To Lord Chancellor of Europe from grateful descendants
“I am proud that I helped to create, as far as possible, the foundations for the common life of peoples” this phrase belongs to the Russian diplomat, international lawyer, publicist, secret adviser, corresponding member of the Petersburg Academy of Sciences Fedor Fedorovich Martens.
In 2019, 110 years have passed since the day of his death. To this date, the monument at the burial place of the great Russian lawyer was restored by Pogosyan Grachya Misakovich charity foundation.
Symbol of the profession
And nowadays, Martens name is still a kind of symbol of the profession in legal and diplomatic circles. His innovative ideas, that were embodied in life and that played a significant role in the resolution of many interstate conflicts, are still a vivid example of professionalism.
Significant merit of F.F. Martens was holding of the Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907 at the initiative of Russia, which laid the foundation for the world process of establishing the rules of warfare and peaceful settlement of international disputes. For his services in the field of humanitarian law, as well as for participating as a mediator in international conflicts, Martens was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for 8 times, but never received it. He was world famous as a scientist during his lifetime, and his contemporaries called him “Lord Chancellor of Europe.”
The name of Fedor Fedorovich Martens is forever inscribed with the names of great people who have made an invaluable contribution to the prosperity and greatness of Russia. F.F. Martens is often called a world-class scientist for the contribution to science he made.
Fedor Martens died on June 7, 1909 at the Valka railway station in the Livonia province on his way to St. Petersburg from a sudden cardiac arrest. He was buried on June 11, 1909 at the Volkovsky Lutheran cemetery in St. Petersburg.
Friedrich-Fromhold (Fedor Fedorovich) Martens was born on August 15 (27), 1845 in the city of Pernov, Livonia Province (now Pärnu, Estonia). Having become an orphan at a young age, in 1854, on the initiative and with the help of Pärnu clergy, the boy was sent to St. Petersburg, where in January 1855 he was assigned to the Orphanage at the Main German School of St. Peter. After a brilliant graduation, he continued his studies at the law faculty of St. Petersburg University.
At the university, Fedor Martens was also distinguished by giftedness, success, and exemplary behavior. According to contemporaries, F.F. Martens was fond of criminal law while studying at the University, but he devoted his final essay to the problems of international law.
Thanks to his enormous industriousness and brilliant knowledge, Martens' career was developing successfully. In 1869-1871 he attended lectures at the universities of Vienna, Leipzig and Heidelberg. He became a professor at the Department of International Law at St. Petersburg University, and also taught at the School of Law and the Alexander Lyceum.
In 1869 he was employed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since 1878 he was appointed as an officer for special assignments under the State Chancellor, Prince A.M. Gorchakov. Since 1881 he was an indispensable member of the Council of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He actively participated in the theoretical development of the problems of international law within the framework of international congresses and forums, in the practical solution of world politics. In 1874, he participated in the Brussels Conference on the Codification of the Laws and Customs of the Land War, drafted an international convention that provided for a detailed regulation of the rights of warring parties in relation to each other and private individuals. He represented Russia at international conferences of the Red Cross, at the International Congress of the Law of the Sea and Trade Law in Brussels, at the Brussels Conference on African Affairs, at 4 conferences on private international law in Hague.
Martens is the author of the classic “Modern international law of civilized peoples” study, which played an important role in shaping the science of international law at the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th centuries, which was translated into 7 foreign languages.
A time to gather stones
Despite a worldwide fame, the burial place of Fedor Martens was lost many years ago. A member of the Public Academy of Sciences of Russian Germans, author of 39 scientific books and articles, Petersburger Venedikt Grigoryevich Boehm spoke about this as far back as in the 90s of the last century. For several years he collected data for his reference book “Volkovskoye Lutheran Cemetery of St. Petersburg”, in which, among the general information about Martens’s biography, a photograph of a fragment of a monument preserved in those years was published. And then in 1999, Vitaly Ivanenko, head of the department of international law at St. Petersburg State University, began to collect information about his predecessors heads of the department of international law at different periods. Then he was deeply struck by the biography of Fedor Fedorovich Martens. He was the first in legal circles to raise the question of the burial place of the greatest Russian international lawyer.
It is worth noting here that the name and contribution of Martens to the global development of international law during the revolutionary years was crossed out by the young Soviet government until the perestroika (re-formation) years. He was called on the speeches against the “anarchists” and the “bombers,” as well as the support and legal justification of the demands of the tsarist government to extradite participants in revolutionary actions in Russia who were hiding abroad. So, his name was not included in the first edition of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia of 1938. In the three-volume "History of Diplomacy", published in the 1960s, there is also no mention of F.F. Martens. Apparently, during this period the monument at the place of his burial was also destroyed.
