Richard Walther Darré, born Ricardo Walther Óscar Darré (14 July 1895 – 5 September 1953), was one of the leading Nazi "blood and soil" (German: Blut und Boden) ideologists and served as Reich Minister of Food and Agriculture from 1933 to 1942. He was a high-ranking functionary in the SS and the seventh most senior commander in the organisation.
Richard Walther Darré
|Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture|
29 June 1933 – 23 May 1942
|Preceded by||Alfred Hugenberg|
|Succeeded by||Herbert Backe|
Ricardo Walther Óscar Darré
14 July 1895
Buenos Aires, Argentina
|Died||5 September 1953 (aged 58)|
Munich, West Germany
|Political party||Nazi Party|
|Alma mater||University of Halle|
Darré was born in Belgrano, a Buenos Aires neighbourhood, in Argentina to Richard Oscar Darré, a German with Huguenot ancestry (born 10 March 1854, Berlin; died 20 February 1929, Wiesbaden) and Emilia Berta Eleonore, née Lagergren (born 23 July 1872 in Buenos Aires to a Swedish-born father and German-Spanish born mother; died 20 July 1936 in Bad Pyrmont). His father moved to Argentina in 1888 as a partner of the German international import/export wholesaler Engelbert Hardt & Co. Although his parents' marriage was not a happy one (Richard Walther remembered his father as a hard drinker and a womanizer), they lived prosperously, and educated their children privately until they were forced to return to Germany as a result of worsening international relations in the years preceding World War I. Darré gained fluency in four languages: Spanish, German, English, and French.
Darré's parents sent him to Germany at age nine to attend school in Heidelberg; in 1911 he attended as an exchange pupil King's College School in Wimbledon. The rest of the family returned to Germany in 1912. Richard (as he was known in the family) then spent two years at the Oberrealschule in Gummersbach, followed in early 1914 by the Kolonialschule for resettlement in the German colonies at Witzenhausen, south of Göttingen, which awakened his interest in farming.
After a single term at Witzenhausen, he volunteered for army service. He was lightly wounded a number of times while serving during World War I, but fared better than most of his contemporaries.
When the war ended he contemplated returning to Argentina for a life of farming, but the family's weakening financial position during the years of inflation made this impossible. Instead he returned to Witzenhausen to continue his studies. He then obtained unpaid work as a farm assistant in Pomerania: his observation of the treatment of returning German soldiers there influenced his later writings.
In 1922 he moved to the University of Halle to continue his studies: here he took an agricultural degree, specialising in animal breeding. He did not complete his PhD studies until 1929, at the comparatively mature age of 34. During these years he spent some time working in East Prussia and Finland.
He married twice. In 1922 he married Alma Staadt, a schoolfriend of his sister Ilse. He divorced Alma in 1927, and subsequently married Charlotte Freiin von Vittinghoff-Schell, who survived him. The first marriage produced two daughters.
As a young man in Germany, Darré initially joined the Artaman League, a Völkisch youth-group committed to the back-to-the-land movement. In this context he began to develop the idea of the linkage between the future of the Nordic race and the soil: the tendency which became known as "Blut und Boden". Here "Blut" (blood) represents race or ancestry, while "Boden" expresses the concepts of soil, territory, or land. The essence of the theory involved the mutual and long-term relationship between a people and the land that it occupies and cultivates.
Darré's first political article (1926) discussed Internal Colonisation and argued against Germany attempting to regain the lost colonies in Africa. Most of his writing at this time, however, concentrated on technical aspects of animal breeding. He wrote his first book, Das Bauerntum als Lebensquell der nordischen Rasse ('Peasantry as the life-source of the Nordic Race'), in 1928. It asserted that German farms had previously been bestowed on one son, the strongest, ensuring the best were farmers, but partible inheritance had destroyed that. Darré demanded the restoration of the ancient tradition, as well as serious efforts to restore the purity of Nordic blood through eugenics.
In her biography of Darré, Anna Bramwell interprets his writing as an early example of "Green" or Conservationist thinking: he advocated more natural methods of land management, placing emphasis on the conservation of forests, and demanded more open-space and air in the raising of farm animals. Other scholars, however, have challenged this view. One sees Bramwell's books as "devoid of credible evidence" and containing "gross errors". Another acknowledges Bramwell's biography as "undoubtedly the best single source on Darré in either German or English" while at the same time saying that she "consistently downplays the virulently fascist elements in his thinking, portraying him instead as a misguided agrarian radical."
