Walther Rathenau (1867–1922) was a German-Jewish political leader, industrialist, and philosopher. He organized Germany’s economy on a war footing during World War I. Then, as minister of reconstruction and foreign minister, he was instrumental in creating reparations payments under the Treaty of Versailles commitments and breaking Germany’s diplomatic isolation.
Born in Berlin of Jewish parents, Rathenau read philosophy, chemistry, physics, and engineering at Berlin and Strassburg. He received his doctorate in 1889. He was head of the electrical equipment manufacturer Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG; founded in 1883 by his father Emil Rathenau (1838–1915)) and took responsibility for German war industries during World War I.
As Minister of Reconstruction (1921) and foreign minister (1922,) Rathenau attempted to negotiate a reparations agreement with the victorious Allies. The fact that he was Jewish made him extremely reviled in nationalist circles. Right-wing fanatics assassinated him when on the way to his office in the summer of 1922.
Rathenau’s works include Die Neue Wirtschaft (1918, ‘The New Economy.’) His collected works were published in 1918.
Truth is inner harmony.