The Hunger Plan


Bureaucrats and armchair perpetrators: Ministries and departments of the Nazi power structure

Tens of Millions of People Starve

Herbert Backe, Secretary of State for Nutrition, designed the Hunger Plan for the Soviet Union, spring 1941

Sinaida B.

Famine in Kharkov

Sinaida B. tells of the first few months of German occupation.

The Reich ministries had been concentrated around Wilhelmstraße since the Kaiserreich. During the Nazi era, it was here that the ministry officials planned the war of aggression, exploitation and extermination. In 1941, undersecretary Backe from the Ministry of Nutrition introduced the Backe-Plan: In order to not have to feed the occupying forces from Germany, millions of Soviet citizens had to starve.

Other agencies worked on the Generalplan Ost. It planned the Germanisation of Eastern Europe and enslavement of the Polish and Soviet population.


Wilhelmstraße 75/76
10117 Berlin


S/U Brandenburger Tor


“Wilhelmstraße”: Bundesarchiv, photo 212-053 / Ugo Proietti (1); Hansgeorg Trurnit (Ed.): Das neue Berlin. Stadt der Olympischen Spiele, Berlin 1936 (2-4), Collection of the Berliner Geschichtswerkstatt (5)

“Tens of Millions of People Starve”: National Archives Nuremberg, KV-Anklage Dokumente Photokopien PS 2718 (text); Bundesarchiv, photo 183-J02034 / CC-BY-SA (photo)

“Famine in Kharkiv”: Interview with Sinaida B., 2005, Online archive “Forced Labor 1939-1945”, za465