Philip, Prince of Eulenburg : biography
Philip Frederick Alexander, Prince of Eulenburg and Hertefeld, Count of Sandels, in German: Philipp Friedrich Alexander Fürst zu Eulenburg und Hertefeld, Graf von Sandels (12 February 1847 – 17 September 1921) was a politician and diplomat of imperial Germany in the late 19th century and early 20th century. He was also a composer and writer.
Civil service and diplomatic career
Eulenburg joined the Prussian civil service. He served first as a judge at a lower court in Lindow, Brandenburg, before being promoted to a higher court at Neuruppin. After only two years as a judge he transferred to the German Foreign Office.
In January 1881 Eulenburg was appointed third Secretary at the German Embassy in Paris, serving under Bernhard von Bülow. After only six months he was transferred to the Prussian embassy in Munich where he served seven years. In November 1888 Eulenburg was appointed Prussian ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg. In March 1890 he was sent to Stuttgart as Prussian ambassador to the Kingdom of Württemberg. In April 1891 he returned to Munich, this time as Prussian ambassador to the Kingdom of Bavaria. In 1893 Eulenburg was appointed Germany's ambassador to Austria-Hungary, a position he held until 1902.
In 1900, Eulenburg was created 1st Prince of Eulenburg and Hertefeld and Count of Sandels (Fürst zu Eulenburg und Hertefeld, Graf von Sandels). The second title was in honour of the family of his wife, whose father was the last Swedish Count of Sandels.
Eulenburg was born at Königsberg, Province of Prussia, the eldest son of Philipp Konrad Graf zu Eulenburg (Königsberg, 24 April 1820 - Berlin, 5 March 1889) and of his wife, Alexandrine Freiin von Rothkirch und Panthen (Glogau, 20 June 1824 - Meran, 11 April 1902). The Eulenburgs were a Junker family which belonged to the Uradel (ancient nobility). For generations the family had served the House of Hohenzollern; his uncle, Friedrich Albrecht zu Eulenburg served as Interior Minister of Prussia as did his cousin Botho zu Eulenburg.
Eulenburg attended the Vitzhumsches Gymnasium in Dresden, Saxony. In 1866 the Austro-Prussian War forced him to leave Saxony which was now enemy territory. He joined the Gardes du Corps as an officer cadet. He then attended the War Academy at Kassel from which he graduated in 1868. In 1869 he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. During the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 and 1871 he served under the German military governor of Strasbourg and received the Iron Cross.
After the Franco-Prussian War Eulenburg travelled in the Orient for a year. From 1872 to 1875 he attended the University of Leipzig and the University of Strasbourg. In 1875 he received a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Giessen.
Among his works are:
- Skaldengesänge (“Old Norse songs,” 1892)
- Rosenlieder (“Rose songs”) This collection of songs was quite popular in his lifetime and often performed in the salon of Marie von Schleinitz. It was recorded for EMI in 1976 by Cathy Berberian on the LP Wie einst in schöner'n Tagen. A version on CD was released in March 2013 on the EMI Electrola label.
- Dichtungen (“Poems,” 1892)
- Das Weihnachtsbuch (“The Christmas book,” 1892)
- Erich und Erika und andere Erzählungen für Kinder (“Eric and Erica and other tales for children,” 1893)
- Abenderzählungen, Märchen und Träume (“Evening tales, stories, and dreams,” 1894)
Although he was married, Eulenburg was connected in homosexual liaisons with members of the Kaiser’s inner circle, including Count Kuno von Moltke, the military commander of Berlin. Sources say that he continued to have homosexual relationships even after the marriage. The public exposure of these liaisons in 1907 led to the Harden-Eulenburg Affair. In 1908, Eulenburg was placed on trial for perjury due to his denial of his homosexuality; the trial was repeatedly postponed due to Eulenburg’s claim of poor health. Eulenburg died in Liebenberg in 1921, aged 74.
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