Walther Darré

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Walther Darré

Richard Walther Darré (actually Ricardo Walther Oscar Darré, also Richard Walter Darré ; * July 14, 1895 in Belgrano , Buenos Aires , Argentina ; † September 5, 1953 in Munich ) was a German agricultural politician, writer and SS functionary with the rank of SS -Obergruppenführer in the time of National Socialism . He was " Reichsbauernführer " and from 1933 to 1942 "Reichsernahrung Minister " ( Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture ).


Walther Darré was born the son of Richard Oskar Darré, a businessman and manager of the Hardt & Co. trading company, and his wife Emilia Berta Eleonore (née Lagergren). Due to the father's job, the family moved frequently. Darré spent his childhood in Belgrano , a district of Buenos Aires, where he attended the German school. He later went to the Oberrealschule in Heidelberg , the Godesberg Pedagogy and King's College School in Wimbledon .

Visited from October 1914 Darré the German colonial school in Witzenhausen , but enlisted as a volunteer and was in World War I soldier in the German army on the Western Front . After the end of the war, which he experienced as a lieutenant , he briefly joined a volunteer corps in Berlin . In 1920 he finished his studies as a colonial landlord in Witzenhausen. He continued his studies in agriculture with a focus on cattle breeding and inheritance issues in Gießen and Halle and graduated in 1925 in Halle (Saale) with a diploma . Then he worked for the East Prussian stud book for warmblood Trakehner descent in Insterburg . He then worked in 1927 on a temporary assignment from the Reich Ministry of Food and Agriculture as an expert on animal breeding in Finland and in 1928/29 on behalf of the East Prussian Chamber of Agriculture in Riga .

In 1922 he married Alma Staadt and in 1931 Charlotte von Vietinghoff , Paul Schultze-Naumburg's secretary .

Darré was also active as a writer. Influenced by his experiences in animal breeding and the theories of the racial ideologist Hans FK Günther , whose Nordic Ring he had belonged to since 1927, he glorified the with the two volumes Das Bauerntum als Lebensfrell der Nordic Rasse (1929) and Neuadel aus Blut und Boden (1930) Peasantry. He viewed this as the racial center of the German people and postulated the rehabilitation of agriculture from a racial and spiritual point of view as a prerequisite for restoring the racial qualities of the German people, which had decayed as a result of industrialization. With the pair of terms “blood and soil” Darré wanted to emphasize the interrelationship between racial level and farming activity. While Darré's first book was about showing alleged differences between the Germanic and Slavic races in terms of their persistence and their peasant character, with the second book he hoped to prove that the internal structure of old German society in mythical prehistoric times was functional Possessed character. As a consequence, he called for the renewed peasantization of Germany and the creation and selection of a new nobility with the best racial characteristics.

Through the mediation of the architect Paul Schultze-Naumburg , the now well-known author Darré met Hitler in the spring of 1930 and received the offer to head a department of the NSDAP devoted to the peasant world . Darré thus became Hitler's advisor on agricultural matters and head of the agricultural policy apparatus of the Reich leadership. It was not until July 1930 that Darré joined the NSDAP ( membership number 248.256) and the SS (SS number 6.882).

The apparatus of specialist advisors that Darré set up from Munich was supposed to pick up suggestions from below and pass them on to headquarters in order to work out a special political and ideological program for the rural population. The historian Gustavo Corni points out that the successes that the NSDAP achieved in the Reichstag elections in 1930 , especially in rural areas, cannot be traced back to Darré's work, as Darré's agricultural policy apparatus was still being established. Instead, it was a protest election.

From December 31, 1931, Darré headed the newly established Race and Settlement Main Office (RuSHA) within the SS with the rank of SS-Standartenführer . Himmler himself had asked him in 1930 to help build the SS as a biological elite. Himmler had been promoting Darré since they met and became friends in May 1930. Both shared ideas about the rearing of a “pure German race” and thus linked the conception of the Germanic as an arable settler. Both wanted to raise a new, thoroughbred peasantry that would become a new German nobility.

In 1932 Darré founded the monthly German Agricultural Policy ( Odal from 1939 ). In it he propagated his ideas about the peasant nobility .

After the NSDAP came to power in 1933, he became head of the party office for agricultural policy . He took over the chairmanship of the Reichsführergemeinschaft of the united agricultural associations and was appointed Reichsbauernführer on May 28th, and on June 29th he was also appointed Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture . As Prussian Minister for Agriculture, Domains and Forests, he was a member of the Prussian State Council . He was thus in charge of the entire German agricultural policy .

Darré at a rally in Goslar in 1937

As a result, the government passed the Reichserbhofgesetz , which regulated the inheritance of farm positions and excluded the division of inheritance . He also built the so-called Reich on which participated all individuals and associations of agricultural products in the generation, united and equal switched . As a propaganda event , he introduced the Reichserntedankfest on the Bückeberg near Hameln in 1933 , which was held annually until 1937 and was preceded by the so-called Reichsbauerntag in Goslar .

