Karl von Spreti

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Karl Borromäus Maria Heinrich Graf von Spreti (21 May 1907 – 5 April 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).[1] Finally he was dispatched to Guatemala during the turbulent times of the Guatemalan Civil War. On 31 March 1970 he was kidnapped by Marxist-Leninist FAR guerillas in Guatemala City and was murdered six days later.[2][3] West Germany immediately severed diplomatic ties with Guatemala.[4] Three days after von Spreti's murder, an anti-communist death squad named MANO retaliated by assassinating Communist politician César Montenegro Paniagua.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zedler, Jörg. "Karl Graf von Spreti: Bilder einer diplomatischen Karriere" (PDF) (in German). Herbert Utz Verlag. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Guatemalans Seize Bonn Envoy". Washington Post. 1970-04-01. 
  3. ^ "Guatemalans Kill Bonn Envoy After Ransom Bid Is Refused". Washington Post. 1970-04-06. 
  4. ^ "Bonn Envoys In Guatemala Are Recalled". Washington Post. 1970-04-07. 
  5. ^ "Guatemala Red Killed For Revenge". Washington Post. 1970-04-07. 

Further References[edit]

  • Blumenau, Bernhard. The United Nations and Terrorism. Germany, Multilateralism, and Antiterrorism Efforts in the 1970s Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, ch. 2. ISBN 978-1-137-39196-4.

External links[edit]