Darré's work also glorified "peasant virtues" – as found in the remnants of the Nordics who lived in the country – and disparaged city living.
In his two major works, he defined the German peasantry as a homogeneous racial group of Nordic antecedents, who formed the cultural and racial core of the German nation. [..] Since the Nordic birth-rate was lower than that of other races, the Nordic race was under a long-term threat of extinction.:55
In July 1930, after Paul Schultze-Naumburg had introduced him to Adolf Hitler, Darré joined the Nazi Party and the SS. Darré's NSDAP number was 248,256 and his SS number was 6,882. Darré went on to become an active Nazi Reichsleiter and to set up an agrarian political apparatus to recruit farmers into the party. Darré saw three main roles for this apparatus: to exploit unrest in the countryside as a weapon against the urban government; to win over the peasants as staunch Nazi supporters; to gain a constituency of people who could be used as settlers to displace the Slavs in future conquests in the East. The German historian Klaus Hildebrand described Darré together with Himmler and Alfred Rosenberg as one of the leaders of the "agrarian" fraction within the NSDAP who championed anti-industrial and anti-urban "blood and soil" ideology, expansion into Eastern Europe to win Lebensraum, an alliance with Great Britain to defeat the Soviet Union, and staunch opposition to restoring the pre-1914 German colonial empire. The "agrarian" fraction took the view that Wilhelmine imperialism had taken Germany in the wrong direction by colonizing lands that were unsuitable for mass colonization by German settlers and had unwisely antagonized Britain. The lesson that the Nazi "agrarians" drew from the Second Reich was that Germany must restrict its ambitions to the continent of Europe in order to win an alliance with Britain and land suitable for German colonization. On 1 January 1932, Reichsführer-SS Himmler appointed him chief of the newly established SS Race and Settlement Main Office (Rasse- und Siedlungshauptamt or RuSHA), a racist and antisemitic organization. Darré was given the rank of SS-Gruppenführer. The RuSHA was a department which implemented racial policies and was concerned with the racial integrity of the members of the SS.
During the 1932 presidential election, Darré engaged in a campaign of anti-Semitic harassment against Theodor Duesterberg, the candidate of the conservative German National People's Party, who it emerged during the campaign was the grandson of a Jewish convert to Lutheranism. Duesterberg was so wounded by Darré's attacks that he challenged him to a duel, a challenge that Darré declined under the grounds that it was beneath him to fight a man with "Jewish blood". Duesterberg then took up his dispute with Darré before the court of honor of the Former Officers of the 1st Hanoverian Field Artillery Regiment of Scharnhorst, number 10 to which Darré belonged. The court of honor ruled in Darré's favor.
In his religious views, Dárre would belong to the Pagan faction within the Nazi movement (see: Religious aspects of Nazism); however, unlike Heinrich Himmler and Alfred Rosenberg, he has not become a figure of interest in the speculation about Nazi occultism.
Darré's works were primarily concerned with the ancient and present Nordic peasantry (the ideology of Blood and soil): within this context, he made an explicit attack against Christianity. In his two main works (Das Bauerntum als Lebensquell der Nordischen Rasse, Munich, 1927 and Neuadel aus Blut und Boden, Munich, 1930), Darré accused Christianity, with its "teaching of the equality of men before God," of having "deprived the Teutonic nobility of its moral foundations", the "innate sense of superiority over the nomadic tribes".
Soon after the Nazis came to power in 1933, Darré was initially excluded from the Cabinet. However, in June 1933, shortly after the Nazis seized full power, he became Reich Minister of Food and Agriculture, succeeding DNVP leader Alfred Hugenberg, who had resigned. He was also named Reichsbauernführer (usually translated as Reich Peasant Leader, though the word Bauer also denotes Farmer). Darré was one of the few Nazi ministers who knew his field well. He was instrumental in founding the Nazi Reichsnährstand corporation as part of the Gleichschaltung process. Darré campaigned for big landowners to part with some of their land to create new farms, and promoted the controversial Reichserbhofgesetz. He also converted most of the country's small farms into hereditary estates that were to be passed from father to son under the ancient laws of entailment. While this protected small farmers from foreclosure and many other modern financial problems, it also tied them and their descendants to the soil to the end of time.
