Karl von Spreti
Count Karl Maria von Spreti (May 21, 1907 – April 5, 1970) was a German diplomat. He is best known as the West German Ambassador to Guatemala from 1968 until his assassination in 1970. The story of his assassination by Guatemalan guerillas was depicted in a 1970 book Why Karl Von Spreti Died by Ryszard Kapuściński.
Von Spreti was born in the Kapfing Castle near Landshut to an aristocratic family (his direct ancestor was Leo von Klenze). Like his forefather, Karl von Spreti studied architecture. He also joined the Bavarian People's Party. After his service in the World War II German Army and a short period in Allied captivity he settled in Lindau, where he continued his career as an architect and as a local politician for the Christian Social Union of Bavaria.
In 1956, Karl von Spreti became West Germany's first ambassador to Luxembourg since the second world war, and held that post until 1960, when he became the ambassador to Cuba (until 1963), Jordan (1963–1965) and the Dominican Republic (between 1966 and 1968). Finally he was dispatched to Guatemala during the turbulent times of the Guatemalan Civil War. On March 31, 1970 he was kidnapped by leftist FAR guerillas in Guatemala City and was murdered on April 5 of the same year. In the immediate aftermath, West Germany froze all diplomatic ties with Guatemala. On April 8, a counter-insurgency claimed the life a Guatemalan communist politician as revenge for the Spreti murder. César Montenegro Paniagua was killed by a group named MANO.
- Zedler, Jörg. "Karl Graf von Spreti: Bilder einer diplomatischen Karriere" (in German). Herbert Utz Verlag. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- "Guatemalans Seize Bonn Envoy". Washington Post. 1970-04-01.
- "Guatemalans Kill Bonn Envoy After Ransom Bid Is Refused". Washington Post. 1970-04-06.
- "Bonn Envoys In Guatemala Are Recalled". Washington Post. 1970-04-07.
- "Guatemala Red Killed For Revenge". Washington Post. 1970-04-07.
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