Rudolf Benze

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Rudolf Benze (born October 23, 1888 in Ildehausen , † October 8, 1966 in Göttingen ) was a German educator, ministerial official and Nazi functionary.


The son of a cantor graduated from high school in Braunschweig in 1907 and studied classical philology and history for teaching in Göttingen, Halle and Munich until 1912 . In 1912 he passed the state examination in history, Latin and Greek. He took part in the First World War and was promoted to lieutenant in January 1915. After illness, he was employed as a court officer in Braunschweig and released in 1917.

From 1917 to 1927 he taught at the Reformrealgymnasium in Braunschweig . He received his doctorate in geography from the University of Halle (Saale) in 1928 and was promoted to senior lecturer in 1929. He was appointed acting headmaster in Schöningen , but dismissed there for political reasons, and in 1932 he was senior director in Bad Gandersheim . In 1932 he rose to the city council for school and cultural issues in Braunschweig.

Early on, Benze became involved in the nationalist organizations Nordic Ring and Werkbund for German ethnicity and race research . In 1925 he became a member of the German People's Party . On February 1, 1932, he joined the NSDAP . In October 1931 he joined the Nazi teachers' association , in which he became the head of the student council (Gauobmann) for teachers at secondary schools.

In July 1933, Benze was appointed to the Prussian Ministry of Education as an unskilled worker and general advisor , and in the same year was appointed to the senior government council. In 1934 he took over as Ministerialrat in the Reich Ministry of Education under Bernhard Rust in the department "Higher Schools" (Head Loepelmann ) the department principle. There he advocated radical educational reform on a racial basis: for example, he wanted to make biology a core subject, but to abolish foreign languages ​​except for English lessons. In 1935/36 he was also responsible for the approval of school books. He was a member of the leadership council of the Society for German Education and edited the NSLB magazine Die Deutsche Höhere Schule . In 1935 he was also HJ-Bannführer on the staff of the Reich Youth Leader . From March 1936 Benze acted as the Hitler Youth liaison leader to the Reich Ministry of Education, responsible for youth hiking, assigned to the Office for Travel and Hiking. At the same time, he worked in the German Ahnenerbe Research Foundation , including at the Germanic Research Center in Detmold . Due to conflicts with the NSLB director Fritz Wächtler , Benze was relieved of the position of student representative for higher schools in the NSLB in 1936 and replaced by Karl Frank;

In 1938 Benze took over the management of the Central Institute for Education in the Reich Ministry of Education. So he was responsible for the teacher training , which he wanted to align racially. In 1939 he joined the SS and in 1939 he achieved the rank of SS-Sturmbannführer . Until June 1941 he was a leader in the staff of the SS main office and until December 1942 in the staff of the Obergruppenführer Heissmeyer department . In the department Heißmeyer he exercised control over the NAPOLA With. After that he was again a leader in the staff of the SS Main Office and worked with the Reich Security Main Office . He was also Reich Commissioner for the German school in Istanbul from 1941 to 1943 .

After the war, Benze was interned by the British in 1947, but acquitted in 1948. He later worked as a local researcher in Göttingen. He belonged to the Pestalozzi Society and was one of the founders of the Gauß Society , of which he was also a member of the board.

Fonts (selection)

  • Race and school. Appelhans Verlag , Braunschweig 1934, DNB 572232845 .
  • History in the Racial War. In: People and Knowledge. Volume 17. Brehm Verlag, Berlin 1934, DNB 578850915 .
  • Education in the Greater German Reich. Diesterweg, Frankfurt am Main 1939, DNB 572232829 .
  • Bohemia and Moravia in the process of becoming an empire - school education in Bohemia and Moravia. Volk und Reich publishing house, Prague 1943.


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