Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 3 >> Biblical to Or Bass Bast >> Bieberstein

Bieberstein

german, germany, court and marschall

BIEBERSTEIN, Adolf Marachall von, BAaoN, German statesman : b. Karlsruhe, Ger many, 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 his toric 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 opposi tion compelled him to resign the Foreign Secre taryship 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 influ ence in Turkey, obtained the Bagdad Railway concession which caused so much strife be tween 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 disrepu table villain in the Sultan's entourage. He had

overreached himself by literally stealing a Ger man vessel laden with lumber, which brought the energetic German Ambassador on his trail. When Fehim had to be dropped, all Constanti nople 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 ingrati ated himself with the new rulers, but his posi tion 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-Mettemich (8 May 1912) Baron Marschall was appointed Ambas sador 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.