But a new era came and the interest in the personality of F.F. Martens began to return. So in 1993 an interesting book “... With a Palm Branch of Piece. F.F. Martens a lawyer, diplomat, publicist” was published. It was written by a prominent Russian lawyer V.V. Pustogarov. And therefore people in legal and diplomatic circles began to recall him more and more often as well as began to turn to his works and studies again.
Nowadays the name and work of Martens live in the memory of his successors. Law students learn about the contribution of Fedor Fedorovich to the development of international humanitarian law from the first day of their study and rely on his work to this day. His name and contribution to the development of international relations are still highly valued abroad.
In 1996, the first competition on international humanitarian law was launched and it was named after Fedor Fedorovich Martens. A prize named after F.F. Martens was also established. Annually scientific-practical conferences on international law “Martens Readings” are hold.
All these years, Vitaliy Semenovich Ivanenko with a number of colleagues tried to draw the attention of the legal community to the problem of restoring historical justice restoration of the monument to F.F. Martens at the place of his burial. A fundraiser was even announced in institute circles, but the amount collected was negligible. Then it was decided to seek support from the representative office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in St. Petersburg, since Martens was also a member of the Council of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Returning from oblivion
Рhead of the representative office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in St. Petersburg, Vladimir Zapevalov, aware of the great charitable activities of Pogosyan Grachya Misakovich Charity Foundation, in his turn, turned to its president with a request to provide assistance in this matter. Having considered the proposal, Grachya Pogosyan agreed to implement this project.
And the work started. Correspondence with the Federal Archival Agency was in progress for more than six months, but there was no information on Martens' burial in the archive. Specialists recommended the charitable foundation to contact the Central State Historical Archive of St. Petersburg. As a result, the long-awaited certificate was received and there was stipulated that Fedor Fedorovich Martens was really buried at the Volkovsky Lutheran cemetery, plot No. 101.
But since the cemetery scheme was not preserved, finding the exact resting place of Martens was difficult. Based on the preserved memories of T.V. Martens (grand-niece of F.F. Martens), on the scheme published in the reference book of V.G. Böhm, and help of the cemetery staff and that of the specialized funeral service of the city, it became possible to establish the exact burial place of Martens. That fragment of the monument was found, completely rooted in the ground, which was described in Böhm's guide.
Permission was received from the State Institution “Specialized Service of St. Petersburg for Funeral Matters” to conduct restoration work and the case got moved.
According to the mutual opinion, it was decided to establish a gravestone with a classical monument with a Lutheran cross that fits perfectly into the ensemble of gravestones standing at the Volkovsky Lutheran cemetery. In late September work was completed and the monument to F.F. Martens took his rightful place.
On October 23, the grand opening of the reconstructed gravestone to F.F. Martens took place.
The ceremony was attended by employees of the representative office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in St. Petersburg, headed by the head Vladimir Zapevalov, representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia Yuri Trey, Deputy Rector of St. Petersburg State University Sergey Andryushin with colleagues and students of the faculty of international law, Assistant to the head of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation for St. Petersburg Dmitry Volosevich, Major General of Justice, President of the Foundation for Support and Development of the Historical Heritage in the name of Anatoly Fedorovich Koni Lyudmila Kuleshov. Consul generals of Hungary, Korea, Spain, Slovakia, Latvia and Lithuania were among the guests of honor. Despite the venerable age, the author of the collection, Venedikt G. Böhm, also came to the opening.
At the suggestion of Grachya Pogosyan, the guests laid flowers before the ceremony at the grave of F.F. Martens' wife Ekaterina Nikolaevna (Katarina-Maria-Louise Tour), whose grave was nearby.
In their speeches, each of the participants emphasized the enormous contribution of Fedor Fedorovich Martens to world science and the development of international humanitarian law, noted his extraordinary personality and rare brilliant mind. The deputy rector of St. Petersburg State University, Sergei Andryushin, noted that their university sacredly keeps the memory of Professor Martens.
Of course, today's event unveiling of a monument to Fedor Fedorovich Martens, is a recognition of his merits, perpetuation of his memory as well as recognition of the merits of St. Petersburg University. And, of course, I would like to thank everyone who had a hand in this significant event: Grachya Misakovich Pogosyan and his charity foundation, Vladimir Vasilievich Zapevalov, who is a graduate of our law faculty,” said Sergey Vladimirovich Andryushin.
