The Reichserbhofgesetz (Eng: land heritage law or the State Hereditary Farm Law of 1933) was a Nazi law to implement principles of blood and soil, stating that its aim was to: "preserve the farming community as the blood-source of the German people" (Das Bauerntum als Blutquelle des deutschen Volkes erhalten). A Greater Aryan certificate was required to receive its benefits, similar to the requirements for becoming a member of the Nazi Party (NSDAP).
Selected lands were declared hereditary, as an Erbhof, to pass from father to son, and could not be mortgaged or alienated, and only these farmers were entitled to call themselves Bauern or "farmer peasant", a term the Nazis attempted to refurbish from a neutral or even pejorative to a positive term. Regional custom was only allowed to decide whether the eldest or the youngest son was to be the heir. In areas where no particular custom prevailed, the youngest son was to be the heir. Priority was given to the patriline, so that if there were no sons, the brothers and brothers' sons of the deceased peasant had precedence over the peasant's own daughters. As peasants appeared in Nazi ideology as a source of economics and racial stability, the law was implemented to protect them from the forces of modernization.
Only about 35% of all farming units were covered by it. In theory, any farm of 7.5 to 125 hectares could be declared Erbhof, as the size needed to maintain a family and act as a productive unit; larger farms would have to be subdivided.
Richard Walther Darré, in accordance with his strong "blood and soil" beliefs, did much to promote it as the Reich Minister of Food and Agriculture and Reichsbauernführer.
- Richard Grunberger, The 12-Year Reich, pp 156-7, ISBN 0-03-076435-1
- Daniela Münkel, Nationalsozialistische Agrarpolitik und Bauernalltag p.116
- G.K. Galbraith, Hereditary Land in the Third Reich
- Jörn Eckert,Hans Hattenhauer Der praktische Nutzen der Rechtsgeschichte: Hans Hattenhauer zum 8
- "The Hereditary Farm Law (September 29, 1933)"
- David Schoenbaum, Hitler's Social Revolution: Class and Status in Nazi Germany, 1933-1939, p 164 Garden City, NY Doubleday, 1966.