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Rathenau and the Organization of War Materials (1915)
Walther Rathenau (1867-1922), a leading German industrialist, initiated the establishment of the Raw Materials Department [Kriegsrohstoffabteilung] of the Prussian War Ministry during the First World War and became its director. He oversaw the coordination of the German economy so that necessary industrial materials could be deployed for the war effort. Rathenau’s successful efforts allowed Germany to continue fighting despite shortages in basic materials. Below, one sees the title page of a speech, published subsequently, in which he explained his goals late in 1915. The page reads: “The Organization of Raw Materials Supplies. Speech given by Walther Rathenau to the 'German Association 1914' on December 20, 1915.”