After serving in World War I in the air force where he was wounded, Schultze was demobilized as a First Lieutenant and joined the Epp Freikorps.
The leader of a nationalist students' organization, he was a member of the NSDAP from its inception in 1919, taking part three years later in the Beer-Hall putsch in Munich. He was at Hitler’s side when the shooting began and organized the get-away car as well as the Nazi leader’s convalescence in Uffing am Strafelsee. A physician by training, Schultze was appointed head SA doctor in 1923.
From 1926 to 1931 he was a Nazi member of the Bavarian legislature and in 1933 he was made head of Department VII in the Bavarian Ministry of Justice. Promoted to Ministerial Director and head of the Public Health Department in the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior in November 1933, Schultze was also appointed as Honorary Professor at the University of Munich a year later.
In 1935 Schultze was nominated as Reich Leader of University Teachers, a position which he held for the next eight years. He was responsible for driving Jewish lecturers out of German universities.
Schultze was also implicated in the euthanasia programme and the murder of mentally handicapped persons. In May 1960 he was condemned to four years' imprisonment in a de-Nazification trial in Munich for complicity in the ‘mercy killings' of at least 380 adults and children. At his trial, Schultze expressed no remorse, declaring that ‘never for one moment did I feel that I had committed an injustice or crime’.
In August 1979, Walter Schultze died in his villa in Krailing at the age of eighty-five.
In a speech before the Congress of the Nazi Association of University Lecturers in Munich, held in June 1939, Schultze emphasized that the German university stood or fell ‘with the type of the combat-ready political, National Socialist fighters who regard their Volk as the supreme good’. Academic freedom ‘must have its limits in the actual existence of the Volk\ declared the Reichsdozentenführer, who argued that a ‘binding ideology’ and not independent scholarship, subject-matter or specialization, was the decisive criterion for the university community. The object of his association was to forge a truly National Socialist body of teachers and scholars devoted to the service of the German Volk.