Herbert Backe
Herbert Backe was a German
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 politician and Obergruppenführer
Obergruppenführer was a Nazi Party paramilitary rank that was first created in 1932 as a rank of the SA and until 1942 it was the highest SS rank inferior only to Reichsführer-SS...

 in the SS
The Schutzstaffel |Sig runes]]) was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Built upon the Nazi ideology, the SS under Heinrich Himmler's command was responsible for many of the crimes against humanity during World War II...


Backe was born in Batumi
Batumi is a seaside city on the Black Sea coast and capital of Adjara, an autonomous republic in southwest Georgia. Sometimes considered Georgia's second capital, with a population of 121,806 , Batumi serves as an important port and a commercial center. It is situated in a subtropical zone, rich in...

, Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

, the son of a trader. He studied at the Tbilisi Gymnasium (grammar school) from 1905 and was interned on the outbreak of World War I as an enemy alien. He moved to Germany during the Russian Civil War with the help of the Swedish Red Cross and studied at the University of Göttingen. He joined the Nazi Party in February 1925.

He performed a variety of duties in the Third Reich
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

, the most notable of which was succeeding Richard Walther Darré as Minister of Food in May 1942 and as Minister of Agriculture in April 1944, and, during the war, was proposed by Alfred Rosenberg
Alfred Rosenberg
' was an early and intellectually influential member of the Nazi Party. Rosenberg was first introduced to Adolf Hitler by Dietrich Eckart; he later held several important posts in the Nazi government...

 as administrator of Ukraine
Reichskommissariat Ukraine
Reichskommissariat Ukraine , literally "Reich Commissariat of Ukraine", was the civilian occupation regime of much of German-occupied Ukraine during World War II. Between September 1941 and March 1944, the Reichskommissariat was administered by Reichskommissar Erich Koch as a colony...

. Backe was one of the orchestrators of the Hunger Plan
Hunger Plan
The Hunger Plan was an economic management scheme that was put in place to ensure that Germans were given priority over food supplies, at the expense of everyone else. This plan was featured as part of the planning phase of the Wehrmacht invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941...

, the plan to starve millions of Slavs
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

 in order to ensure steady food supplies for the German people and troops. According to the historian Timothy Snyder
Timothy Snyder
Timothy D. Snyder is an American professor of history at Yale University, specializing in the history of Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the Holocaust...

 Backe’s plan caused that “4,2 million Soviet citizens (largely Russians, Belarusians, an Ukrainians) starved by the German occupiers in 1941-1944.”

Backe was a prominent member of the younger generation of Nazi intellectuals who occupied second tier positions in the Hitlerian system, such as Reinhard Heydrich, Werner Best
Werner Best
Dr. Werner Best was a German Nazi, jurist, police chief, SS-Obergruppenführer and Nazi Party leader from Darmstadt, Hesse. He studied law and in 1927 obtained his doctorate degree at Heidelberg...

, and Wilhelm Stuckart
Wilhelm Stuckart
Wilhelm Stuckart was a Nazi Party lawyer and official, a state secretary in the German Interior Ministry and later, a convicted war criminal.-Early life:...

. Like Stuckart, who held most effective power in the Interior Ministry (officially led by Wilhelm Frick
Wilhelm Frick
Wilhelm Frick was a prominent German Nazi official serving as Minister of the Interior of the Third Reich. After the end of World War II, he was tried for war crimes at the Nuremberg Trials and executed...

) or Wilhelm Ohnesorge
Wilhelm Ohnesorge
Karl Wilhelm Ohnesorge was a German politician in the Third Reich who sat in Hitler's cabinet. From 1937 to 1945, he also acted as the minister and official of the Reichspost, the German postal service, having succeeded Paul Freiherr von Eltz-Rübenach as minister...

 in the Reichspostministry
- Imperial Reichspost :* The Imperial Reichspost was the name of the postal service of the Holy Roman Empire, founded by Franz von Taxis in 1495...

 (officially led by the conservative Paul Freiherr von Eltz-Rübenach
Paul Freiherr von Eltz-Rübenach
Peter Paul Freiherr von Eltz-Rübenach was Minister of Mail and Minister of Transport of Germany between 1932 and 1937....

), Backe was the de facto Minister of Agriculture, under Richard Walther Darré, even before Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 appointed him as such.

He continued to hold his Ministerial positions in the ephemeral government
Flensburg government
The Flensburg Government , also known as the Flensburg Cabinet and the Dönitz Government , was the short-lived administration that attempted to rule the Third Reich during most of May 1945 at the end of World War II in Europe...

 led by Admiral Karl Dönitz
Karl Dönitz
Karl Dönitz was a German naval commander during World War II. He started his career in the German Navy during World War I. In 1918, while he was in command of , the submarine was sunk by British forces and Dönitz was taken prisoner...

 in the last days of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, from late April to May 1945, as according to Hitler's political will
Last will and testament of Adolf Hitler
The last will and testament of Adolf Hitler was dictated by Hitler to his secretary Traudl Junge in his Berlin Führerbunker on April 29, 1945, the day he and Eva Braun married. They committed suicide the next day , two days before the surrender of Berlin to the Soviets on May 2, and just over a...

. After the war officially ended
End of World War II in Europe
The final battles of the European Theatre of World War II as well as the German surrender to the Western Allies and the Soviet Union took place in late April and early May 1945.-Timeline of surrenders and deaths:...

, he was captured by the Allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 together with the rest of the government, and was to face the Ministries Trial
Ministries Trial
The Ministries Trial was the eleventh of the twelve trials for war crimes the U.S. authorities held in their occupation zone in Germany in Nuremberg after the end of World War II. These twelve trials were all held before U.S...

. However, he hanged himself in his cell on 6 April 1947.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.