Nicholas de Giers
Nicholas de Giers (1820-1895) was a Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n Foreign Minister during the reign of Alexander III
Alexander III of Russia
Alexander Alexandrovich Romanov , historically remembered as Alexander III or Alexander the Peacemaker reigned as Emperor of Russia from until his death on .-Disposition:...

. He was one of the architects of the Franco-Russian Alliance
Franco-Russian Alliance
The Franco-Russian Alliance was a military alliance between the French Third Republic and the Russian Empire that ran from 1892 to 1917. The alliance ended the diplomatic isolation of France and undermined the supremacy of the German Empire in Europe...

, which was later transformed into the Triple Entente
Triple Entente
The Triple Entente was the name given to the alliance among Britain, France and Russia after the signing of the Anglo-Russian Entente in 1907....



de Giers, or Girs, was born on the 21st of May 1820, and his family was of Scandinavian ancestry. Like his predecessor, Prince Gorchakov, he was educated at the lyceum of Tsarskoye Selo, near St Petersburg, but his career was much less rapid, because he had no influential protectors, and was handicapped by being a Protestant of Teutonic origin. At the age of eighteen, he entered the service of the Eastern department of the ministry of foreign affairs, and spent more than twenty years in subordinate posts, chiefly in south-eastern Europe, until he was promoted in 1863 to the post of minister plenipotentiary in Persia. Here he remained for six years, and, after serving as a minister in Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 and Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, he was appointed in 1875 director of the Eastern department and assistant minister for foreign affairs under Prince Gorchakov, whose niece he had married.

On the death of Alexander II
Alexander II of Russia
Alexander II , also known as Alexander the Liberator was the Emperor of the Russian Empire from 3 March 1855 until his assassination in 1881...

 in 1881 it was generally expected that M. de Giers would be dismissed as deficient in Russian nationalist feeling, for Alexander III
Alexander III of Russia
Alexander Alexandrovich Romanov , historically remembered as Alexander III or Alexander the Peacemaker reigned as Emperor of Russia from until his death on .-Disposition:...

 was credited with strong anti-German Slavophile
Slavophilia was an intellectual movement originating from 19th century that wanted the Russian Empire to be developed upon values and institutions derived from its early history. Slavophiles were especially opposed to the influences of Western Europe in Russia. There were also similar movements in...

 tendencies. In reality, the young tsar did not intend to embark on wild political adventures, and was fully determined not to let his hand be forced by men less cautious than himself. What he wanted was a minister of foreign affairs who would be at once vigilant and prudent, active and obedient, and who would relieve him from the trouble and worry of routine work while allowing him to control the main lines, and occasionally the details, of the national policy. M. de Giers was exactly what he wanted, and accordingly the tsar not only appointed him minister of foreign affairs on the retirement of Prince Gorchakov in 1882, but retained him to the end of his reign in 1894.

In accordance with the desire of his august master, M. de Giers followed systematically a pacific policy. Accepting as a fait accompli the existence of the Triple Alliance
Triple Alliance
Triple Alliance may refer to:* Aztec Triple Alliance - Tenochtitlan, Texcoco and Tlacopan; better known as the Aztec Empire* Triple Alliance - England, France and the Dutch Republic...

, created by Bismarck
Otto von Bismarck
Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg , simply known as Otto von Bismarck, was a Prussian-German statesman whose actions unified Germany, made it a major player in world affairs, and created a balance of power that kept Europe at peace after 1871.As Minister President of...

 for the purpose of resisting any aggressive action on the part of Russia and France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, he sought to establish more friendly relations with the cabinets of Berlin, Vienna and Rome. To the advances of the French government, he at first turned a deaf ear, but when the rapprochement between the two countries was effected with little or no co-operation on his part, he utilized it for restraining France and promoting Russian interests. He died on the 26th of January 1895, soon after the accession of Nicholas II
Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II was the last Emperor of Russia, Grand Prince of Finland, and titular King of Poland. His official short title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias and he is known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church.Nicholas II ruled from 1894 until...


