Witte Sergey Yul'evich
Born in Tbilisi in the family of a major official, a member
of the council of the Caucasian governor-general. Representatives
of the German-Baltic clan Witte, who also had Dutch roots, moved
to the Baltic during the rule of the Swedish domination and
received hereditary nobility in 1856. Witte's
cousin was the founder of the Theosophical Society, the writer
and traveler E. Blavatsky.
He studied at the I Chisinau Russian gymnasium, in 1870 he
graduated from the Physics and Mathematics Faculty of the
Novorossiysk University in Odessa, received the degree of
Candidate of Physics and Mathematics. In
the next about 20 years, Witte worked in private railway
this period, he was formed as a financier and government
official, having risen to the post of director of the railway
department under the Ministry of Finance.
In February 1892, Witte became Minister of Railways, and in
August, Minister of Finance. In
this position, he managed to implement major economic measures:
the introduction of the wine monopoly, the construction of the
Trans-Siberian Railway, the monetary reform, according to which
gold circulation was introduced and the free exchange of the
credit ruble for gold was established. Witte
contributed to the rapid construction of the "Yermak" icebreaker. In
his economic policy, he relied on attracting foreign capital,
which allowed speeding up the economic development of Russia. Many
provisions of his agrarian program were subsequently used by P.
In foreign policy, Witte advocated opposition to
strengthening Japan in the Far East and pursued a policy of
rapprochement with China. With
his participation, a defensive alliance was concluded with China
and an agreement on the construction of the Chinese Eastern
Railway in Manchuria. At
the same time, he considered it premature a military conflict
with Japan, advocating an agreement with her. This
conviction did not sharply coincide with the policy of Nicholas
II, which was the reason for his resignation from the post of
Minister of Finance.
In 1905, Witte led a delegation that signed in the USA Portsmouth
Peace Treaty with Japan, which insisted on transferring all of
Sakhalin to it. He
managed to achieve the loss of only the southern part of the
island, for which he received the title of count and the
humorous nickname “Count Polusakhalinsky”.
From October 1905 to April 1906, Witte headed the Council of
his initiative, the Manifesto was drawn up on October 17, which
granted basic civil liberties and introduced the institute of
people's representation - the State Duma. At
the same time, during the 1905 revolution, Witte initiated the
sending of punitive expeditions to Siberia, the Baltic states,
and Poland. Under
his order, troops were sent from St. Petersburg, deciding the
fate of the Moscow armed uprising.
Bust Witte at St. Petersburg State University
Memorial plaque to S.Yu.
Kamennoostrovsky prospect, 5
In 1906, Witte successfully negotiated with France about
obtaining an extremely necessary loan of 2.25 billion francs, which
strengthened the position of the government in the struggle against
the revolution. However,
despite the obvious successes of the government headed by Witte, he
himself was too “left” for the majority of the nobility and the
upper ruling bureaucracy and too “right” for the bourgeois-liberal
circles of the Octobrist-Cadet persuasion. Witte
was forced to resign.
Witte's merits are awarded with the orders of St.
Vladimir of 1 degree, St.
Alexander Nevsky, St. Anna
Eagle (Prussia), Crown
1 class (Prussia), cross
of the Order of the Legion of Honor (France). He
is an honorary citizen of the cities: Yekaterinburg (1896),
Aleksandrovsk, Cherepovets (1899), Velikie Luki (1899), Tikhvin
(1901), Saransk (1898), Arkhangelsk, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Odessa,
The last years of his life spent in St. Petersburg and abroad,
while remaining a member of the State Council and chairman of the
He died in Petrograd from a brain tumor. He
was buried at the Lazarevsky
cemetery of the Alexander Nevsky Monastery.
An island in
the Kara Sea among Tsivolki Islands in Nordenskiöld archipelago
near the islands of Ermak and Makarov. Named
by the Russian Polar Expedition of E.V. Toll in 1901.
The island is
part of the Iokang islands in the Svyatonossky Bay of the Barents
Sea near the coast of the Kola Peninsula. Described
in 1822 by the expedition of F.P. Litke
in the brig "Novaya Zemlya" and mapped under the name B. Bezymyanny. Renamed
by the Marine Ministry in 1894.
to the top of Bear Bay on the east coast of the northern island of
Novaya Zemlya. Named
in 1901 by artist A.A. Borisov and
his assistant zoologist G.E. Timofeev
"in gratitude for the material support that was provided to the
the island Chaichiy
from the island Witte
in the Iokang islands in the Bay of Svyatonossky of the Barents Sea. Named
on the island Witte.