R. Walther Darré
Reich Minister for Nutrition and Agriculture and
the Myth of Blut & Boden
« Ricardo » Walther Darré was born in Argentina on 14 July 1895 in a Buenos Aires neighbourhood known as Belgrano. His father was German and his mother a mix of German & Swedish descent.
His parents sent him back to Germany at age nine, to attend school in Heidelberg; in 1911 he was sent as an exchange pupil to King’s College School in Wimbledon. The rest of the family returned to Germany in 1912.
As a young man in Germany, Darré initially joined the Artamans, a Volkish youth group who were committed to returning to the land. It was here that Darré was exposed to the teachings of Karl Haushofer, a founder of « geopolitics » and one of the leaders of the Artaman group.
Haushofer proposed some of the original philosophies which gave birth to the German policy of « Lebensraum » and the theory of Blut und Boden » or « Blood and Soil ». The essence of this theory was the mutual and long-term relationship between a people and the land that it occupies and cultivates.
Nazi propaganda drew heavily on these types of rural mysticism, and the concept of ‘blood and soil’ that arose in reaction to the rapid industrialisation and urbanisation in Germany from the late nineteenth century onward. It was especially popular among farming groups disadvantaged by the industrial expansion.
The Traditional rural virtues of loyalty, morality and racial purity were to guarantee a stable, hierarchical community in which all knew their place. As well, the idealised ‘peasant nobility’ would serve as an antidote to the cosmopolitan, sophisticated, urban, Jewish, intellectuals.
In 1933 Germany had an estimated six million unemployed. Like his contemporaries in the capitals and governments of the world-and like so many politicians today, Hitler had little interest in economics and, in fact, was totally ignorant of economic theory.
It was simply understood that although economic centralization would have to wait until political opponents and organized opposition were suppressed or liquidated, the Nazis’ « new deal » would begin almost immediately. For instance, in October 1933, Hitler declared that « the ruin of the German peasant will be the ruin of the German people. » New farm programs were instated, along with propaganda about Blut und Bloden.
Walther Darré, who in 1929 published a book, The Peasantry as the Life Source of the Nordic Race, felt that the Jews were excluded from the concept of Blut und Boden and in his writings, Jews were referred to nothing more than ‘weeds’.
Since the Jews were without land, they were viewed as nomads and wanderers, even if they had legal, valid citizenship, and long family and business ties in an area. Since the Jews were dispersed for centuries in all lands, they were not tied to the land, which the Nazis required in concept for a stable national people.