"Blut und Boden" Holocaust Term Definition

Stars of David from concentration camps
Stars of David from concentration camps | Source

WWII History and Aftermath

At this writing in 2013, World War II began in Europe nearly 76 years ago. By the 1960s, a comedy show about POW camps of the era entertained some viewers and offended others. That was Hogan's Heroes. By the 1970s, just thirty years after the war, Holocaust deniers began to print articles to the effect that the Holocaust never happened. Some younger readers believed them.

It was not until the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s, that certain groups of soldiers among the Allied Forces in WWII were appropriately honored with medals and recognition. Altogether, it is not a large puzzle to understand why portions of WWII history are note widely distributed to the general public, not understood, nor overwhelmed with interest.

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German Red Cross worker helps a survivor.Location of concentration camps in the former Yugoslavia.Richard Walther Darre
German Red Cross worker helps a survivor.
German Red Cross worker helps a survivor. | Source
Location of concentration camps in the former Yugoslavia.
Location of concentration camps in the former Yugoslavia. | Source
Richard Walther Darre
Richard Walther Darre | Source

Blut und Boden

Blut und Boden is the Nazi rationale for the regime's agricultural program in Germany.

In the spring of 1930, Adolph Hitler enlisted the help of Walther Darre to organize the farmers of Germany into a group that supported Hitler and his regime under the National Socialist Party. With success among the farmer, the Nazis were elected to power in only two years' time - 1932. Darre was appointed Minister of Food and Agriculture during summer 1933.

Darre had previously worked in the German Department of Agriculture and in 1928, wrote a book about race and the German farmer. Officials and others who read it were said to have laughed, but the book garnered many good reviews that did not include laughter. A second book in 1929 uplifted the "German race."

Blut Und Boden: 28 minutes

Keys To Darre's Writing:

Blut = blood and is a heading for racial writing.

Boden = soil and is a heading for agricultural writing.

Ideas:

  • German farmers are noble and make the German and Nordic races altogether noble.The Germans are the best people among the Nordics.
  • Farmer = Noble.
  • Christianity with its equality ruined the concept of "nobility" and detracts from German superiority. The religion should be eliminated.
  • Germany adopted French inheritance laws that unfairly divided German farmlands and took away from German financial strength. Only the best people, Germans, should ever own German agricultural lands.
  • Noble German farmers look to the future and invest their nobility in the soil for future wealth and the strength of Germany. Nomads, on the other hand, are opportunists looking only to today. Darre used the word "Muslims" for "nomads."
  • Maintaining racial purity among Germans was the greatest challenge to the country and the Nazis.
  • Marriage is good only when both partners are racially pure and produce racially-pure children. Marriage is not sacred. German husbands and wives are equal and their job was to perpetuate the noble race in ownership of the noble farmlands. If the wife was barren, another woman was used to bear children.
  • Human breeding and animal breeding are the same. The "impure" humans could be executed, because the United States did the same thing with African American lynchings.
  • There were four classes of women: 1) pure-breeds for child bearing/marriage, 2) pure-breeds that do not look perfect, 3) the impure mixed-breeds that must and should be sterilized, and 4) foreigners to Germany, who were not allowed to marry or bear children.
  • Only the nobility of Germany (pure-breed landowners) deserve equal rights.
  • Jews were nomads, because they did not eat pork. Neither did Muslims, but Nordics always did eat port. Jews also lend farmers money at too high a rate and bankrupt them. Therefore, Jews and Muslims are all nomads and bad.
  • Germans have the right to kill nomads because nomads attack Germans, just as Cain killed Able in the Old Testament (Interesting comparison, since Darre thinks Jews are bad).
  • Community is important, individualism is not. Farmers are part of the larger state and should be happy to be so.


My Observations:

  • An entire genre of German literature was based on Blut und Boden before 1932 and it increased in published works and popularity after 1932.
  • Blut un Boden became an excuse to allow Nazi Germany to seize the lands of other peoples. Hitler used the notion in the movement of lebensraum, insisting that Eastern Europe and European USSR had no idea on how to work the land and only pure-breed Aryans did.
  • The use of the logo for Blut und Boden is illegal in several European countries today.
  • Darre's ideas, although not all original, remind me of the old Communist motto: Workers of the World Unite. They also remind me of the British tradition of the King and other nobility being tied to the land of England.

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My Summary:

The concept of Blut and Boden, while romantic, is obsessive and impossible to attain in its racial purity aspects. It seems to be a kind of mental illness, one that ran Native Americans off their home ranges and killed them by the multiple thousands. To me, there is just one Holocaust against many ethnicities; it has been present forever, since cavemen competed for food, and it is ongoing today.


References:

Anne Bramwell. Blood and Soil: Walther Darre and Hitler's Green Party. 1985.

Clifford R. Lovin. Journal of History and Ideas. "Blud Und Boden", ppg 279 - 288; Vol 28, No 2; 1967.

Ben Keiernan. Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur. 2009

Eastern European Theater and the Russian Front

show route and directions
A markerBerlin -
Berlin, Germany
[get directions]

B markerPoland -
Poland
[get directions]

Many death camps operated here.

C markerMoscow -
Eastern Russia
[get directions]

Adolph Hitler with German Youth.
Adolph Hitler with German Youth. | Source

Important Holocaust and WWII Information

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Comments 5 comments

SidKemp profile image

SidKemp 3 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

Thank you, Ms. Inglish, for exposing the core of this particular piece of Nazi propaganda. Until now, I was unaware of the logic that was used. Two notes of interest: The Nazi party was a right-wing fascist nationalist group that took on a left-wing (National Socialist) name to fool the more left-oriented workers into accepting fascism. Today, in the US, the Tea Party, who's agenda is fully in line with right-wing (deregulation-focused, greedy) corporations is using the same tactics. So Blut und Boden is the tactic by which this strategy of co-opting the left wing workers and farmers was implemented. And it shows the completely hypocritical nature of the Nazi agenda - like the Tea Party, they chose a name that represents the opposite of their own interest to gain power.

Secondly, the issue of eating pork is more inflammatory than it might appear at first. Poet and deep ecologist Gary Snyder points out that prejudices about food are among our deepest and most powerful feelings. When they are manipulated to generate hatred, horror results.

Many thanks for a reminder we all need, if we are to restore and keep our freedom.


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 3 years ago from Pennsylvania

Nauseating concepts, but Patty you are right to keep them in the public eye.


mylindaelliott profile image

mylindaelliott 3 years ago from Louisiana

I had heard the term Blut un Boden but did not completely understand what it meant. Your explanation was very good.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

Another excellent lesson for us. These things can never be forgotten, forgetting them allows the seeds to be planted again. As you've pointed out, too many years and too many ethnicities have suffered under the guise of "perfection".

You've included a lot of good information about Nazi background thinking.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 3 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

Very useful for the public to be reminded how such atrocities originated and festered into one of the most evil demonstrations of human potential. Thank you for sharing!

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