Bismarck, North Dakota is a city in the northern hinterland of the United States; cunning 1870s settlers renamed it after the Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in order to attract wealthy investors. The myths surrounding Otto von Bismarck have captivated photographer Dirk Reinartz for quite some time now, and in 1991 he published a photographic inventory of Bismarck statues in Germany. On his numerous trips through the US, Reinartz frequently noticed the name Bismarck, far north, featured in television weather forecasts. The centennial of Bismarck's death served as the occasion for his visiting and photographing the town, accompanied by author Wolfram Runkel. What results is a particularly European view of North Dakota's capital, a German answer to the Coen Brothers' "Fargo."
Chancellor Otto von Bismarck founded the German Empire in 1871, and is one of the most monumentalised statesmen in European history; countless statues, streets, and public buildings bear his name. His advocation of ''iron and blood'' over ''speeches and majority votes'' is about as famous a historical statement of purpose as one could find.
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