Primary Source
Germany | Kaiserreich
Bismarck on the purpose of the Kulturkampf, Speech in the Prussian House of Lords, March 10th 1873
"The question we currently deal with, in my opinion, is falsely described, and the perspective by which we look at it, is a wrong one, if one regards it as a confessional one. It is mainly a political one; it is not about the struggle, as our Catholic fellow citizens are told, of a Protestant dynasty against the Catholic church, it is not a struggle between believers and unbelievers, it is the age-old struggle between kingship and priesthood, a power struggle as old as mankind, older than the appearance on earth of our saviour, the power struggle Agamemnon fought with his seers in Aulis, the power struggle which shaped the German history in the Middle Ages, leading to the desintegration of the German Empire, in the form of the conflict between emperors and popes, and which resulted in the execution of the last descendant of the illustrious Swabian dynasty by the axe of a French conqueror, a French conqueror alied with the pope.

This power struggle is subject to the same conditions as any other struggle; it is a misinterpretation of the question with the object to impress people without judgment, if it is described as a matter of oppression of the church. It is a matter of defense of the state, of a delimitation, inhowhar priesthood and inhowfar royal rule shall reach, this delimitation has to be found in a way that the state can continue to exist. Because in this world the state claims both authority and priority."

in: "Werke" - Friedrichsruher Ausg. "Reden" (works, Friedrichsruhe edition, Speeches) p. 211; quoted after : Grundzuge der Geschichte, Oberstufe, Ausgabe B, (Main Features of History, classes 11 to 13, edition B), Quellenband II. Source Volume II) Frankfurt a.M. [etc.] 1966, p. 80
Dokument in deutscher Sprache

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