In 1922, Rathenau reached the peak of his political career as German Foreign Minister. Although he was a German nationalist and although he opposed Zionism, the extreme right hated him simply because he was Jewish and because he was powerful and rich.
Walther Rathenau, one of the richest German citizens, inherited a huge fortune from his father Emil Rathenau, founder and owner of the famous company AEG (Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft).
Walther received a quality education and worked first as an engineer, and after his father’s death he joined the management of AEG. He also became involved in politics. Although he was a Jew, he opposed Zionism, believing that German Jews must assimilate into society, not separate from it. In 1922, Rathenau reached the peak of his political career as German Foreign Minister. Although he was a German nationalist, the extreme right hated him simply because he was Jewish and because he was powerful and rich.
He was considered literally a Zionist sage from the infamous Protocol of the Sage Sages.
On the fateful June 24, 1922, Rathenau drove the usual route from his home to his job at the ministry (located on the famous Wilhelmstrasse in Berlin, where Hitler’s office was later located). On the way, a car full of armed extreme right-wingers passed him. They shot at Rathenau and threw a bomb at his car. Rathenau’s death shocked people across Europe. Albert Einstein later stated that Rathenau’s death greatly upset him, as it proved the existence of anti-Semitic and anti-pacifist factors in Germany.