On this day Nazi Bernhard Rust, who was Hitler’s Minister of Science, Education and National Culture in the era of the Third Reich, died. In German language his ministry was called “Reichsministerium für Wissenschaft, Erziehung und Volksbildung”, but it was usually shortened to only “Reichserziehungsministerium” (REM). As minister, Rust was a member of Hitler’s cabinet from 1934 up to 1945, i.e. during a long period of pre-war Nazi Germany and during the entire World War II.
Bernhard Rust was highly educated. He studied classical philology, German studies, art history and philosophy, and later went on to obtain a doctorate in philology and philosophy. He became a member of the Nazi Party (NSDAP) already in 1922. That was pretty early, because Heinrich Himmler, for example, became member only the following year.
Dr. Rust, as Minister of Education, had a great impact on everyday life in Germany at the time of the Third Reich. For example, it was he who introduced the rule by which the students and teachers should greet each other with the Nazi salute. He was responsible for the eradication of Jewish teachers and other “enemies of the state” at the universities.
Rust’s role was to transform the German education system, from schools to universities, into one that will “create Nazis”. Some considered him mentally unstable because of his constant changes of regulations.