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Learning from History


The original quote is shown below. <bq author="Friedrich Hegel" href="" source="Vorlesungen über die Philosophie der Geschichte">Was die Erfahrung aber und die Geschichte lehren, ist dieses, dass Völker und Regierungen niemals etwas aus der Geschichte gelernt und nach Lehren, die aus derselben zu ziehen gewesen wären, gehandelt haben.</bq> The following is my best attempt at a direct translation, which I hope imparts just how balky the original is. <bq>But what experience and history have taught, is that society and governments never learn anything from history and acted on lessons from which the same could have been learned.</bq> This is how the quote is commonly cited in English: <bq>The only thing we can learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.</bq> Which, I think we can all agree, is much snappier.