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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