Volume 1  –  document 196

On 10 September 1935 the German News Agency comments on the decree of Reich Minister Bernhard Rust ordering the creation of separate schools for Jewish children1BArch, R 43 II/602, fol. 190r–v. This document has been translated from German.

Mitteilungen des Deutschen Nachrichtenbüros G.m.b.H, printed as a manuscript, from the afternoon edition, vol. 2, Berlin, 1935, no. 1372, dated Tuesday 10 September 1935

Establishment of Jewish Schools in Germany.

Berlin, 10 September. Reich Minister Rust has made an energetic start on a long-standing National Socialist demand by issuing a decree concerning the separation of races in state schools. In the decree, surveys to determine the race of the school pupils are prescribed as preparation for the creation of Jewish schools as of Easter 1936.2Circular decree from the Reich Minister of Education (file ref. E II e Nr. 1953/35) to the education authorities of the states (with the exception of Prussia), 10 Sept. 1935, Reichsministerialblatt, no. 27, 16 Sept. 1935.

This decree, drafted in close concert with the NSDAP Racial Policy Office, establishes another important phase in the racial legislation of the new Germany and proves that Germany is by no means inclined, as foreign press commentaries allege, to give up its fundamental racial viewpoint. Our objective, the total separation of Jewry fromthe German sphere of life, is unalterably clear and has already been implemented in various areas (civil service legislation, hereditary farm law, etc.).

In order to accomplish this objective in primary schools, the grouping together of those non-Aryan schoolchildren who belong to the Jewish religion in separate Jewish primary schools has already been promoted vigorously. Specifically, with state approval, a sizeable number of private Jewish primary schools have been newly created since 1934.3Such as the Kaliski Private School in Berlin: see Doc. 306, 9 Nov. 1937.

The decisive aspect, however, is not belonging to the Jewish religion but rather to the Jewish race. The Jewish pupil, a pupil of a foreign race, constitutes an alien element in the classroom community of Aryan pupils and teachers. His existence is an extraordinary impediment to the German-minded National Socialist teaching and renders impossible the requisite rapport, founded on race, between teacher, pupil, and subject matter. The new decree of Reich Minister of Education Rust therefore aspires to implement a total separation of races in the primary schools, regardless of the religious affiliation of the racially foreign Jewish pupils, and also to reconstitute the Jewish schools. For both groups he fulfils what is a self-evident requirement from a völkisch perspective: community of race between teacher and pupil.

The decree of the Reich Minister of Education communicates the following information:

A key prerequisite for all fruitful educational work is racial conformity between teacher and pupil. Children of Jewish descent constitute a serious impediment to the homogeneity of the classroom community and the smooth implementation of National Socialist youth education in the general state schools. The spot checks made thus far, at my order, in a few parts of Prussia have shown that the state primary schools are still attended to a significant extent by Jewish pupils. This is chiefly the case in the larger cities; however, in the rural countryside as well, there are areas that are heavily populated by Jews to a greater or lesser extent. Schools that lead beyond the goal of primary education, too, despite the admission restrictions imposed by the law of 24 April 1933 (Reichsgesetzblatt, I, p. 225),4The reference is to the Law against Overcrowding in German Schools and Institutions of Higher Education, 25 April 1933. are still attended by a share of Jewish pupils that is disproportionately high in some places. Serious inhibitions for the development of the National Socialist school system result from this. The establishment of state and private Jewish schools has, of course, led in several places to a certain separation of those Jewish schoolchildren who are of the Jewish faith. Separation based on religion, however, is not sufficient for a National Socialist school system. The creation of National Socialist classroom communities, as a foundation for youth education based on the idea of the German national character, is possible only if a clear separation of the children according to race is undertaken.
   I thus intend, starting with the 1936 school year, to implement a separation, as complete as possible, of pupils who are subjects of the Reich in all school types.
   In the case of the schools providing compulsory education, considering the attendance requirement still in effect even for non-Aryans, a referral to private primary schools is not feasible. Instead, the establishment of state primary schools for Jews will be necessary. All those pupils who have one or two Jewish parents will be concentrated in these schools. With respect to the racial separation to be performed in the school system, I intend to leave aside the so-called quarter-Jews, who have one Jewish grandparent.
   The prerequisite for the creation of a state Jewish primary school is the existence, within a community or within a defined area (municipal or regional area), with due regard to reasonable ways to get to school, of a number of Jewish children that is sufficient for proper schooling. At the same time, if necessary, several or all age groups must be combined in one primary school classroom. The number of twenty children is to be used as an adequate guideline figure for proper schooling.
   To gain an overview of the extent to which the creation of state Jewish primary schools is necessary or possible, I request that, for all age groups in all the state and private primary schools in your area of supervision, the race of the children currently attending the schools be recorded.5Rust’s decree included several sections containing the instructions for registering the pupils and a discussion of the funding of the Jewish primary schools, which were not reproduced in the German News Agency report: Reichsministerialblatt, no. 27, 16 Sept. 1935.
   With regard to the schools not classified as schools providing compulsory education, I am considering a modification of the provisions made by the Law against Overcrowding, dated 24 April 1933, with a view to introducing a stricter separation.
   (signed) Rust.

The decree shows how painstakingly and conscientiously the state is proceeding in the field of its racial legislation, to avoid unnecessary hardships and yet accomplish its objective, a völkisch community cleansed of alien elements. This community can be based only on the common genetic predispositions of blood and race and must already be realized in the educational community of the school. With the present decree, the Reich Minister of Education has made a major contribution to this, one that provides, along with the previous decrees, the foundation for German school reform. It is to be hoped that all state and Party offices will do their part to help accomplish the goal set by Reich Minister of Education Rust, so that as of Easter 1936 as complete a separation as possible is carried out between German and Jewish children in the state primary school system.6Although separate school classes or schools for Jewish pupils were subsequently set up in several cities, the decree was not fully implemented until 1938.

This document is part of:
German Reich 1933–1937 (Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2019)