Clemens von Ketteler

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Baron

Clemens von Ketteler
Baron von Ketteler.jpg
Minister of the German Empire to China
In office
1899 – 20 June 1900
Preceded byEdmund Friedrich Gustav von Heyking
Succeeded byAlfons Mumm von Schwarzenstein
Personal details
Born(1853-11-22)22 November 1853
Münster, Germany
Died20 June 1900(1900-06-20) (aged 46)
Beijing, China
Spouse(s)
Matilda Cass Ledyard
(m. 1897; his death 1900)
RelationsWilhelm Emmanuel Freiherr von Ketteler (uncle)

Clemens August Freiherr von Ketteler (22 November 1853 – 20 June 1900) was a German career diplomat. He was murdered during the Boxer Rebellion.

Early life[edit]

Ketteler was born at Münster in western Germany on 22 November 1853 into a noble Münsterland family. He was the son of Cäcilie von Luck und Witten (1822–1908) and August Joseph von Ketteler (1808–1853), who died shortly before his birth.

His uncle, Wilhelm Emmanuel Freiherr von Ketteler, was a theologian and Zentrum politician who served as Bishop of Mainz. His nephew, the diplomat Wilhelm Freiherr von Ketteler, was murdered by the Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers SS (SD) in Vienna in 1938 for his opposition to Hitler. Another relative was the French marshal Louis Franchet d'Espèrey. A cousin, Marguerite Watson, was married to Prince Charles Philippe, Duke of Nemours (son of Prince Emmanuel, Duke of Vendôme).[1]

Career[edit]

Following his graduation in Münster and Coesfeld in 1873, Ketteler entered the Prussian Army and served in it until he was appointed to join the Imperial German diplomatic corps in 1882.

Between 1880 and 1889 he served as an interpreter in the German consulates in Canton (Guangzhou) and Tientsin. After working in the German Department of Foreign Affairs for a short period, he was posted to Washington, D.C., between 1892 and 1896 and then to Mexico from 1896 to 1899.

German Minister to China[edit]

The Ketteler Gate as it stood in Dongdan from 1903 to 1918.
The stone archway erected by the Chinese government (Qing) at the time to commemorate Baron von Kettler, killed during the Yihetuan Movement in 1900 after being moved to Zhongshan Park.

Ketteler returned to China in 1899 as Plenipotentiary at Beijing, from where he pointed out in vain the dangerous situation for the Europeans. On 12 June 1900, when the Boxers moved to the inner city and burned down Christian church buildings, Ketteler reacted by ordering German embassy guards to hunt them down. On 18 June, German troops captured a Chinese civilian suspected of being a Boxer in the inner city and took him to the Legation Quarter, where he was detained.[citation needed]

On 17 June, the Chinese Muslim Kansu Braves mounted an assault on Ketteler and his German Marines at the Legations. After stones were hurled at the Germans by the Chinese Muslims, Ketteler told his men to shoot back at Muslim forces.[2][3] The Muslim troops were feared by the Westerners, so the British minister Sir Claude Macdonald warned that "When our own troops arrive we may with safety assume a different tone, but it is hardly wise now." He thus warned Ketteler about his shooting incident with the Muslim army.[4][5][6]

Ketteler flogged a Chinese who appeared to a Boxer, and beat a boy who was with him after taking him to the Legations. Ketteler then shot him dead.[7] In response, thousands of Chinese Muslim Kansu Braves under General Dong Fuxiang of the Imperial Army and Boxers went on a riot.[8] The Kansu braves and Boxers then attacked and killed Chinese Christians around the legations in revenge for foreign attacks on Chinese. Angry at the Chinese Christians for collaborating with foreigners who were murdering Chinese, the Boxers burned some of them alive and attacked and ransacked their property. Some Muslims also assassinated the secretary of the Japanese legation, Sugiyama Akira, tearing him apart.[9]

At 8.00 a.m. on 20 June, Ketteler, together with his interpreter and other associates, headed for the Zongli Yamen (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) accompanied by armed escorts. At the western end of Xizongbu Hutong, only one block away from the ministry, the party was intercepted by a cart with what appeared to be Chinese Imperial lancers,[10] though another source states they were Manchu Hushenying bannerman.[11] One of them approached Ketteler's palanquin and shot Ketteler at point blank range.[10] Ketteler was specifically targeted by the Manchu captain En Hai for assassination, in revenge for Ketteler murdering the boy.[11][12]

