Walther Rathenau  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Walther Rathenau (29 September 1867 – 24 June 1922) was a German industrialist, banker, intellectual, and politician, who served as German Foreign Minister during the Weimar Republic.

Rathenau initiated the Treaty of Rapallo, which removed major obstacles to trading with Soviet Russia. Although Russia was already aiding Germany's secret rearmament programme, right-wing nationalist groups branded Rathenau a revolutionary, when he was in fact a moderate liberal who openly condemned Soviet methods. They also resented his background as a successful Jewish businessman.

Two months after signing the treaty, he was assassinated in Berlin by the right-wing terrorist group Organisation Consul. Some members of the public viewed Rathenau as a democratic martyr until the Nazis banned all commemorations of him.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Walther Rathenau" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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