The Experimental Station. Agricultural Research and Practice of the SS in Concentration Camps and Conquered Territories (1939-1945).

10/9/23 in Stralsund

Female prisoners of the Ravensbrück concentration camp performing forced labor during the construction of the DVA experimental estate Ravensbrück, around 1940/41., © SS-Album, Fotograf*in unbekannt. MGR/SBG, Foto-Nr. 1701.

The next dates:

  • Monday, Oct 9, 202317:30 - 19:00 clock
Lecture & Science

Picture lecture with Meggi Pieschel, admission: 9 Euro

The "Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Ernährung und Verpflegung GmbH" (DVA) was an agricultural research institution of the SS, which was strongly influenced by the ideas of the farmer Heinrich Himmler (1900-1945). With it, he wanted to build up his own agricultural complex that stood apart from party and ministry interests and pursued interests that were partly contrary to them. It possessed great importance in his agricultural policy planning and decisions for the territories to be conquered in Eastern Europe. Within its short existence, DVA at its peak included more than 40 farms in the German Reich and the Generalgouvernement and more than 100 farms in the occupied territories of the Soviet Union, providing good conditions for agricultural trials in areas with a wide variety of geographical, climatic and soil conditions. In addition to the experimental projects, DVA had equally contributed to independently supplying SS units in the conquered territories during the war.

Similar to other agricultural institutions of the German Reich, DVA was concerned with methods to promote self-sufficiency and went beyond. One focus was the comparison of different farming methods through practical research, including biodynamic and those using artificial fertilizers. Surprisingly, the study of the Biodynamic method continued after Rudolf Hess (1894-1987) flew to England in 1941, although it was now officially rejected and partly persecuted by the Nazi regime as an anthroposophical "secret doctrine."

The lecture summarizes the results of a research project funded over two years by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. In it, the institutional history of the DVA, including its relational structures within the polycratic ruling structure of the National Socialist state, was illuminated, as well as the numerous differently structured DVA enterprises. The largest of them were located in the vicinity of concentration camps and only functioned through the brutal exploitation of thousands of concentration camp prisoners, prisoners of war and forced laborers.

Ravensbrück Memorial and Remembrance Site

In 1940, the DVA also took over the estate of the former provincial sanatorium in Stralsund.

Picture gallery

Good to know

Event dates
  • Monday, Oct 9, 2023 17:30 - 19:00 clock
Event Location

Stralsund Clinic Church

Rostocker Chaussee 70
18437 Stralsund

Contact the organiser

Stralsund Academy for Garden and Landscape Culture

Kleiner Diebsteig 21
18439 Stralsund


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