Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Eli Rubin

Second Advisor

James Palmitessa


This honors thesis provides an in-depth understanding of the origins and implementation of the Nazi’s Hunger Plan, which was the planned starvation of millions of Soviets and Jews in 1941. Through the analysis of Nazi agricultural ideology and the origins as well as the role of Nazi Germany’s agricultural leaders, the reason this plan was created and implemented becomes clearer. The Reich Food and Agriculture Ministry was responsible for agricultural policies in the Nazi regime, including the Hunger Plan. The leaders of this Ministry were Richard Walther Darré (1933-1942) and Herbert Backe (1942-1945). Darré was a theoretician, and he wrote extensively about agricultural ideology and its connection and importance to the German race. Prior to World War Two, while Darré was the Minister of Food and Agriculture, he implemented several agricultural policies heavily influenced by his agricultural ideology, and this notion persisted within the policymaking of his successor, Herbert Backe, who authored and oversaw the implementation of the Hunger Plan. The success of the Hunger Plan resulted in millions of Soviets and Jews starving to death. Moreover, Darré’s agriculturally and racially inspired theory that influenced Nazi Germany’s agricultural policymaking in the early 1930s provided a foundation and vision of the future for the Third Reich, resulting in the Hunger Plan which was enacted less than ten years later. After examining the origins and implementation of the Hunger Plan, the importance of agricultural ideology and agricultural policies within the Nazi regime is beyond evident. Backe took Darré’s agricultural theories to the extreme in the execution of policies like the Hunger Plan, resulting in the starvation of millions of people, which enabled the Nazis to continue fighting in World War Two.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted

Restricted to Campus until


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