Richard Walther Darré

Richard Darre : Nazi Germany

Richard Walther Darré, the son of German parents, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 14th July, 1895. Educated in Germany and England, Darré joined the German Army and fought as an artillery officer on the Western Front during the First World War.

After the war he joined the Freikorps in Berlin. He then finished his studies and qualified as a agronomist in 1922. A close friend of Heinrich Himmler he joined the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP).

Books that he wrote at this time reflected the influence of Nazi views on race: Das Bauerntum als Lebensquell der Nordischen Rasse (1928), Um Blut und Boden (1929) and Neuadel aus Blut and Boden (1930). In his books Darré claimed it was the Nordic race that had been the true creators of European culture. He advocated the creation of what he called a "Germanic aristocracy of the soil" as a new ruling class.

Darré became the main figure in the Nazi Party interested in agriculture and was very successful in recruiting farmers into the party. When Adolf Hitler gained power in 1933 he appointed Darré as Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture. He was also head of the organization of German farmers established by the Nazis.

In 1933 he was elected to the Reichstag and became President of the German Agricultural Society. A member of the Schutz Staffeinel (SS) he became Chief of the Central Office for Race and Resettlement. In this role he wrote a series of books on racial topics that illustrated his anti-semitism.

Ernst Roehm
Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler, Ernst Röhm, Hermann Göring,
Richard Walther Darré and Heinrich Himmler in January 1933.

His attempts to protect the German farmer from international capitalism brought him into conflict with the free-market views of Hjalmar Schacht. As Schacht was able to bring in large financial contributions from Germany's industrialists Darré lost his influence with Adolf Hitler.

During the Second World War Hitler passed control of agricultural issues in occupied territories to Heinrich Himmler. After failing to maintain food supplies in Nazi Germany Darré was dismissed from office in May 1942.

Darré was captured in 1945 and was eventually sentenced to five years imprisonment after being found guilty of confiscating the property of Polish and Jewish farmers during the war. Richard Darré died in Munich on 8th September, 1953.