Paul Demetrius von Kotzebue

Paul Demetrius Graf[1] von Kotzebue (Russian: Па́вел Евста́фьевич Коцебу́, tr. Pavel Evstaf'evich Kotsebu; 10 August 1801 – 19 April 1884) was a German-Russian statesman and general who was in the service of the Russian Empire. One of 18 children of the famous German dramatist August von Kotzebue, P. D. Kotzebue was most notable for his military career, especially during the Crimean War as he gained a reputation as a capable and orderly commander. However, Kotzebue was criticised by Russian historians for being highly Germanophile and had an certain level of condescension toward the Russians since he was German.

Paul Demetrius von Kotzebue
Général Paul Demetrius von Kotzebue.jpeg
General Paul Demetrius Von Kotzebue.
Born(1801-08-10)10 August 1801
Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia, Holy Roman Empire
Died19 April 1884(1884-04-19) (aged 82)
Reval, Governorate of Estonia, Russian Empire (now Tallinn, Estonia)
Allegiance Russian Empire
Service/branchRussian Empire Imperial Russian Army
Years of service1819–1884
Rank1904ic-p10r.png General of the Infantry
Battles/warsCaucasian Wars
Russo-Persian War (1826-1828)
Russo-Turkish War (1828-1829)
November Uprising
Crimean War

In additions to his achievements, he was elevated to count in 1874. He was Governor-General of Novorossiysk-Bessarabia and commander of the Odessa Military District from 1862 to 1874, and also Governor-General of Warsaw and commander of the Warsaw Military District from 1874 to 1880.

That Germans like Kotzebue should hold the highest position in Russian Poland was not strange: "Germans in Russia were noted for traditional German orderliness, discipline, frugality, and calculation. Germans in high government positions were noted for their efficiency and incorruptibility – both characteristics in sharp contrast with Russian officials."[2]


  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.
  2. ^ Migrations and cultures: a world view by Thomas Sowell (Basic Books, 1996).