Darré was a member of the Reichstag from the end of 1932 and from November 1933 Reichsleiter , SS-Gruppenführer , member of the Academy for German Law and Honorary President of the German Agricultural Society . On November 9, 1936, he received the NSDAP's golden party badge . Between 1933 and 1937 he was a member of the Senate of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society . Within the SS he was promoted to Obergruppenführer.

In his work Blood and Soil, a Basic Concept of National Socialism , he took up the Blood and Soil ideology again. So it came more and more into opposition, for example, to the four-year plan administration headed by Hermann Göring , to Hjalmar Schacht and to the Reichsbank . While Darré was thinking of a return to conditions as before the industrial revolution , the Third Reich armed industry in line with the war economy . The concept of breeding, e.g. B. the division of young girls into "non-breeding values" or valued classes and the selection of the whole of humanity according to certain selection criteria determined Darré's activity in the Race and Settlement Main Office, which formed the logistical basis to subject the population of the occupied territories to a selection and then to select deport and / or eliminate.

In September 1938 there was a conflict with Himmler, as Darré's plans to promote rural settlements in the Reich contradicted his General Plan Ost . Darré was deposed as head of the Race and Settlement Main Office and, with the beginning of the Second World War , stepped more and more into the background as Minister for Food and Agriculture. On May 16, 1942, Hitler decreed that Darré would be put on leave from the management of the Reich Office for Agricultural Policy “until further notice” and that the management of the office would be transferred to Herbert Backe . Although Backe actually took over Darré's area of ​​responsibility as Minister, his official appointment as Reich Food Minister did not take place until April 1944.

End of war, arrest and last years of life

Darré spent the last years of the war secluded in a hunting lodge in the Schorfheide . In 1945 he was arrested and imprisoned on the grounds of the flak barracks in Ludwigsburg . He was charged by the American military tribunal with confiscating the property of Polish and Jewish farmers and with ordering German Jews to refuse basic foodstuffs and thereby starve civilians. On April 14, 1949, Darré was sentenced to seven years imprisonment in the Wilhelmstrasse trial for crimes against humanity, looting and membership in a criminal organization , but was released from the Landsberg war crimes prison in August 1950 .

Darré spent the last years of his life in Bad Harzburg . He died on September 5, 1953 in a private clinic in Munich; He is buried in the cemetery on Hildesheimer Strasse in Goslar . The high level of participation from the city of Goslar is noteworthy: In addition to Nazi greats such as Hartwig von Rheden , several hundred Goslar citizens, but also their then mayor Alexander Grundner-Culemann with the then chief city director Helmut Schneider took part in the funeral service. The city even paid for the funeral expenses.

Darré was an honorary citizen of the " Reichsbauernstadt " Goslar . Although this dignity was presumably already automatically extinguished by his conviction in the Nuremberg trials on the basis of the Control Council Directive No. 38 , at the latest with his death, it was again symbolically denied him in 2013 by the city of Goslar.

Fonts (selection)

  • The peasantry as the source of life for the Nordic race , Lehmann , Munich 1929 (5 editions until 1936).
  • New nobility made of blood and soil. Lehmann, Munich 1930.
  • To the rebirth of the peasantry. Position and tasks of the state. The breeding goal of the German people. Lehmann, Munich 1931.
  • The pig as a criterion for Nordic peoples and Semites. Lehmann, Munich 1933.
  • Walther Rathenau and the problem of the Nordic man. Walther Rathenau and the importance of the race in world history. Lehmann, Munich 1933.
  • Our way . In: Odal. Monthly for Blood and Soil , Vol. 2, Issue 10, April 1934, pp. 690–720.
  • East Elbe . In: Odal. Monthly for Blood and Soil , Vol. 2, Issue 12, June 1934, pp. 842–858.
  • Stedingen . In: Odal. Monthly for Blood and Soil , Volume 3, 1934, Issue 1, pp. 2-18.
  • One year Reichsnährstand . In: Odal. Monthly for Blood and Soil , Vol. 3, 1934, Issue 2, pp. 82–94
  • About blood and soil. Talking u. Essays, ed. v. Hanns Deetjen , Wolfgang Clauss. Rather, Munich 1940.
  • Reorganization of our thinking (= series of publications for ideological training of the order police. H. 5). Berlin 1942. (special print)
  • Dawn of the peasantry. Reich Farmers' Day speeches 1933–1938. Reichsnährstand Verlag, Berlin 1942.
  • Breeding as a command. Blood and Boden, Berlin 1944.
  • as C. Carlsson: Bauer und Technik. Special print from folder 10/1951 of Klüter Blätter. German collection at Türmer Verlag , Lochham near Munich 1951.


