(1883 - 1945)
Bernhard Rust was Minister
of Education in Nazi Germany.
He was born in Germany, and
served in the army during the First
World War. He was awarded the Iron
Cross for his bravery during the war. He suffered from a head injury
during the war, and this injury contributed to his unstable mental health
the rest of his life.
He joined the NSDAP in 1922. He worked as a schoolteacher, but
lost his job in 1930 because
of sexual relations with a student. He
was elected to the Reichstag later that
year. In 1934, he became Minister of Education
for the Reich, a position that allowed
him complete control over universities,
youth groups, public schools, and science.
Rust was instrumental in purging German
universities, most notably the University
of Jews, left-wingers and other non-Nazis.
Some of these “non-Nazis” included Nobel
Prize winners such as Albert
Haber, and Otto Warburg.
Rust believed in educating
Germans with a pro-Aryan, anti-Semitic influence.
He once remarked, “the whole function
of education is to create Nazis.”
Rust committed suicide in 1945 when it became clear that Germany was
losing the war.
Sources: Wistrich, Robert
Who in Nazi Germany. NY: Routledge