Born in Georgia, Backe was named Minister of Food in May 1942 and Minister of Agriculture in April 1944. He replaced Walther Darré who was dismissed. He continued to hold that position up to the last days of World War II. During the war, Rosenberg proposed Backe as administrator of Ukraine’s Reichskommissariat. In 1941, he set up the so-called “Hunger Plan” that led to starvation and death of 30 million Russians to the benefit of the German people and army. In Leningrad alone, the blockade implemented by Backe caused the death of 600,000 people. Captured by the Allies after the war, he could not be judged in Nuremberg as he committed suicide before his trial. He hanged himself in his cell on April 6, 1947.
Smelser, R., Syring, E., Zitelmann, R., 1999, “Herbert Backe – Technokrat und Agrarideologe”, Die braune Elite 2, Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, pp. 1-12.