  • Heinz Haushofer:  Darré, Walther. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 3, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1957, ISBN 3-428-00184-2 , p. 517 ( digitized version ).
  • Anna Bramwell: Blood and Soil. Walther Darre and Hitler's Green Party. The Kensal Press, 1985, ISBN 0-946041-33-4 .
  • Gustavo Corni, Horst Gies : "Blood and Soil": Racial Ideology and Agricultural Policy in Hitler's State . Schulz-Kirchner, Idstein 1994.
  • Gustavo Corni : Richard Walther Darré. The “blood and soil” ideologist. In: Ronald Smelser , Enrico Syring u. Rainer Zitelmann (Ed.): The brown elite I. 22 biographical sketches . 4th edition. Darmstadt 1999, pp. 15-27.
  • Isabel Heinemann: "Race, settlement, German blood". The Race and Settlement Main Office of the SS and the racial reorganization of Europe. New research on the social and cultural history of the 19th and 20th centuries. Volume II, Wallstein-Verlag, Göttingen 2003, ISBN 3-89244-623-7 .
  • Michael H. Kater: The “Ahnenerbe” of the SS 1935–1945. A contribution to the cultural policy of the Third Reich . 4th edition. Oldenbourg, Munich 2006, ISBN 978-3-486-57950-5 .
  • Volker Losemann : “A state idea made of blood and soil”. RW Darré and the agricultural history of Sparta. In: Laverna 16 (2005), pp. 67-120.
  • Adam Tooze : Economics of Destruction. The history of the economy in NS. Siedler, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-88680-857-1 , passim, esp. Pp. 201-239. (first English 2006); New edition in the series of publications of the Federal Agency for Civic Education, Volume 663, ISBN 978-3-89331-822-3 ; New edition Pantheon, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-570-55056-4 .
  • Horst Gies: Richard Walther Darré. The “Reichsbauernführer”, the National Socialist “blood and soil” ideology and Hitler's conquest of power . Böhlau, Cologne 2019, ISBN 978-3-412-50291-1 .

Web links

Commons : Richard Walther Darré  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Isabel Heinemann: "Race, settlement, German blood". The Race and Settlement Main Office of the SS and the racial reorganization of Europe. Wallstein-Verlag, Göttingen 2003, ISBN 3-89244-623-7 , p. 612 f.
  2. ^ Gustavo Corni : Richard Walther Darré. The “blood and soil” ideologist. In: Ronald Smelser , Enrico Syring , Rainer Zitelmann (eds.): The brown elite I. 22 biographical sketches . 4th edition. Darmstadt 1999, p. 16.
  3. ^ Gustavo Corni: Richard Walther Darré. The “blood and soil” ideologist. In: Ronald Smelser, Enrico Syring, Rainer Zitelmann (eds.): The brown elite I. 22 biographical sketches . 4th edition. Darmstadt 1999, p. 17.
  4. ^ Gustavo Corni: Richard Walther Darré. The “blood and soil” ideologist. In: Ronald Smelser, Enrico Syring, Rainer Zitelmann (eds.): The brown elite I. 22 biographical sketches . 4th edition. Darmstadt 1999, p. 17 f.
  5. ^ Gustavo Corni: Richard Walther Darré. The “blood and soil” ideologist. In: Ronald Smelser, Enrico Syring, Rainer Zitelmann (eds.): The brown elite I. 22 biographical sketches . 4th edition. Darmstadt 1999, p. 18.
  6. Michael H. Kater : The "Ahnenerbe" of the SS 1935-1945. A contribution to the cultural policy of the Third Reich. 4th edition. Oldenbourg, Munich 2006, p. 26.
  7. ^ Klaus D. Patzwall : The golden party badge and its honorary awards 1934-1944, studies of the history of awards. Volume 4, Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall, Norderstedt 2004, ISBN 3-931533-50-6 , p. 66.
  8. Isabel Heinemann: Race, settlement, German blood. The Race and Settlement Main Office of the SS and the racial reorganization of Europe. Wallstein-Verlag Göttingen 2003, ISBN 3-89244-623-7 .
  9. Martin Moll: "Leader Decrees" 1939–1945. Edition of all surviving directives in the fields of state, party, economy, occupation policy and military administration issued by Hitler in writing during the Second World War, not printed in the Reichsgesetzblatt. Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-515-06873-2 , p. 251 ( Google Books ).
  10. Michael Salewski, Guntram Schulze-Wegener : War year 1944. In the large and in the small. Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-515-06674-8 , p. 251.
  11. ^ Ernst Klee: The dictionary of persons on the Third Reich. Frankfurt am Main 2007, p. 103.
  12. Grave site No. 74–81 in the round section at the north end of the cemetery on Hildesheimer Strasse in Goslar.
  13. Donald Giesecke, Goslar 1945 to 1953 in Our Harz, History and Stories, Culture and Nature from the entire Harz, Clausthal-Zellerfeld, issue 7/2018
  14. ^ Goslar dishonors "Farmer Leader" Darré. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . October 31, 2013.