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Reichsnährstand plaque in Schleswig-Holstein

The Reichsnährstand (RNST) was a government body set up in Nazi Germany to regulate food production.[1]


The Reichsnährstand was founded by the Reichsnahrstandsgesetz (decree) of 13 September 1933;[2] it was led by R. Walther Darré.[3]

(Nährstand or "nourishing Estate" is the name schools usually and somewhat simplifyingly use for the Third Estate of Plato's Politeia and models influenced by it, together with Lehrstand "teaching Estate" and Wehrstand "defending Estate", which happens to rhyme in German.)


The Reichsnährstand had legal authority over everyone involved in agricultural production and distribution. It attempted to interfere in the market for agricultural goods, using a complex system of orders, price controls, and prohibitions, through regional marketing associations.[2]

The Reichsnährstand's argument that Germany "needed" an additional 7-8 million hectares of farmland, and that consolidation of existing farms would displace many existing farmers who would need to work new land, influenced Hitler's decision to invade the Soviet Union.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lovin, Clifford R. (October 1969). "Agricultural Reorganization in the Third Reich: The Reich Food Corporation (Reichsnahrstand), 1933-1936". Agricultural History. 43:4: 447–461. 
  2. ^ a b Wunderlich, Frieda (May 1938). "GERMANY'S DEFENSE ECONOMY". Quarterly Journal of Economics: 401–430. doi:10.2307/1884084. 
  3. ^ "Lexicon: Reichsnahrstand - RNS". Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  4. ^ "Food and warfare: Marching on their stomachs". The Economist. 3 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-14.