Wilhelm von Mirbach

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Wilhelm von Mirbach-Harff
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-2007-0327-504, Graf Wilhelm von Mirbach-Harff.jpg
Wilhelm von Mirbach
German Ambassador to Russia
In office
April 1918 – July 1918
Personal details
Born (1871-07-02)July 2, 1871
Bad Ischl, Austria
Died July 6, 1918(1918-07-06) (aged 47)
Moscow, Russia

Wilhelm Graf von Mirbach-Harff (2 July 1871 – 6 July 1918) was a German diplomat.

Biography[edit]

Mirbach was born in Bad Ischl in Upper Austria. Born in a Catholic Rhenan aristocratic family, he is a scion of Johann Wilhelm von Mirbach-Harff (de), founder of the Rhineland (de) Knight academy. His parents are Ernst Graf von Mirbach and his wife Wilhelmine von Thun-Hohenstein (1851–1929).

From 1908 to 1911, Mirbach serves as embassy clerk in Saint Petersburg, and then as political councillor for the German military command in Bucharest. In 1915 he becomes the German ambassador in Greece, before being expelled from Athens in December 1916 when the Entente-leaning government of Eleftherios Venizelos takes power.[1]

He participated in the Russian-German negotiations in Brest-Litovsk from December 1917 to March 1918. He was appointed German ambassador to Russia in April 1918.

Mirbach was assassinated by Yakov Grigorevich Blumkin at the request of the Central Committee of the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, who tried to incite a war between Russia and Germany. Blumkin entered Mirbach's residence in Moscow using forged papers and shot his victim at point blank range. Mirbach's assassination signaled the beginning of the revolt of the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries in Moscow in 1918.

Mirbach was succeeded as German ambassador to Russia by Karl Helfferich.

Coincidentally, a later relative, Andreas von Mirbach, would be murdered by the Red Army Fraction at the West German Embassy siege in Stockholm in 1975.

Notes and references[edit]

Regarding personal names: Graf is a title, translated as Count, not a first or middle name. The female form is Gräfin.

  1. ^ "L'expulsion du comte de Mirbach, ministre d'Allemagne, à Athènes" [The expulsion of the count of Mirbach, minister of Germany, in Athens]. Le Miroir (in French) (160). 17 December 1916. Retrieved 2015-01-28.