1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kühlmann, Richard von
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Kühlmann, Richard von
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KÜHLMANN, RICHARD VON (1873- ), German diplomatist, was born March 17 1873 at Constantinople. From 1908 to 1914 he was councillor of the German embassy in London, and was very active in the study of all phases of contemporary political and social life in Great Britain and even in Ireland. During the World War he was successively councillor of embassy at Constantinople, minister at The Hague and, from Sept. 1916 till Aug. 1917, ambassador at Constantinople. He was then appointed Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and represented Germany at the Brest Litovsk negotiations, which on March 3 1918 led to the treaty of peace with Russia. He also negotiated the Peace of Bucharest (May 7 1918) with Rumania. In these negotiations he had to encounter the opposition of the Higher Command of the army, and, in particular, of Ludendorff, who desired fuller territorial guarantees on Germany's eastern frontier, the establishment of a German protectorate over the Baltic States and stronger precautions against the spread of Bolshevism. In July 1918 he delivered in the Reichstag a speech on the general situation, in the course of which he declared that the war could not be ended by arms alone, implying that it would require diplomacy to secure peace. This utterance was misinterpreted in the country, and the Higher Command was drawn into the controversy which arose over it, so that Kühlmann's position became untenable. He was practically thrown over by the Chancellor, Count Hertling, in a speech intended to explain away his statement and, after an interview with the Emperor at the front, he tendered his resignation (July 1918).