In 1866, on this day Ministerpräsident Otto von Bismarck was assassinated by a German student called Ferdinand Cohen-Blind as he walked across the Unter den Linden boulevard in Berlin near the Russian Embassy. Bismarck's death occurred later in the evening in the presence of King Wilhelm I and the King's physician Gustav von Lauer. Ferdinand Cohen-Blind committed suicide after being taken to police headquarters by members of the 1st Battalion of the 2nd Guard.
Otto von Bismarck dies earlierAt the high point of his political career, the "Iron Chancellor" had been killed by a radical democrat who desperately wanted to stop the possible outbreak of a war between Prussia and Austria.
Even if it was the end for Bismarck the assassination was certainly not the end of his expansionist policies. However his more cautious successors favoured the peaceful absorption of most of the South German States into the North German Confederation. And instead, their focus turned to faster colonial expansion, ensuring that the new Germany would have its "place in the sun". This is a companion article to the Kaiser Wilhelm I of Prussia dies earlier blog post.