He developed a plan for "Rasse und Raum" ("race and space", or territory) which provided the ideological background for the Nazi expansive policy on behalf of the "Drang nach Osten" ("Drive to the east") and of the "Lebensraum" ("Living space") theory expounded in Mein Kampf. Darré strongly influenced Himmler in his goal to create a German racial aristocracy based on selective breeding. The Nazi policies of eugenics would lead to the annihilation of millions of non-Germans. In the course of the preparations for the Generalplan Ost, Himmler would later break with Darré, whom he saw as too theoretical. Darré was generally on bad terms with Economy Minister Hjalmar Schacht, particularly as Germany suffered poor harvests in the mid 1930s.
By September 1938, Himmler was already demanding that Darré step down as leader of the RuSHA in favour of Günther Pancke. Darré finally had to resign as Reich Minister in 1942, ostensibly on health grounds, and was succeeded by his state secretary Herbert Backe.
The transcript of a 1940 speech supposedly given by Darré was published in Life magazine, 9 December 1940: "by blitzkrieg ... before autumn ... we shall be the absolute masters of two continents... a new aristocracy of German masters will be created [with] slaves assigned to it, these slaves to be their property and to consist of landless, non-German nationals.... we actually have in mind a modern form of medieval slavery which we must and will introduce because we urgently need it in order to fulfill our great tasks. These slaves will by no means be denied the blessings of illiteracy; higher education will, in future, be reserved only for the German population of Europe...."
In 1945, the American authorities arrested Darré at Flak-Kaserne Ludwigsburg and tried him at the subsequent Nuremberg Trials as one of 21 defendants in the Ministries Trial, also known as the Wilhelmstrasse Trial (1947–1949).
He was charged under the following counts:
Darré was sentenced to seven years at Landsberg Prison. He was released in 1950 and spent his final years in Bad Harzburg. He died in a Munich hospital, on 5 September 1953, of liver cancer. Darré is buried in Goslar.
His two main writings were Das Bauerntum als Lebensquell der nordischen Rasse (1928) and Neuadel aus Blut und Boden (1930), translated into English as "The Peasantry as Life Source of the Nordic Race" and "A New Nobility of Blood and Soil" respectively.
| Minister of Food
Adrian Leopold Molin (5 March 1880 - 10 August 1942) was a Swedish far-right writer and political activist.Blood and soil
Blood and soil (German: Blut und Boden) is a nationalist slogan expressing Nazi Germany's ideal of a "racially" defined national body ("blood") united with a settlement area ("soil"). By it, rural and farm life forms are not only idealized as a counterweight to urban ones, but they are also associated with an imaginary and sedentary Germanic-Nordic peasantry which is placed in opposition to an anti-Semitic trope of Jewish nomadism. It is tied to the contemporaneous German concept of Lebensraum, the belief that the German people needed to reclaim historically German areas of Eastern Europe into which they could expand.
