Wissen ist Stärke.

This is currently translated “Knowing is power.” which, as an English sentence, is awkward in and of itself. We often say “Knowledge is power.” but saying “Knowing is power.” implies a limited context.

For instance, if you had been discussing a specific fact, and you said “Knowing is…” then the sentence would refer to knowing that specific fact, not to the broader concept of knowledge or knowing things in general.

I’m pretty sure that the German sentence, even if it could perhaps have this interpretation, is more likely to have the broader “Knowledge is…” interpretation. Part of this is that in German I think the word “Kenntnis” is more likely to be used to refer to knowledge of a specific fact. English doesn’t really make this distinction because we don’t have the two different words for knowing (i.e. wissen vs. kennen) that English does.


“Wissen” is ambiguous.
It can be:
“das Wissen” - knowledge
“Wissen” (nominalization of the verb “wissen”) - to know, knowing

When I read this, I would think of the former, and therefore translate it to “Knowledge is power”.
But again, it is ambiguous, so it can mean both. And I agree there is a slight difference in meaning.
Knowledge is static. You collect it. The more you have, the more powerful you are, according to the phrase.
“To know” feels like “being an insider”, i.e. having a kind of privilege.