Chapter

Potatoes: Pests, Plant Breeding, and the Growth of the Nazi State

Tiago Saraiva

in Fascist Pigs

Published by The MIT Press

Published in print October 2016 | ISBN: 9780262035033
Published online May 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780262335706 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/9780262035033.003.0004
Potatoes: Pests, Plant Breeding, and the Growth of the Nazi State

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The chapter deals with the role of potatoes bred at the Imperial Biological Institute (Biologische Reichsanstalt - BRA) in the Nazi Battle of Production. It highlights the importance of research at the BRA for the seed cleansing of the Nazi years, with thousands of varieties eliminated from German fields, enforced by the Imperial Food Estate (Reichsnährstand - RNS), the institutional form of the ideology of Blood and Soil and the mammoth Nazi organization responsible for organizing the peasant world. The research dynamics at the BRA aimed at coping with the multiple pests afflicting German potato fields (wart, Colorado beetle, late blight, viruses) is put in relation with the growing infrastructure of the RNS, in an exemplary case of co-production of science and the state: each new experimental system at the BRA corresponded to an expansion of the power and reach of the RNS

Keywords: Potatoes; Late Blight; Viruses; Biologische Reichsanstalt (BRA); Reichsnährtstand (RNS); Imperial List of Approved Varieties

Chapter.  10149 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political History

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