"Blood and soil" was a key slogan of National Socialist (Nazi) ideology. The nationalist ideology of the Artaman League and the writings of Richard Walther Darré guided agricultural policies which were later adopted by Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler and Baldur von Schirach.Darre
Darre or Darré is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:
Bernie Darre (1939–2006), American football guard
Hans Jørgen Darre (1803–1874), Norwegian clergyman
Jeanne-Marie Darré (1905–1999), French classical pianist
Niels Stockfleth Darre (1765–1809), Norwegian military officer
Niels Stockfleth Darre Eckhoff (1831–1914), Norwegian architect
Richard Walther Darré (1895–1953), SS-Obergruppenführer and leading Nazi Blut und Boden ideologistEidgenössische Sammlung
Eidgenössische Sammlung (German; literally "Confederate Collection") was a Swiss political party, founded in 1940 by Robert Tobler as a successor to the recently dissolved National Front.The party demanded an adjustment in Swiss policy to favour the Axis powers. This was particularly important as, after June 1940 the country was surrounded by fascist and Nazi states. It was open in its loyalty towards Nazi Germany.The Eidgenössiche Sammlung was closely supervised by the state because of its origins and so could not develop freely. In 1943 the police finally cracked down on the group and it was outlawed along with all of its sub-organisations as part of a wider government initiative against the National Front and its offshoots.Esotericism in Germany and Austria
This article gives an overview of esoteric movements in Germany and Austria between 1880 and 1945, presenting Theosophy, Anthroposophy and Ariosophy, among others, against the influences of earlier European esotericism.Faith and Beauty Society
The BDM-Werk Glaube und Schönheit (German for BDM Faith and Beauty Society) was founded in 1938 to serve as a tie-in between the work of the League of German Girls (BDM) and that of the National Socialist Women's League. Membership was voluntary and open to girls aged 17 to 21.Hirden
Hirden (the hird) was a uniformed paramilitary organisation during the occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany, modelled the same way as the German Sturmabteilungen.Hitler Cabinet
The Hitler Cabinet de jure formed the government of Nazi Germany between 30 January 1933 and 30 April 1945 upon the appointment of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of the German Reich by president Paul von Hindenburg. Contrived by the national conservative politician Franz von Papen, who reserved the office of the Vice-Chancellor for himself. Originally, Hitler's first cabinet was called the Reich Cabinet of National Salvation, which was a coalition of the Nazi Party (NSDAP) and the national conservative German National People's Party (DNVP), it became an exclusively Nazi cabinet when the DNVP was intimidated into dissolving itself.
The Enabling Act of 1933, passed two months after Hitler took office, gave the cabinet the power to make laws without legislative consent for four years. In effect, this power was vested in Hitler, and for all intents and purposes it made Hitler a dictator. After the Enabling Act's passage, serious deliberations more or less ended at cabinet meetings. It met only sporadically after 1934, and last met in full on 5 February 1938. Nonetheless, it grew immensely in size on paper, due to the addition of the commanders of the armed services and several ministers without portfolio.Liechtenstein Homeland Service
Liechtenstein Homeland Service (German: Liechtensteiner Heimatdienst, LHD) was a political party in Liechtenstein that advocated corporate statism and the abolition of party politics.Established in the autumn of 1933, the party's positions began to radicalize and move toward National Socialist ideas within a few months of existence. By December 1933, this radicalization caused some members (such as co-founder Eugen Schafhauser) to abandon the party.LHD merged with the Christian-Social People's Party (VP) in 1936 to form the Patriotic Union (VU).List of Nazis of non-Germanic descent
List of Nazis of non-Germanic descent, including notable people in Nazi German service, such as Schutzstaffel members, who had some non-German ancestry. Notably, there were several high-ranking Nazis of partial Jewish descent. There were also many of Slavic descent. See Nuremberg Laws for further information on the status of non-Aryan people in Nazi Germany.
OKW and OKH secret reports show that half-Jews could only serve in Ersatzreserve II or Landwehr II, while quarter-Jews remained in the Wehrmacht and were eligible for promotion. Employment or promotion of quarter-Jews required Hitler's approval. Cambridge University researcher Bryan Rigg noted that there were two field marshals and fifteen generals (two full generals, eight lieutenant generals, five major generals) who were Jews or of partial Jewish descent. Rigg estimated that there were 150,000 men of some Jewish descent that served in the German armed forces during World War II. 1,671 have been identified (as of 2010). Hitler personally issued German Blood papers to mischlings (mixed Jewish) for their continuing service.