Head of the representative office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in St. Petersburg Vladimir Zapevalov also expressed his gratitude to everyone who participated in the implementation of this project. He emphasized that close acquaintance with the foundation of Grachya Pogosyan began with the idea of establishing a departmental Martens' medal to award those who made a significant contribution to the establishment, maintenance and development of international law in interstate relations. Sponsors were required for its implementation. It was then that he made acquaintance with the philanthropist and his extensive activities. It was then that a mutual understanding arose that it was necessary to return the monument to the burial place of the great lawyer and diplomat initially, and move on only after that is done.
The representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Yuri Trey, recalled the story that took place 20 years ago, when he, together with colleagues from various consulates general as well as from St. Petersburg University gathered at this place.
- We put a small flag ... and just then we started this work. I am very grateful that it was brought to the end. I think Martens is pleased with us today,” said Yuri Trey.
Along with salutation, Dmitry Volosevich, assistant to the head of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation for St. Petersburg, addressed the audience. He conveyed congratulations on behalf of his boss Dmitry Smirnov and emphasized the significance of the event.
“Today we pay tribute to the deeds and merits of Fedor Fedorovich Martens not only on behalf of our city, but also on behalf of the world community,” said Dmitry Valerievich and thanked Grachya Pogosyan for his contribution to preservation of historically important events and people and expressed gratitude to everyone involved in the reconstruction of the monument to Martens.
Associate Professor of the Department of International Law of St. Petersburg State University Vitaly Ivanenko, who stood at the origins of the revival of the memory of F.F. Martens in our city, in his speech, spoke about the figure of Fedor Fedorovich, about the formation of this unique personality, who reached global heights in science, diplomacy and international arbitration. He talked about the difficult period of oblivion and how the contribution of F.F. Martens in Russian and global legal practice is preserved nowadays. He also shared a story that prompted him to look for opportunities to restore the grave and erect a monument.
- In June 1999, during the IIIrd International Peace Conference that was held in St. Petersburg in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Ist Peace Conference of 1899 that took place in Hague, in the success of which F.F. Martens played a big role, his name sounded very often in speeches of the UN Secretary General, heads of states and governments, foreign affairs ministers, famous diplomats, legal academics. Foreign colleagues requested that they be taken to the cemetery to pay tribute to Martens and lay flowers. And shortly before that, in a conversation with the granddaughter of Fedor Fedorovich, Tatyana Vladimirovna Martens, I found out that the grave was in an unsightly state. And for this reason, referring to the great employment at the conference (which was true), I avoided visiting the cemetery with the guests. From that moment I began, as it turned out, a long way to finding a solution to the problem of restoring the grave and the monument to Martens.
In recent years, much has been done to revive the name and work of Martens. It has already been restored in the scientific field of Russia. But the problem was to materialize the memory of Martens, in particular, here in the cemetery. The speaker spoke about the long work on finding the ways to raise funds for the construction of the monument, which did not lead to anything until the initiative was supported by the Foreign Ministry and Pogosyan Charity Fund. “Today is a very significant day. I am sure that now students, teachers, guests will come here. Now there is a place where you can say thanks to this great man,” Vitaly Semyonovich concluded his speech.
Lyudmila Vasilyevna Kuleshova noted that it is not the first project implemented by Grachya Pogosyan Foundation related to the names of famous lawyers. In 2017 (at the request of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation in St. Petersburg), a monument was restored at the burial place of lawyer Anatoly Fedorovich Koni on the Literatorskiye mostki part of the Volkovsky cemetery. She also expressed hope for further joint cooperation.
At the end of the ceremony, Grachya Misakovich Pogosyan concluded:
Today is a holiday for all of us historical justice has been restored as a monument of the famous international lawyer Fedor Fedorovich Martens has been restored at his burial place. It was a great honor for me (as a resident of St. Petersburg) to recreate the monument to Martens since Fedor Fedorovich brought glory by his work and his huge knowledge not only to St. Petersburg and Russia, but also earned respect in the global community. I thank everyone who helped us in solving this difficult task. Thanks to this, we not only restored historical justice, but also enabled today's students, future generations to come here and pay tribute to the great lawyer. Fedor Fedorovich Martens shall stay in our memories forever, the philanthropist emphasized.
And then the guests of the ceremony laid baskets of roses and red carnations at the foot of the recreated gravestone in memory of the great scientist, professor and lawyer of international level.
The ceremony of putting the candles at the foot of the gravestone that Yuri Trey brought and lit together with Grachya Pogosyan was very touching. And the sun's rays, refracting on the bright autumn leaves, covered a new monument like a lace, as if Fedor Fedorovich Martens himself blessed this day.