The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Bieberstein, Adolf Marschall von

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
The Encyclopedia Americana
Bieberstein, Adolf Marschall von
Edition of 1920. See also Adolf Marschall von Bieberstein on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

BIEBERSTEIN, Adolf Marschall von, Baron, German statesman: b. Karlsruhe, Germany, 1831; d Badenweiler, 24 Sept. 1912. Son of a court chamberlain of Baden, he studied law at Heidelberg and Freiburg, and entered the civil service of his native state. In 1878 he was sent to the Reichstag as a Conservative and appointed representative for Baden in the Federal Council (1883). In 1880 he succeeded Count Herbert Bismarck as Foreign Secretary, in which capacity he negotiated the commercial treaties under Chancellor Caprivi. He incurred the bitter hostility of the Agrarians and certain court circles, and was the subject of a police intrigue which he defeated. The Kaiser's historic telegram to President Kruger over the Jameson raid (5 Jan. 1896) is generally ascribed to him; he also declared that the independence of the South African Republic was a matter of vital interest to Germany. Political opposition compelled him to resign the Foreign Secretaryship in June 1897; four months later he was sent as Ambassador to Constantinople, where he revealed most remarkable ability as a diplomatist. He consolidated German influence in Turkey, obtained the Bagdad Railway concession which caused so much strife between interested European powers, especially with England, and brought about the downfall of the notorious Fehim Pasha, a favorite of Abdul Hamid and certainly the most disreputable villain in the Sultan's entourage. He had overreached himself by literally stealing a German vessel laden with lumber, which brought the energetic German Ambassador on his trail. When Fehim had to be dropped, all Constantinople rejoiced; the mob shortly after expressed their gratification by hanging him on a lamp-post in the street. After the Young Turk revolution (1908-09) Baron Marschall ingratiated himself with the new rulers, but hia position was severely shaken by the Turco-Italian War — the seizure of Tripoli being an equally bitter disappointment to both Germany and Turkey. Germany could not well interfere as she was an ally of both belligerents. On the retirement of Count Wolff-Metternich (8 May 1912) Baron Marschall was appointed Ambassador in London. It was hoped in England that the strongest man in German diplomacy would help to place the relations between the two countries on a more satisfactory basis, but unfortunately he died four months later, before he had entered upon his new duties. His death was deeply regretted alike in London and Berlin.