Johannes Blaskowitz, German general, Germanised Slovenian descent
Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, Prussian, SS-Obergruppenführer, Kashubian nobility
Hermann Baranowski, German Nazi, SS-Oberführer, Germanised Polish descent
Karl Chmielewski, German Nazi, Germanised Polish descent
Leonardo Conti, Swiss, Reichsgesundheitsführer, Italian father and German mother
Richard Walther Darré, German Nazi, SS-Obergruppenführer, Huguenot father
Hans Eppinger, Austrian, SS doctor, half-Jewish
Adolf Galland, German, Luftwaffe general, Huguenot ancestry
Wilhelm-Ferdinand Galland, German, Luftwaffe ace, Huguenot ancestry
Gordon Gollob, Austrian, Luftwaffe, mixed ancestry
Alfred Grislawski, German, Luftwaffe ace, Germanised Ruhr Polish
Odilo Globocnik, Austrian Nazi, Germanised Slovene descent
Eugen Hadamovsky, German Nazi, paternal Germanised Czech descent
Hans Hauck, Wehrmacht, Algerian Black father
Walter Hollaender, colonel, Jewish
Bronislav Kaminski, Russian, Polish father and German mother
Erich Kempka, German Nazi, SS-Obersturmbannführer, Ruhr Polish descent
Halim Malkoč (1917–1947), Bosnian volunteer, SS-Obersturmführer, Bosnian Muslim
Erich von Manstein (1887–1973), German, Wehrmacht Generalfeldmarschall, paternal Prussian Kashubian
Hans-Joachim Marseille, German, Luftwaffe ace, paternal Huguenot descent
Victor Matthys, Belgian Rexist
Emil Maurice, German Nazi, Jewish great-grandfather
Christian de la Mazière, French Nazi
Erhard Milch, German Nazi, Jewish father (reclassified as Aryan by Adolf Hitler)
Martin James Monti, American defector to the Nazis, SS-Untersturmführer, Swiss Italian father and German mother
Joachim Mrugowsky, German Nazi, Germanised Polish descent
Karl Nicolussi-Leck, Austrian Nazi, Tyrolian
Franz Novak, Austrian Nazi, Germanised Carinthian Slovene descent
Walter Nowotny, Austrian, Luftwaffe ace, Germanised Polish descent
Hermann von Oppeln-Bronikowski, German, Wehrmacht Generalmajor, Germanised Polish descent
Harry Paletta, German Nazi, West Prussian
Helmuth von Pannwitz, Lusitian nobility
Wladimir von Pawlowski, Austrian Nazi, Germanised Carinthian Slovene descent
Alexander Piorkowski, German Nazi, Germanised Polish descent
Paul Radomski, German Nazi, Germanised Polish descent
Lothar Rendulic (1887–1971), Austrian, Wehrmacht Generaloberst, Croatian ancestry
Bernhard Rogge, admiral, Jewish ancestry
Jazep Sažyč, Belarusian
Baldur von Schirach, Wendish nobility
Hermann Senkowsky, Austrian Nazi, Germanised Carinthian Slovene descent
Otto Skorzeny, Austrian Nazi, Germanised Polish descent
Alexander Stahlberg, colonel, Jewish
Alfred Trzebinski, German Nazi, Germanised Polish descent
Erich Wasicky, Austrian Nazi, Germanised Carinthian Slovene descent
Udo von Woyrsch, German Nazi, SS-Obergruppenführer, Bohemian noble descent
Felix Zymalkowski, German, Kriegsmarine Korvettenkapitän, Germanised Polish descent
Werner Goldberg, German, foot soldier, half-Jewish
Hubert Jura, Polish, SD And Gestapo agent
Alexander Löhr, Generaloberst in the Luftwaffe, mother with Jewish-Ukrainian rootsMichael (novel)
Michael: A German Destiny in Diary Form (ISBN 0941693007) is a semi-autobiographical novel authored by the German propagandist Joseph Goebbels and published in 1929. It is a three-part work of which only Parts I and III have survived. The novel is a combination of Goebbels' own thoughts and the life of his best friend Richard Flisges who had actually fought in World War I, and later ended his college studies to work in a mine where he died in an accident. That is what happens to the novel's protagonist Michael who meets his "sacrificial death" on 30 January 1921.
Michael was a significant popular success, going through seventeen printings.National Union (Switzerland)
The National Union (French: Union Nationale) was a French-speaking fascist political party in Switzerland between 1932 and 1939.
