Botho zu Eulenburg

Botho Wendt August Graf[a] zu Eulenburg (31 July 1831 – 5 February 1912) was a Prussian statesman.

Count Botho zu Eulenburg
Botho Wendt zu Eulenburg.jpg
Prime Minister of Prussia
In office
22 March 1892 – 26 October 1894
MonarchWilhelm II
Preceded byCount Leo von Caprivi
Succeeded byPrince Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst
Personal details
Born(1831-07-31)31 July 1831
Wicken/Bartenstein, East Prussia
Died5 February 1912(1912-02-05) (aged 80)
Berlin, Imperial Germany
Spouse(s)Elisabeth von Alvensleben
ChildrenBotho zu Eulenburg (1879–1881)
RelativesAugust zu Eulenburg (brother)
Philipp zu Eulenburg (second cousin)

Early life and careerEdit

Eulenburg was born in Wicken near Bartenstein[1] to Botho Heinrich zu Eulenburg (1804–1879) and Therese née von Dönhoff (1806–1882).[2] He studied law at the universities of Königsberg and Bonn.

Eulenburg worked in high positions of the Prussian and German administration in Wiesbaden (1869–1872), Metz (president of the Département de la Lorraine; 1872–1873) and upper president of the Province of Hanover (1873–1878). In March 1878 Eulenburg succeeded his first cousin once removed Friedrich Albrecht zu Eulenburg as Minister of the Interior, serving under Bismarck. He implemented a series of repressive anti-socialist measures. From 1881 to 1892 he was the president of the province of Hesse-Nassau.[2]

Prime Minister of PrussiaEdit

In 1892, he was appointed Prime Minister of Prussia in succession to Leo von Caprivi, who however remained Chancellor of Germany.

Though Caprivi had recommended the experienced administrator Eulenburg for this appointment, the new prime minister soon made life difficult for Caprivi, and often thought of pressing for his removal. Both Caprivi and Eulenburg were eventually dismissed by Wilhelm II following the renewal of anti-Socialist moves (and an anti-subversion bill) in 1894. Eulenburg often thought of himself as the only possible successor to Caprivi, and he was extremely unhappy to be dismissed at what he regarded as the moment of his destiny.

From 1899 until his death, Eulenburg was a member of the Prussian House of Lords. He died in Berlin in 1912 and is buried in No. I cemetery of Trinity Church, Berlin-Kreuzberg.

Personal life and familyEdit

Eulenburg was the older brother of August zu Eulenburg, Marshal of the Prussian royal court, and a second cousin of Prince Philip of Eulenburg, a close friend of Wilhelm II, German Emperor, and an instrumental figure behind the scenes of German politics.

On 25 October 1875 he married at Neustadt, West Prussia Elisabeth von Alvensleben (22 September 1834 in Brandenburg/Havel – 5 September 1919 in Neustadt), by whom he had an only son, Botho (15 February 1879 in Berlin – 30 May 1881 in Berlin).


He received the following orders and decorations:[3]


  1. ^ Regarding personal names: Until 1919, Graf was a title, translated as Count, not a first or middle name. The female form is Gräfin. In Germany since 1919, it forms part of family names.


  1. ^ Biography Archived July 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine at University of Oldenburg
  2. ^ a b Biography at Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (in German)
  3. ^ Handbuch über den Königlich Preußischen Hof und Staat fur das jahr 1908, p. 57
  4. ^ Bille-Hansen, A. C.; Holck, Harald, eds. (1903) [1st pub.:1801]. Statshaandbog for Kongeriget Danmark for Aaret 1903 [State Manual of the Kingdom of Denmark for the Year 1903] (PDF). Kongelig Dansk Hof- og Statskalender (in Danish). Copenhagen: J.H. Schultz A.-S. Universitetsbogtrykkeri. pp. 11–12. Retrieved 10 February 2021 – via da:DIS Danmark.
Government offices
Preceded by
Karl Heinrich von Boetticher
Oberpräsident of Hanover
1873 – 1878
Succeeded by
Adolf Hilmar von Leipzig
Preceded by
August von Ende
Oberpräsident of Hesse-Nassau
1881 – 1892
Succeeded by
Eduard von Magdeburg
Political offices
Preceded by
Count Friedrich Albrecht zu Eulenburg
Interior Minister of Prussia
1878 – 1881
Succeeded by
Robert von Puttkamer
Preceded by
Count Leo von Caprivi
Prime Minister of Prussia
1892 – 1894
Succeeded by
Prince Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst
Preceded by
Count Ludwig Herrfurt
Interior Minister of Prussia
1892 – 1894
Succeeded by
Ernst von Koeller