Walther Rathenau

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Rathenau, Walther


Born Sept. 29, 1867, in Berlin; died there June 24, 1922. German industrialist, financier, political figure, and publicist.

In 1899, Rathenau became a member of the board of the German General Electric Company, and in 1915, chairman of the board. Politically he sided with the moderate wing of the German bourgeoisie, and in November 1918 he joined the German Democratic Party. He favored Germany’s strict adherence to the Peace Treaty of Versailles (1919). In May 1921, Rathenau became minister of reconstruction, and in February 1922, minister of foreign affairs. During the Genoa Conference in April 1922, he signed the Treaty of Rapallo (1922) with Soviet Russia. Rathenau was assassinated by members of a secret nationalist terrorist organization known as Consul.


Gesammelte Schrifien, vols. 1–6. Berlin, 1925–29.
Briefe, vols. 1–2. Dresden, 1926.
Tagebuch, 1907–1922. Düsseldorf, 1967.
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Werner Hoyer, Chairman of the Walther Rathenau Institute, also spoke and said that he is honored to welcome Her Majesty, who raised her voice courageously above cultural boundaries and advocated for better education and for tolerance, especially for the young generation, and her voice is internationally heard.
The other Walther Rathenau sought an influential position in the German intellectual firmament.
The outbreak of World War I gave Walther Rathenau the opportunity to serve the German people in their hour of need.
Adept at bargaining with foreign statesmen and industrialists, Walther Rathenau was able to blunt the Allies' fears and suspicions of Germany and appeal to their generosity.
On January 30, 1992 (exactly eleven years before Hitler's appointment to power), Walther Rathenau was finally placed at the helm of the foreign ministry.
Walther Rathenau, the ex-monarchist, the Jewish captain of industry with his spiritualist and socialist leanings, the amateur politician/statesman without a seat in the Reichstag, stood isolated in republican Germany.
And for many of them, the lone and exotic Walther Rathenau represented a convenient scapegoat for everything that had gone wrong for Germany: reparations and unemployment; inflation and high prices, arrogant Frenchies and menacing bolshies.
Walther Rathenau was not the first victim of violence during the Weimar Republic; but this was the first time in German history that Jew in a prominent position was killed largely because he was a Jew in a prominent position.
See the 455-page catalogue, with essays by an international group of nineteen historians: Die Extreme beruhren sich: Walther Rathenau, 1867-1922, ed.
The most important biographies include: Peter Berglar, Walther Rathenau: Ein Leben zwischen Philosophie und Politik (Graz, Vienna, and Cologne, 1987); David Felix, Walther Rathenau and the Weimar Republic (Baltimore and London, 1971); James Joll, "Walther Rathenau: Prophet Without a Cause," in Intellectuals in Politics: Three Biographical Essays (London, 1960), pp.
See Manfred Pohl, Emil Rathenau und die AEG (Mainz, 1988); Ursula Mader, Walther Rathenau als Funktionar des Finanzkapitals.
Ein Mann vieler Eigenschaften: Walther Rathenau und die Kultur der Moderne (Berlin 1990); Hubert W.