Roland Steiner steiner at staff.uni-marburg.de
Wed Sep 15 11:43:05 UTC 2021

> Otto Böhtlingk, whose forefathers adopted the Dutch nationality
> in order to be able to settle as merchants in the Russian Empire.

According to the research of Agnes Stache-Weiske, this claim, which  
can be found in various places (e.g. Windisch, Kern, Mylius), is not  
true. It is correct that Böhtlingk's father belonged to the Dutch  
merchant community in St. Petersburg, but according to Stache-Weiske  
this says nothing about his nationality. A relatively sure indication,  
however, is the religious affiliation of the family, which from the  
beginning belonged to the German Lutheran congregation in St.  
Petersburg and not to the Dutch Reformed Church.

Böhtlingk's father only acquired Russian citizenship shortly before  
his death, but only for himself and not for his family. It was only  
when he was awarded the title of nobility that Otto Böhtlingk himself  
became a Russian citizen in 1888.

Compare Agnes Stache-Weiske: "... für die Wißenschaft, der ich von  
ganzer Seele lebe", Otto Böhtlingk (1815-1904): ein Gelehrtenleben,  
rekonstruiert und beschrieben anhand seiner Briefe, Wiesbaden:  
Harrassowitz 2017,, p. 12 f.

Roland Steiner

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