The Union was formed in Geneva in 1932 by Georges Oltramare, a lawyer and writer. Noted for his anti-Semitic writing, Oltramare founded the Order Politique Nationale in 1931 but merged it with the Union de Défense Economique the following year to form the National Union. The group continued under Oltramare's leadership until 1940 when he moved to Paris in order to co-operate more closely with the Nazis. Oltramare spent four years as a member of the Federal Assembly of Switzerland representing the National Union.The Union became notorious for a demonstration in Geneva on November 9, 1932 when their march to the city's Salle Communale was counterdemonstrated by the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland. In the resulting trouble the Swiss army opened fire on the Socialists resulting in 13 deaths.Nationale Jeugdstorm
The Nationale Jeugdstorm (English: National Youth Storm; NJS) was a Dutch youth movement that existed from 1934 to 1945, organized as the Dutch equivalent of the German Hitlerjugend and as a Nazi counterpart of Scouting Nederland.Obergruppenführer
Obergruppenführer (German: [ˈoːbɐˌɡʁʊpn̩fyːʁɐ], "senior group leader") was one of the Third Reich's paramilitary ranks, first created in 1932 as a rank of the Sturmabteilung (SA), and adopted by the Schutzstaffel (SS) one year later. Until April 1942, it was the highest commissioned SS rank, inferior only to then Reichsführer-SS (Heinrich Himmler or RFSS, which was the internal SS-abbreviation for Himmler) Translated as "senior group leader", the rank of Obergruppenführer was senior to Gruppenführer. A similarly named rank of Untergruppenführer existed in the SA from 1929 to 1930 and as a title until 1933. In April 1942, the new rank of SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer was created which was above Obergruppenführer and below Reichsführer-SS.Princess Marie Adelheid of Lippe
Princess Marie Adelheid of Lippe (30 August 1895 – 25 December 1993) was a socialite and author who was active in Nazi Germany. As the wife of Hanno Konopath, a prominent Nazi official, Marie Adelheid was a well known and ardent supporter of the Nazi regime. She was instrumental in the Nordic Ring, a forum for the discussion of issues concerning race and eugenics.
Marie Adelheid also served as an aide to Nazi Minister of Food and Agriculture Richard Walther Darré, and produced numerous works of fiction, poetry, translations, and other books. After the end of World War II, she published translations of prominent Holocaust-denying works, such as Paul Rassinier's Le Drame des Juifs européens [The Drama of European Jews] into German in 1964.Reichserbhofgesetz
The Reichserbhofgesetz (Eng: land heritage law or the State Hereditary Farm Law of 1933) was a Nazi law to implement principles of blood and soil, stating that its aim was to: "preserve the farming community as the blood-source of the German people" (Das Bauerntum als Blutquelle des deutschen Volkes erhalten). A Greater Aryan certificate was required to receive its benefits, similar to the requirements for becoming a member of the Nazi Party (NSDAP).
Selected lands were declared hereditary, as an Erbhof, to pass from father to son, and could not be mortgaged or alienated, and only these farmers were entitled to call themselves Bauern or "farmer peasant", a term the Nazis attempted to refurbish from a neutral or even pejorative to a positive term. Regional custom was only allowed to decide whether the eldest or the youngest son was to be the heir. In areas where no particular custom prevailed, the youngest son was to be the heir. Still, the eldest son inherited the farm in most cases during the Third Reich Priority was given to the patriline, so that if there were no sons, the brothers and brothers' sons of the deceased peasant had precedence over the peasant's own daughters. As peasants appeared in Nazi ideology as a source of economics and racial stability, the law was implemented to protect them from the forces of modernization.Only about 35% of all farming units were covered by it. In theory, any farm of 7.5 to 125 hectares (19–309 acres) could be declared Erbhof, as the size needed to maintain a family and act as a productive unit; larger farms would have to be subdivided.Richard Walther Darré, in accordance with his strong "blood and soil" beliefs, did much to promote it as the Reich Minister of Food and Agriculture and Reichsbauernführer.Rodolfo Freude
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The SS Race and Settlement Main Office, (Rasse- und Siedlungshauptamt der SS, RuSHA), was the organization responsible for "safeguarding the racial 'purity' of the SS" within Nazi Germany.One of its duties was to oversee the marriages of SS personnel in accordance with the racial policy of Nazi Germany. After Heinrich Himmler introduced the "marriage order" on December 31, 1931, the RuSHA would only issue a permit to marry once detailed background investigations into the racial fitness of both prospective parents had been completed and proved both of them to be of Aryan descent back to 1800.The Immortals (neo-Nazis)
The Immortals (German Die Unsterblichen) was a neo-Nazi organization based in Germany that uses flash mobs to coordinate, gather and demonstrate. The members wear black clothing with white facial masks and carry torches when they march.
Members of the Hitler Cabinet
1 Until May 1941.