Kaiser Wilhelm II, who ruled Germany from 1888 until he abdicated in November 1918, was a first cousin of Britain’s King George V—“a very nice boy,” he once said.Jürgen Diener/DPA/Corbis

“Yes, the big things in the world are always done by just a man—one man—one strong personality. History in its times of crisis cries out for a man. Everything waits until a great personality appears; nothing happens until there rises up a man of absolute fearlessness, who knows what he wants and goes straight after it …

“Parliaments may criticize; parliaments may hold back; parliaments may be very wise—but parliaments don’t do things. You may gather all the wisdom in the world in a parliament chamber, but you will never get action out of a parliament chamber. One man has got to lead. There must always be one man willing to assume responsibilities, to do things. Parliaments consider; they do not act …

“The future”—the voice rang out—“the future belongs to the White Race, never fear!” His shoulders squared, his eye flashed, I could see the eagle above his head. “It belongs to the Anglo-Teuton, the man who came from Northern Europe—where you to whom America belongs came from—the home of the German. It does not belong, the future, to the Yellow, nor to the Black, nor to the Olive-colored. It belongs to the Fair-skinned Man, and it belongs to Christianity and to Protestantism. We are the only people who can save it. There is no power in any other civilization or any other religion that can save humanity; and the future—belongs—to—us!”


Originally titled "Thus Spoke the Kaiser"

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