En Hai later gave himself up to the Allied occupying forces.[13][14] He was subsequently tried and convicted, and was executed in Beijing on 31 December 1900 by beheading. He showed no emotion during interrogation, and was fully composed and calm, admitting to killing Ketteler, and even requested execution, saying "I received orders from my sergeant to kill every foreigner that came up the street...I am glad to die for having killed one of the enemies of my country." When questioned about whether he had consumed alcohol during the incident, En Hai said he had not "touched a drop". En Hai was praised as "brave and dignified", and called a "hero".[15]

Ketteler was succeeded by Dr. Alfons Mumm von Schwarzenstein as ambassador of the German Empire in Beijing,[16] who signed the Boxer Protocol on behalf of Germany. After his death,[17][18] his widow returned to America to be with her family.[19][20]

Personal life[edit]

On 24 February 1897, he was married to the American heiress Matilda Cass Ledyard (1871–1960) in Detroit.[21] Matilda, a descendant of the Livingston and the Schuyler family, was the daughter of Mary (née L'Hommedieu) Ledyard and Henry Brockholst Ledyard Jr., president of the Michigan Central Railroad and the Union Trust Company.[22][23] Her paternal grandfather was Henry Ledyard, a former mayor of Detroit,[24] and her uncle, Lewis Cass Ledyard, was the personal lawyer of J. Pierpont Morgan.[25]

After returning to her family in America after his death, his widow, who never remarried, later lived at a villa in Florence, Italy, before leaving shortly before World War II. In 1938, she bought a 90 acre estate in Canaan, Connecticut where she died in 1960.[26]

The Ketteler memorial in Beijing[edit]

After China's loss to the Eight-Nation Alliance in 1901, treaties were signed between China and eleven nations (the Eight Nations plus Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands). Prince Chun, father of the last emperor Puyi, travelled to Germany in his official capacity as ambassador extraordinary to express the regrets of the Guangxu Emperor over the death of Ketteler to Kaiser Wilhelm II. A paifang or "memorial gate" called the Ketteler Memorial (German: Ketteler-Denkmal) was erected at the location where he fell. Work on this gate began on 25 June 1901 and was completed on 8 January 1903.

On 13 November 1918, two days after Germany signed an armistice with the Allies, the Ketteler Memorial was officially abolished. The following year, the gate was moved to the present-day Zhongshan Park and renamed "The Victory of Justice Gate" (Chinese: 公理戰勝牌坊). In 1953, on the occasion of the Asia-Pacific Peace Conference in Beijing, it was renamed once again as "The Protection of Peace Gate".

