Carl Moltke

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Count Carl Moltke
Carl Moltke 1869-1935 02.jpg
Moltke circa 1910
Foreign Minister of Denmark
In office
23 April 1924 – 14 December 1926
Preceded byChristian Cold
Succeeded byLaust Jevsen Moltesen
Danish Ambassador to Germany
In office
Danish Ambassador to the United States
In office
Personal details
Carl Poul Oscar Moltke

(1869-01-02)2 January 1869
Brandenburg, Germany
Died5 September 1935(1935-09-05) (aged 66)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Political partyIndependent
Cornelia Van Rensselaer Thayer
(m. 1907)
ChildrenCarl Adam Nathaniel Thayer Moltke
Parent(s)Adam Henrik Carl Moltke
Emma Christine Capizucchi di Cassini
RelativesAlexandra Moltke Isles (granddaughter)

Count Carl Poul Oscar Moltke (2 January 1869 – 5 September 1935) was the Danish minister to the United States in 1908 and the Foreign Minister of Denmark 1924–1926.[1]

Early life[edit]

Carl Poul Oscar Moltke was born on 2 January 1869 in Denmark. He was the son of Adam Henrik Carl Moltke (1828–1913) and Emma Christine, Countess Capizucchi di Cassini (1836–1870). His maternal grandparents were Poul Capizucchi di Cassini and Elisabeth Loy af Triest.[2]


His paternal grandfather, Carl Graf von Moltke (1798–1866), was a cousin of Adam Wilhelm Moltke (1785–1864), the first Danish Prime Minister in the Danish constitutional monarchy, and the great-grandson of Adam Gottlob Moltke (1710–1792), a Danish courtier, statesman and diplomat, and favourite of Frederick V of Denmark.[3][4] His family was very involved in both Danish and German history.[5]


From 1908 to 1912, Moltke was the Danish Ambassador to the United States. He later represented his country as the Ambassador to Germany in Berlin.[6] In 1920, the secretary of the Danish legation in Berlin during World War I, Count Bent Holstein, brought serious charges against Moltke, saying:[7]

The radical Government tried every way to strangle the Slesvig question. The Danish Ambassador in Berlin thus went to the German Foreign Department during the war proposing that Germany give very many iron crosses to men from North Slesvig in order to make them forget Denmark. Not a German, but the Danish Ambassador under the Zahles Government tried Danish souls with German iron crosses.

In 1924, he was chosen by Thorvald Stauning, the first social democratic Prime Minister of Denmark, to be the Foreign Minister of Denmark, serving from 23 April 1924 to 14 December 1926,[8] until Thomas Madsen-Mygdal became Prime Minister. This happened even though Moltke was not a social democrat, as Stauning believed at the time that a diplomat should hold the post.[9]

In February and March 1930, he served as the chairman of the "Conference for Concerted Economic Action" in Geneva as part of the League of Nations.[6] As chairman, he urged European economic unity to better conditions throughout the world with the aid of the Belgian Foreign Minister, Paul Hymans (who later served as the 2nd President of the League of Nations).[10] He envisioned a broad conception of European economic organization and proposed a tariff truce, which he described as "the consolidation of duties."[10][11]

Personal life[edit]

On 29 June 1907,[12] he married Cornelia Van Rensselaer Thayer (1881–1960),[13] an American who was the daughter of Nathaniel Thayer III. She was born in Boston and was the granddaughter of Nathaniel Thayer Jr. (1808–1883), who married Cornelia Paterson, the daughter of Stephen Van Rensselaer IV. She was also descended from Thomas Cornell as well as the Bayard, Livingston, and Schuyler families. At the wedding, Baron Rosencrantz was his best man.[12] Together, they had a son:[14]

  • Count Carl Adam Moltke (1908–1989), a member of the Danish underground in World War II,[15] who married Mabel Wilson Wright (née Comstock) in 1944 (1909–1988).[16][17] They divorced in 1956 and later that same year, he married Doris Eccles (1914-1965), the daughter of Edward Eccles (1882–1975)[18] of Newport, Rhode Island.[19]

