The Growth of Nationalism (1992)

Quotes from The Growth of Nationalism : Germany and Italy 1815-1939 by Ronald Cameron, Charles Robertson, and Christine Henderson
  • The fleet is necessary to show that Germany is as well born as Britain.
  • Let me assure the Sultan and the three hundred million moslems... That the German Emperor will ever be their friend.
    • On the Sultan of Turkey, while on the railway to Baghdad
  • You English are like mad bulls — you see red everywhere! What on earth has come over you, that you would heap on us such suspicion as is unworthy of a great nation... I regard this missaprehension as a personal insult... You make it uncommonly difficult for a man to remain friendly to England.
    • To the Daily Telegraph on his attitude towards Britain.


  • Germany's greatness makes it impossible for her to do without the ocean, but the ocean also proves that even in the distance, and on its farther side, without Germany and the German Emperor, no great decision dare henceforth be taken.
  • Our German Fatherland to which I hope will be granted ... to become in the future as closely united, as powerful, and as authoritative as once the Roman world-empire was, and that, just as in the old times they said, "Civis romanus sum," hereafter, at some time in the future, they will say, "I am a German citizen."
  • Give me a woman who truly loves beer, and I will conquer the world.
  • He is even more possessed by the machine than I ever was.
    • In reference to Hitler's successes

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