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MISS WATSON WED TO DUC DE NEMOURS; American Girl Becomes Bride of Prince Charles Philippe in London. HER MOTHER HERE ADVISED Ceremony Takes Place at Covent Garden Registrar's Office--His Family Opposed Match. Bride's Mother Gets Cable" (PDF). The New York Times. 15 April 1928. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  2. ^ Richard O'Connor (1973). The spirit soldiers: a historical narrative of the Boxer Rebellion (illustrated ed.). Putnam. p. 96. Retrieved 2012-01-11. Unperturbed by what he regarded as the unmanly queasiness of his colleagues, Baron von Ketteler late that day ordered his marines to open fire on a detachment of General Tung Fu-hsiang's Kansu cavalry. The Moslems had thrown some stones at the Germans; the latter replied with rifle fire. The British minister had not joined in reproving the baron over the Tatar Wall incident earlier in the day, but now he sent a note over to the German
  3. ^ Richard O'Connor (1973). The Boxer Rebellion (illustrated, reprint ed.). Hale. p. 96. ISBN 0-7091-4780-5. Retrieved 2012-01-11. marines to open fire on a detachment of General Tung Fu-hsiang's Kansu cavalry. The Moslems had thrown some stones at the Germans; the latter replied with rifle fire. The British minister had not joined in reproving the baron over the Tatar Wall incident earlier in the day, but now he sent a note over to the German
  4. ^ Peter Fleming (1990). The Siege at Peking: The Boxer Rebellion (illustrated ed.). Dorset Press. p. 98. ISBN 0-88029-462-0. Retrieved 2012-01-11. Tung Fu-hsiang's Moslem cavalry, flaunting banners of scarlet and black but armed with modern Mausers, were however treated with great respect. They had taken a leading part in anti-foreign incidents two years earlier, and when on 17 June, after a stone-throwing incident, a detachment of them was fired on by the Germans, Sir Claude MacDonald sent a tactful reproof to Baron von Ketteler, urging strict precautions against all acts of provocation; 'When our own troops arrive we may with safety assume a different tone, but it is hardly wise now.
  5. ^ Peter Fleming (1959). The Siege at Peking. NEW YORK 49 East 33rd Street, New York 16, N.Y: HARPER & BROTHERS. p. 98. Tung Fu-hsiang's Moslem cavalry, flaunting banners of scarlet and black but armed with modern Mausers, were however treated with great respect. They had taken a' leading part in anti-foreign incidents two years earlier, and when on 17 June, after a stone-throwing incident, a detachment of them was fired on by the Germans, Sir Claude MacDonald sent a tactful reproof to Baron von Ketteler, urging strict precautions against all acts of provocation; 'When our own troops arrive we may with safety assume a different tone, but it is hardly wise now.'
  6. ^ Leo J. Daugherty (2009). The Marine Corps and the State Department: enduring partners in United States foreign policy, 1798-2007 (illustrated ed.). McFarland. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-7864-3796-2. Retrieved 2012-01-11. By June 21, the Chinese Imperial troops had joined in the attack with the Boxers against the Westerners. On June 23, Imperial troops from Kansu under the command of the Moslem Chinese General Tung Fu-hsiang, whose hatred of foreigners was as intense as that of the Boxers, launched a combined assault against the Russian Marines and sailors near the Tartar Wall.16 In the action, the Boxers killed a German Marine whose body was recovered by an American Marine before it rolled off the roof of the Russian Bank building.
  7. ^ Robert B. Edgerton (1997). Warriors of the rising sun: a history of the Japanese military. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 70. ISBN 0-393-04085-2. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
  8. ^ Sterling Seagrave, Peggy Seagrave (1992). Dragon lady: the life and legend of the last empress of China. Knopf. p. 320. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  9. ^ Robert B. Edgerton (1997). Warriors of the rising sun: a history of the Japanese military. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 70. ISBN 0-393-04085-2. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
  10. ^ a b Durschmied, Erik (2018). China: The Military History. London, UK: Andre Deutsch. p. 167. ISBN 978-0-233-00541-6.
  11. ^ a b Robert B. Edgerton (1997). Warriors of the rising sun: a history of the Japanese military. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 82. ISBN 0-393-04085-2. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
  12. ^ "Von Ketteler's Murder" (PDF). The New York Times. 3 July 1900. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  13. ^ Franciszek Przetacznik (1983). Protection of officials of foreign states according to international law. BRILL. p. 229. ISBN 90-247-2721-9. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  14. ^ "Von Ketteler's Slayer Taken" (PDF). The New York Times. 14 September 1900. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  15. ^ Compiled by John Otway Percy Bland, Sir Edmund Backhouse (1914). China under the empress dowager: being the history of the life and times of Tzŭ Hsi, comp. from the state papers of the comptroller of her household. Houghton Mifflin company. p. 216. ISBN 90-247-2721-9. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  16. ^ "To Succeed Von Ketteler" (PDF). The New York Times. 12 July 1900. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  17. ^ "Baroness von Ketteler's Safety" (PDF). The New York Times. 11 August 1900. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  18. ^ "TO AID BARONESS VON KETTELER.; Gen. Chaffee Offers Escort and Transportation for Her" (PDF). The New York Times. 29 August 1900. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  19. ^ "Baroness von Ketteler Leaves China" (PDF). The New York Times. 7 October 1900. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  20. ^ "Baroness Von Ketteler Home" (PDF). The New York Times. 22 October 1900. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  21. ^ "Von Ketteler--Ledyard" (PDF). The New York Times. 25 February 1897. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  22. ^ "Ledyard Given Quiet Funeral," Detroit Free Press, May 28, 1921, pg. 11.
  23. ^ "HENRY LEDYARD, JR., MARRIED.; He and His Bride Start for Yokohama to Meet Baroness von Ketteler" (PDF). The New York Times. 6 September 1900. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  24. ^ Bragg, Amy Elliott (October 20, 2011). Hidden History of Detroit. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9781614233459. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  25. ^ "L. CASS LEDYARD, DIED LAWYER, DIES; Friend and Associate of the Elder J. P. Morgan Victim of Heart Disease at 80. FORMED BIG CORPORATIONS Director on Many Boards Gave Large Sum to Charity Former Commodore of N. Y. Yacht Club". The New York Times. January 28, 1932. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  26. ^ "Diplomat's Widow Dies in Canaan". Hartford Courant. 3 Dec 1960. p. 4. Retrieved 23 June 2019.

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