This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the German Wikipedia. (December 2009)
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He entered the Prussian army in 1834, but left it in 1838 to enter the service of the Spanish pretender Don Carlos, where he received the rank of brigadier general. He fought a duel with the Spanish General Montenegro and was severely wounded, but recovered. In 1847, he was elected by Ratibor to Prussia's United Diet, and was elected to the national parliament in 1848 where he took his seat on the right. Here he put to use his substantial oratorical skills, though frequently using them to dazzle rather than enlighten, and his demeaning characterizations of the left earned him a poor reputation in those quarters. When the uprising broke out on September 18 in consequence of the parliament's decision regarding the truce of Malmö (in the debate for which Lichnowsky had spoken in very conciliatory terms), disdaining all warnings, he rode out with General von Auerswald to meet the troops arriving from Württemberg. A mob recognized them on the Bornheimer Highway and gave chase to the defenseless men. They fled, but accidentally went down a dead-end path at the end of which they dismounted and hid in a gardener's hut. The mob found them in the hut, shot von Auerswald to death and beat up Lichnowsky who died the next day in Baron Bethmann's villa.