II Potsdam 5/I/95

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Potsdam, 5/I/95

My dear Nicky

Your kind letter which Knorring brought to me involved very interesting but very sad news. I am very thankful for your explanation and fully understand the motives which prompt you to decide about Count Schouvaloff.[1] In the same time I can assure you that I am deeply grieved at losing excellent Paul, who was the only ambassador at Berlin with whom I was on really intimate terms and who was an "ami intime" to me as far as a non-German could claim such name. I will miss him very much indeed!I He fully deserves the eulogies you gave him in your rescript and the near and intimate relations of our Courts and People could not have been better looked after than by him. I hope and trust that the person whom you are going to select to replace him will be able to carry on the work in the same manner and with the same thruthfullness and openess of character like Schouvaloff; as the relations of our two countries rest on traditional bases, quite other than those with other nations, and are of commanding influence on the whole of the world! At your dear Fathers express wish I replaced Schweinitz[2] by Werder, if I could at the same time express a wish, it would be that you chose either Pahlen,[3] Richter[4] or Staal[5] as remplaçants if possible.[6]

Now let me wish you a Happy New Year at the side of that dear Angel Alix, and may it be a year of peace and prosperity! My Xmas gift will I hope amuse you, it is an album with photos from the Fahnenweihe at Berlin.

Hoping that we shall be able to meet each other somewhere this year

I remain
Your most aff-ate friend


  1. Count Schouvaloff was one of Russia's foremost diplomats. He was Russian Ambassador to London in 1878, during the Berlin Conference. On January 3rd, 1895, he was transferred from his post as Russian ambassador in Berlin, which he filled for nine years, to the Governor-Generalship of Warsaw.
  2. General von Schweinitz was German ambassador in Petrograd until 1892, when after Bismarck's fall, he was replaced by General von Werder.
  3. Count von der Pahlen a high dignitary of the Russian court.
  4. General Richter was chief of the Czar's Military Household.
  5. Georges de Staal was Russiqn ambassador in London from 1884 to I903.
  6. The Kaiser's suggestions were ignored by the Czar, and Count Osten-Sacken was appointed to succeed Count Schouvaloff.

Return to 'Willy-Nicky' Letters: Introduction, and Letters I-V (8 November 1894-10 July 1895)