Friedrich Rosen (politician)

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Friedrich Rosen, 1910

Friedrich Felix Balduin Rosen , also Fritz Rosen (born August 30, 1856 in Leipzig , † November 27, 1935 in Beijing ) was a German orientalist , diplomat and politician . From May to October 1921 he was German Foreign Minister.


Roses in his office, 1930.

His grandfather Friedrich Ballhorn-Rosen was Chancellor of the Principality of Lippe-Detmold . His father Georg Rosen published as an orientalist writings on Islam and was active in the diplomatic service of Prussia as a consul in the Middle East and the Balkans. His mother Serena Anna Moscheles, daughter of Ignaz Moscheles , came from a British scholarly family of Jewish faith. His uncle Friedrich August Rosen was also an orientalist and Sanskritist .

Friedrich Rosen was born in this cosmopolitan atmosphere. He spent his youth in Jerusalem , where his father worked as a consul. He enjoyed an upbringing in four languages ​​(German, English, Arabic and Turkish) and decided early on to study modern and oriental languages, which took him to Berlin , Leipzig , Göttingen and Paris . After graduation, he worked for several months as a tutor for the children of Frederick Temple Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood , the Viceroy of India , in London.

In addition to his basic Anglophile attitude, a fondness for oriental culture remained throughout his life. From 1887 he taught Persian and Urdu at the Seminar for Oriental Languages in Berlin. In a dispute with the management of the institute, he resigned from this position in 1890 and, like his father before, entered the service of the Foreign Office . He worked as a consultant in Beirut and Tehran before he was commissioned to set up a consulate in Baghdad in 1898 .

After Kaiser Wilhelm II's visit to Palestine , Rosen was appointed consul in Jerusalem , and two years later, in 1900, he was appointed to the Political Department of the Foreign Office. Rosen was regarded as an expert for the Arab region, who, due to his liberal views, his simultaneous support for the monarchy and his Anglophilia, similar to his - not only political - friend Wilhelm Solf , was considered suitable for an understanding with Great Britain. In 1902, Rosen accompanied the Persian Shah Mozaffar ad-Din Shah on his trip to Germany and interpreted for him and the Persian delegation at the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II. For his cultural mediation he was awarded the Second Class Imperial Order of the Sun and Lions by Persia .

As part of the rose embassy named after him , Friedrich Rosen represented the interests of the German Empire in Ethiopia in 1904/1905 . At that time, Ethiopia had such good relations with hardly any other great power as with Germany. On his return to Europe, Rosen received instructions to remain in Tangier as envoy . From 1910 to 1912 Rosen was envoy in Bucharest , from 1912 to 1916 in Lisbon . When Germany declared war on Portugal in 1916, with the aim of establishing a colony of German Central Africa , Rosen had to return to his homeland.

Wilhelm II then appointed him ambassador to The Hague , where he remained until he rose to prominence in politics. In 1918 he played a key role in preventing Germany from declaring war on the Netherlands. Rosen arranged for Wilhelm II to stay in his Dutch exile at Haus Doorn and received him on November 10, 1918 at the German-Dutch border; later he was forbidden to visit the emperor.

In the spring of 1921 Reich Chancellor Joseph Wirth appointed Rosen as Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Wirth I cabinet . When it came to the question of reparations payments, the Christian-social host saw an Anglophile and non-party foreign minister as beneficial. In the five months of his tenure, Rosen made lasting merits through the peace treaty with the United States. In protest against the London ultimatum , in which the Entente powers combined the acceptance of the high reparation demands by Germany with specific conditions, Rosen resigned. He saw a double standard in the politics of the victorious powers: on the one hand they would proclaim the right of the peoples to self-determination , on the other hand they would not take into account the referendum in Upper Silesia , in which a 60 percent majority voted for Germany to remain.

Therefore, Friedrich Rosen resigned from the civil service in October 1921, his successor was, in accordance with Wirth's policy, who committed Walther Rathenau to similar principles . As chairman of the German Oriental Society , the umbrella organization of Orientalists in Germany, Rosen devoted himself increasingly to academic work. His work, the translation of the Rubajat Omar Khajjams , which is still well-known in oriental studies , has appeared in several editions.

After the takeover of the Nazis , whose ideology was Friedrich Rosen from the beginning contrary, it was because of his partially Jewish origin antisemitic exposed to hatred. Nevertheless, until his death, he maintained contact with his friend Solf's SeSiSo club , from whose participants the Solf-Kreis resistance group developed a few years later .

In 1935 Friedrich Rosen died of a broken leg while staying in Beijing , where his son Georg worked at the German embassy. Due to the racial policy of the Nazi regime, Georg Rosen was forced to leave the diplomatic service in 1938.

Web links


  • The sayings of Omar the tentmaker. Rubaijat-i-Omar-i-Khajjam. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart and Leipzig 1909.
    • The sayings of Omar the tentmaker. 5th increased edition, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart and Leipzig 1922 ( digitized version ).
    • The sayings of Omar the tentmaker. 13th edition, Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1993, ISBN 3-458-08407-X . (Partial edition)
    • Omar Khayyam: Quatrains (Rubāʿīyāt) translated by Friedrich Rosen with miniatures by Hossein Behzad . Epubli, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86931-622-2 .
  • Oriental Memories of a German Diplomatist . Methuen & Co. Ltd., London 1930 ( digitized version ).
  • From a diplomatic wandering life , vol. 1, Transmare Verlag, Berlin 1931 ( digitized version ).
  • From a diplomatic wandering life , Vol. 2, Transmare Verlag, Berlin 1932 ( digitized version ).
  • From a diplomatic wandering life , vol. 3/4, Limes-Verlag, Wiesbaden 1959.

Example of a paraphrase of the Rubaijat-i-Omar-i-Khayyam ( " four lines of the 'Omar Khayyam ")

یک چند به کودکى به استاد شدیم
یک چند ز استادى خود شاد شدیم
پایان ِسخن شنو که ما را چه رسید
از خاک در آمدیم و بر باد شدیم
yek čand be-kūdakī be-ostād šodīm
yek čand ze ostādī-ye ḫod šād šodīm
pāyān-e soḫan šenau ke mā-rā če resīd
az ḫāk dar-āmadīm-o bar bād šodīm 
I went to the master once - that was my youth.
Then I was happy about my own championship.
And do you want to know what the end of it is?
The wind scattered those born of dust like dust.


Individual evidence

  1. ^ "Firman de la decoration." Persian envoy Mr. Mahmoud. Berlin, May 29, 1902
  2. Een Duitser op zijn best. In: Nieuwe Rotterdamse Currant , October 24, 1959.
  3. From a diplomatic wandering life.
  4. transcription according to DMG .
predecessor Office successor
Gerhard Rohlfs German ambassador in Addis Ababa
Gerhard von Mutius
Friedrich von Mentzingen German ambassador in Rabat
Alfred von Kiderlen-Waechter German ambassador in Bucharest
Julius von Waldthausen
Hans from and to Bodman German ambassador in Lisbon
Richard von Kühlmann German ambassador in The Hague
Hellmuth Lucius von Stoedten