„Unsere besten Bauern verstehen manchmal unsere Worte schwer!“

Anspruch und Praxis der NS-Bodenpolitik im burgenländischen Bezirk Oberwart


  • Gerhard Baumgartner




Frustrated by their debts and out of opposition to the authoritarian Catholic government many protestant farmers in the district joined the illegal NSDAP after 1930. They hoped for debt-relief, subsidies and a land-reform program, hopes that were not to be fulfilled. After the ,Anschluß' in 1938 all large farms were declared „Erbhöfe“, i. e. to constitute impartible, unmortgagable property of the „Sippe“ - a revived germanic concept similar to a clan - within which the property was to go to the next male relative. This resulted in the immediate coll.i.pse of agrarian credit markets. In Burgenland - with its partible-heritage tradition - thousands of second- and later-born children left for industrial regions, causing a severe shortage of labour during harvest time. In many villages up to a 100 percent of the farmers signed up for the debt-relief programs, only to withraw their application for fear of the severe economic regulations that went with it. Small and part-time farmers did not qualify for the program. Although many manorial estates were taken over by the Deutsche Ansiedlungsgesellschaft (German Settlement Society) for land-reform purposes, the land was never distributed among farmers. Nazi agicultural policy did not - and as some authors claim never was really meant to - achieve its propagated goals, having been designed as a means to control agrarian production and adjust it to the needs of German military industry. Only mechanisation and enforced product specialisation had lasting effects on post-war agricultural developments.





Baumgartner, G. (1992). „Unsere besten Bauern verstehen manchmal unsere Worte schwer!“: Anspruch und Praxis der NS-Bodenpolitik im burgenländischen Bezirk Oberwart. Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaften, 3(2), 192–207. https://doi.org/10.25365/oezg-1992-3-2-4