Reich Ministry of Food and Agriculture

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Reich Ministry of Food and Agriculture
Reichsministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft
Reichsadler Deutsches Reich (1935–1945).svg
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R0311-504, Berlin, Wilhelmstraße, Landwirtschaftsministerium.jpg
The building of the Imperial Ministry of Food and Agriculture, at Wilhelmstrasse during the Nazi era. After the war was destroyed in the interior, the Palais was rebuilt in 1956 for reconstruction in 1960-62 by the East Berlin city council.
Agency overview
FormedMarch 1919 (1919-03)
Dissolved8 May 1945 (1945-05-08)
JurisdictionNazi Germany
Minister responsible
  • See list

The Reich Ministry of Food and Agriculture (German: Reichsministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft, abbreviated RMEL) was responsible for agricultural policy of Germany during the Weimar Republic from 1919 to 1933 and during the Third Reich from 1933 to 1945. It was under the office of the Secretary of State. On 1 January 1935, the ministry was merged with the Prussian Ministry of Agriculture, Domains and Forestry, founded in 1879. In 1938 it was renamed "Reich and Prussian Ministry of Food and Agriculture". After the end of National Socialism in 1945 and the occupation, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture was established in 1949 as a successor in the western Federal Republic of Germany.


In March 1919, the Reichsernährungsamt was the first to establish the "Reich Ministry of Food". This was combined with the Reich Ministry of Economics in September 1919 and re-founded during the Kapp Putsch in March 1920 under the name "Reich Ministry of Food and Agriculture". In the same year, the ministry moved into the Palace of Prince Alexander and Prince George at 72 Wilhelmstrasse in Berlin. From 1924, four large-format paintings by August Weber were on loan in the building, and since 1945 they have been lost.

After the Nazi's seized power on January 30, 1933, the ministry was initially led by Alfred Hugenberg. Coerced into resignation during June 1933, Hugenburg was succeeded by Kurt Schmitt and Walther Darré.[1] The latter took over on June 30, 1933 as "Reichsbauernführer" the management of the Reich Ministry of Food and Agriculture,[2] where he was in this function also created for the Gleichschaltung of agriculture Reichsnährstand. The Nazi Darré, took personal leadership of the official party apparatus belonging to the Agricultural Policy Office (from 1936 "Reich Office for Agrarian Policy", and then from 1942 "Reich Office for the country people"). The office was responsible for the management and supervision of the Reichsnährstandes.[3]

The RMEL, as it were, took over the state's supervision of the Reichsnährstand organization.[4] As a result, individual areas of responsibility were gradually transferred to other NS authorities. Thus, in 1934, by founding the Reich Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Reich Forestry Office under the leadership of Hermann Göring was established as the highest Reich authority for forestry and hunting, timber management, nature conservation and nature conservation.[5] The Reich Forestry was in turn united on January 1, 1935 with the Prussian State Forestry.[6] Goring's deputy and de facto head of German Forestry was Walter von Keudell, and then from 1937 Friedrich Alpers. Furthermore, in the years 1934 and 1935, the agricultural vocational and technical education were spun off into the Reich Ministry of Science, Education and Culture a directorate of the Reich Ministry of the Interior. On September 22, 1938, it also followed by decree of the Reich Minister, that all research institutes derived from the fishing industry would be collected in one Reich Institute for Fisheries.

Reich Minister[edit]

No. Reichsminister Took office Left office Time in office Party Cabinet
Robert Schmidt
Schmidt, RobertRobert Schmidt
13 February 191926 March 19201 year, 42 daysSPDScheidemann
Andreas Hermes
Hermes, AndreasAndreas Hermes
27 March 192010 March 19221 year, 348 daysCentreMüller I
Wirth I
Wirth II
Anton Fehr [de]
Fehr, AntonAnton Fehr [de]
31 March 192221 November 1922256 daysBBWirth II
Karl Müller
Müller, KarlKarl Müller
22 November 192225 November 19224 daysCentreCuno
Hans Luther
Luther, HansHans Luther
1 December 19224 October 1923317 daysIndependentCuno
Stresemann I
Gerhard Graf von Kanitz
Kanitz, GerhardGerhard Graf von Kanitz
6 October 19235 December 19252 years, 62 daysIndependentStresemann I
Marx I
Stresemann II
Marx II
Luther I
Heinrich Haslinde [de]
Haslinde, HeinrichHeinrich Haslinde [de]
20 January 192617 December 1926331 daysCentreLuther II
Marx III
Martin Schiele
Schiele, MartinMartin Schiele
28 January 192712 June 19281 year, 136 daysDNVPLuther II
Marx IV
Hermann Dietrich
Dietrich, HermannHermann Dietrich
28 June 192827 March 19301 year, 272 daysDDPLuther II
Müller II
Martin Schiele
Schiele, MartinMartin Schiele
30 March 193030 May 19322 years, 61 daysDNVP
Brüning I
Brüning II
Magnus Freiherr von Braun
Braun, MagnusMagnus Freiherr von Braun
1 June 193228 January 1933241 daysDNVPPapen
Alfred Hugenberg
Hugenberg, AlfredAlfred Hugenberg
30 January 193329 June 1933150 daysDNVPHitler
Richard Walther Darré
Darré, RichardRichard Walther Darré
30 June 193323 May 19428 years, 327 daysNSDAPHitler
Herbert Backe
Backe, HerbertHerbert Backe
23 May 194223 May 19453 years, 0 daysNSDAPHitler
Schwerin von Krosigk

State Secretary[edit]

Name Appointed End of Term Political Party
Ludwig Huber[7] 1920 1922 Independent
Carl Heinrici 1922 1923 Independent
Fred Hagedorn 1923 1926 Independent
Erich Hoffmann 1926 1929 Independent
Hermann Heukamp 1929 1932 Independent
Fritz Mussehl 1932 1933 Independent
Hans Joachim von Rohr 1933 1933 DNVP
Herbert Backe 1933 1944 NSDAP
Werner Willikens 1934 1945 NSDAP
Hans-Joachim Riecke 1943 1945 NSDAP


  1. ^ Hans Kehrl: Krisenmanager im Dritten Reich.
  2. ^ Horst Gies: NSDAP und landwirtschaftliche Organisationen in der Endphase der Weimarer Republik.
  3. ^ Rudolf Kluge, Heinrich Krüger: Verfassung und Verwaltung im Großdeutschen Reich.
  4. ^ Horst Gies: Die Rolle des Reichsnährstandes im nationalsozialistischen Herrschaftssystem.
  5. ^ Joachim Tauber u. a.
  6. ^ Joachim Radkau u. a.
  7. ^ Laut Register der historischen Berliner Städtebau- und Baudenkmale im Stadtbezirk Mitte.