Food as a Weapon: Agricultural Sciences and the Building of a Greater German Empire

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Food played a crucial role in the Nazis' vision of a new European order under German control. More food had to be produced and markets had to be reorganized. Agricultural sciences under the Nazi regime worked to increase productivity, breed new plants and to improve existing species. In the war against the Soviet Union, food was explicitly used as a weapon to defeat the enemy. This paper focuses on Richard Walther Darré and Herbert Backe, who were in charge of agriculture and food throughout the twelve years of the Third Reich. The two men stood at the crossroads of agricultural sciences and politics, and the continuity between their ideas and policies illustrates the relation between agricultural sciences and the Nazi state.
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