Modern History Sourcebook:
Kaiser Wilhelm II:
A Place in the Sun, 1901
Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany: Speech to the North German Regatta
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!
C. Gauss, The German Kaiser as Shown in His Public Utterances (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1915), pp. 181-183.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Dept. of History, Cal. State Fullerton
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