BISMARCK'S PRIVATE SECRETARY
London letter to the Birmingham post
Prince Bismarck's private secretary (Herr von Rottenberg) has just left London after a stay of a week's duration. His visit was a mournful one, being occasioned by the death of his young and beautiful wife. The bereavement was so sudden and unexpected that Herr von Rottenberg, summoned from Friedrichsruh, where he was staying with Bismarck, was compelled to lead at a moment's notice. The loss of this highly gifted lady will be severely felt at Berlin. As an English woman she was much looked up to by the members of English society of that capital. Much dissidence and many a misunderstanding has been avoided by her timely interference. She was considered among the most intellectual and accomplished women in the society surrounding the Chancellor.
Herr von Rottenberg, who is sometimes introduced by Bismarck to foreign diplomatists as his right hand, while he facetiously adds that he keeps his right arm for himself, owes the high position he enjoys entirely to his own genius and the keen perception of Prince, by whom it was discovered, Count Herbert had been a college chum Herr von Rottenberg, and had maintained a friendly correspondence in after life. One day Prince Bismarck, on finding on his son's desk a brochure in titled "An Ideal State," put in his pocket, curious to see the subject of Herbert's studies. The Chancellor was delighted on perusing the work and inquired with much interest concerning the author. On learning that he was engaged in commercial pursuits much against his wishes, his taste been wholly devoted to science and literature, the Prince immediately exclaimed, "Then let him come to us. The author of that brochure is just the man wanted in our Chancellerie; just the man I should like to consult - the man to give valuable advice in State difficulties. Write to him at once." This was done. Young Rottenberg eagerly excepted the offer, and deserted his uncle's counting house with delight, although warned by his friends that the post would be a hard one. Such it has proved with a vengeance. Bismarck is a man to whom fatigue, whether of mind or body, is unknown. He can work from 7 in the morning until 9 at night, scarcely allowing himself time for meals; and then, again, will supplement the labor of the day with another spell of work till midnight. And never yet has Herr von Rottenberg failed to keep pace with his giant patron. He has, indeed, become indispensable to the great master, who cannot bear his absence for a moment. It is a common saying among the Germans the Bismarck eyesight, hearing, and memory are all represented by Herr von Rottenberg.
New York Times, New York, NY, Oct. 20, 1889, page 6