His son Mikhail Nikolayevich von Giers acted as last Imperial Russian Ambassador in Constantinople until the beginning of World War I in 1914.


Karl Joakim von Beetzen (1 November 1698 in Stralsund, Swedish Pommern
Swedish Pomerania
Swedish Pomerania was a Dominion under the Swedish Crown from 1630 to 1815, situated on what is now the Baltic coast of Germany and Poland. Following the Polish War and the Thirty Years' War, Sweden held extensive control over the lands on the southern Baltic coast, including Pomerania and parts...

, 12 July 1772 in Lanehed, Bokenes, Sweden). He was married to Anna Helena Giers about 1725. They had 14 children. The first one was Johan Kristoffer von Beetzen (November 1725 in Ballabo, Vesterlanda, Sweden, 19 May 1795 in Mariefred, Sweden)

Anna Helena Giers was born 12 January 1707 and died 7 April 1779 in Lanehed, Bokenes, Sweden. She was buried at the Bokenes Church on 27 April 1779. She was one of four children, and her father was the famous Ambjørn Giers who was born 1670 in Gøteborg, Sweden, and died 1745. Ambjørn Giers was buried at the Domkyrkans kyrkogård on the 7 May 1745. He was in 1738 the head of the military leaders in Gøteborg, Sweden, and also the periodically Landshøvding in Gøteborg and Bohuslen. He was married to Britta Larsdotter 17 September 1701. She was born 1674 and died 1744 in Gøteborg (buried on the 17 February 1744 at the 'Domkyrkans kyrkogård'). Ambjørn Giers father is called Major A. Giers in the books since there is not so much information about him. Anyhow, Major A. Giers was married to Brita Ambjørnsdotter Syvia (born about 1637, died 19 April 1721 in Gøteborg, Sweden). He had four sons, Ambjørn Giers (1670, 1745), Nils Giers (1674, 1725), Eric Giers (1678, 1737) and he who is one of the fathers of the Russian branch Lorentz Giers (1680, 1733).

Foreign Minister Nikolaus von Giers (born 19 May 1820 probably in Finland, died 26 January 1895 in St. Petersburg, Russia). He was a Russian foreign minister for 13 years and received the highest Order of the Russian state, that is RS:tAndrO. His father was Karl Ferdinand von Giers (born 16 September 1777 in St. Petersburg, 20 April 1835 in Radzivilow). His father was Karl Cornelius Giers (born about 1748, died 1818 in Grodno), and his children started to use the name 'de Giers' or 'von Giers'. His father was Lorentz Giers (born 1718, died 2 August 1763 in St. Petersburg). He was raised in Denmark in childhood and named like the father to the Giers-family's Russian branch. And his father was Lorentz Giers (born 1680, died 22 January 1733 in Karlskrona, Sweden). And his father was Major A. Giers from Sweden.

General Admiral Alexander von Giers (born 1860, died 1917). His father was Konstatin von Giers (1829, 21 February 1888 in Helsingfors and buried in Metrefaneskyrkogården in St. Petersburg). His father was major-general Alexander von Giers (7 March 1785 in Radzivilow, 29 November 1859 in St. Petersburg). His father was Karl Cornelius von Giers (1748, 1818) mentioned in 2-2 above.

There are many high ranked 'von Giers' in Russian government, among them President in Podolien and minister Fredrik von Giers (1776 in St. Petersburg, 1842), minister Karl Ferdinand von Giers (1777, 1835), minister Konstatin von Giers (1777, 1835), Ambassador Nikolaus von Giers (1853, 1924), Ambassador Mikail von Giers (1856, 1932), Admiral Theodor von Giers (1835, 1905) etc. And some of these Giers relatives are married to other high ranked Russian families, among them general Komaroff, the Princess Olga Cantacuszene and general Karl de Meyer.

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