German Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau Assassinated

Walther Rathenau
Walther Rathenau

On June 24, 1922, German Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau was assassinated by a right-wing nationalist. The nationalist considered him to be a traitor to Germany.

German Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau successfully negotiated a trade agreement with the Soviets. He was also successfully negotiating an agreement to delay the onerous reparations payments that Germany was scheduled to pay the Allies. Too many extreme German nationalists, however, he was considered a traitor. Marchers in Berlin cried out, "Knock off Walther Rathenau the Goddoammed filth Jewish sow."
On the morning of June 24, as he drove away from his home in an open car, he was assassinated by three extremists.

Working-class Berliners came out in the streets protesting. Tens of Thousands marched in mourning. In the Reichstag that afternoon, Chancellor Dr. Wirth denounced the right-wing organizations that were promoting chauvinism and antisemitism. He pointed to the empty seats of the right-wing parties and stated. "The real enemies of our country are those who instill this poison in our people. We know where we have to seek them. The enemy stands on the Right."

Unfortunately, too many Germans were not listening.