1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Solf, Wilhelm
SOLF, WILHELM (1862- ), German colonial politician, and, at the time of the revolution, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, was born Oct. 5 1862 in Berlin. He made a special study of Sanskrit and Oriental languages, and, after a long sojourn at Calcutta, returned to Germany in order to study political science. He then entered the German Colonial Service and, after having been employed in a judicial post in German East Africa, was sent to Samoa, first as president of the municipal council (1899) at Apia under the old “condominium” of Great Britain, Germany and America and afterwards as governor of German Samoa (1900). In 1911 he was appointed German colonial secretary and achieved considerable success in the reform of the German colonial administration. When Prince Max of Baden's Ministry of desperation was formed towards the end of the World War, Solf was appointed Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs on Oct. 3 1918. In this capacity it fell to his lot to conduct the negotiations for the Armistice, first with President Wilson and then with the Allied and Associated Powers. He continued to hold this office as an “expert” under the revolutionary Socialist Government of the Commissioners of the People, and did not resign till Dec. 17 1918. In 1920 he was appointed German chargé d'affaires and afterwards ambassador to Tokio. He was the author of Weltpolitik und Kolonialpolitik (1918) and of Kolonialpolitik, Mein politisches Vermächtniss (1919).