Moltke died on 5 September 1935, aged 66, in Copenhagen.[6]


He was the paternal grandfather of Countess Victoria Ann Moltke and Countess Cornelia Alexandra Moltke Isles (b. 1947), an actress and documentary filmmaker.[20][21][22]


  1. ^ Friedrich, Otto (1995). "Blood and Iron | From Bismark to Hitler the Von Moltke Family's Impact on German History". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  2. ^ Lehmann-haupt, Christopher (21 December 1995). "BOOKS OF THE TIMES;That Name Keeps Cropping Up in German History". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Library and Archive Catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 5 March 2012.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Bain 1911.
  5. ^ Sybel, Heinrich von (1800). The Founding of the German Empire by William I.: Based Chiefly Upon Prussian State Documents. Thomas Y. Crowell & Company. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Times, Special to The New York (6 September 1935). "COUNT CARL MOLTKE OF DENMARK IS DEAD; Former Minister to the United States Served in the First Socialist Cabinet". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  7. ^ Times, Copyright, 1920, By The New York Times Company Special Cable To The New York (23 April 1920). "DANISH ENVOY ACCUSED.; Moltke Sought to Suppress Slesvig Question, Secretary Charges". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  8. ^ "Count Carl Moltke, 5/10/24". The Library of Congress. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  9. ^ Bjørn, Claus (7 May 2020). "Carl Moltke". Den Store Danske (in Danish). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  10. ^ a b Times, Special Cable To The New York (18 February 1930). "TARIFF CONFERENCE BEGINS AT GENEVA; Count Moltke, Chairman, Urges European Economic Unity to Better World Conditions. SEES TRUCE MEANS TO END Stresses Necessity of Collective Agreements--Hymans Warns Against New Tariff War. Sees 'Truce Only as Means. Hainisch Speaks". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  11. ^ Times, Wireless To The New York (25 March 1930). "TARIFF PARLEY ENDS IN LIMITED ACCORD; Eleven European Nations at Geneva Agree to Truce Until March of 1931. IT MAY BE EXTENDED THEN Meeting in November to Decide When and Whether It Takes Effect --Program of Negotiations Fixed. "Essentially European." Stresses Moral Restraints. Prescribes Time-Table". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  12. ^ a b Times, Special To The New York (30 June 1907). "VON MOLTKE -- THAYER". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  13. ^ "COUNTESS MOLTKE DIES; Widow of Former Danish Foreign Minister Was 79". The New York Times. 16 June 1960. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  14. ^ "Miss Thayer is Countess. Weds Danish Noble at Lancaster. Ceremony at Country Home by Bishop Lawrence. Moltke, Diplomat, is the Bridegroom". The New York Times. 30 June 1907. Retrieved 26 March 2011. This noon, at ... beautiful country seat of Mr and ... National Thayer, their daughter, ... Cornelia Van Rennsealaer Thayer ... Count Carl Moltke of Copenhagen, ... were married...
  15. ^ "The Power of Conscience-Director's Statement". Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  16. ^ "Mab Moltke Dies at 78; Ex-Publicity Executive". The New York Times. 28 January 1988. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  17. ^ "Mrs. Mabel Wright Is Engaged To Count. Fiancee of Carl A. Moltke, Son of Late Danish Envoy to U.S." The New York Times. 17 May 1944. Retrieved 24 December 2012. Mrs. Arthur Comstock of 540 Park Avenue has announced the engagement of her daughter, Mrs. Mabel Wilson Wright, to Count Carl A. Moltke, son of Countess...
  18. ^ "Edward Eccles". Newport Mercury. 31 January 1975. p. 2. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  19. ^ "COUNTESS MOLTKE". The New York Times. 15 June 1965. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  20. ^ Alexandra Isles at IMDb
  21. ^ Vanity Fair: "Fatal Charm: The Social Web of Claus von Bülow" BY Dominick Dunne August 1985
  22. ^ Brozan, Nadine (22 April 1995). "CHRONICLE". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
Political offices
Preceded by Foreign Minister of Denmark
1928 – 1926
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Danish Ambassador
to the United States

1908 – 1912
Succeeded by