Thursday 3 May 2012

NAZI Treatment of the Disabled

(Image description: 1930's NAZI poster of an invalid and a carer towering over him. The text reads in German, "60,000 [Marks] kostet dieser Erbkranke die Volksgemeinschaft auf Lebenszeit [.] Volksgenosse das ist auch dein Geld"; this translates as, "60,000 [Marks] is the cost to the national community of this genetically defective person over a lifetime [.] Member of the people that is your money".)

Around the time of National Holocaust Memorial Day I posted the following on my facebook page:

"The ConDems began a huge propaganda campaign against mentally and physically disabled Brits. They did not fit into the Neo-Liberal stereotype of the pure hard-working family, that is physically fit with an obedient mind to serve the economy." This is a quotation I have taken about the NAZI era and replaced the words in bold type with those relevant to the situation that is current in the United Kingdom, especially England.

"A DOCTOR yesterday likened the UK Government’s welfare reform crackdown on disabled people to the “barbarism” of the NAZIS." The Scottish Sun  Having some understanding of what occurred under the NAZIs and seeing parallels with today, I posted this quotation with link on my facebook page yesterday, only to receive the following (edited) response:

"Doctors come in all shapes and forms Colin. This one sounds a bit like [a] nutter... Whatever your feelings about the government's welfare reforms, it's hard to compare them with Nazi policies of the 1930's. Nobody is sending anyone to gas chambers - they're simply making sure only the genuinely disabled stay on benefits. It's like they keep telling us, we're all in it together - and that includes the sick, lame and lazy!"

I am quite shocked that in this day and age an intelligent person (from a minority to boot) has so little knowledge about history or what is going on here in Britain, despite my very regular facebook updates.

"Most of us are familiar with the words of Pastor Neimoller, but we are much less familiar with the true origins of the holocaust. The first victims of the Nazi holocaust were the 'anti-socials', mostly disabled people... Marked with a black triangle, labelled as 'useless eaters' and an economic drain, the Nazi's learnt how to exterminate other human beings by experimenting on these vulnerable people with Zyklon B gas, techniques that would later be refined in order to commit the mass murder of millions of people." Benefit Scrounging Scum

"The Nazis began a huge propaganda campaign against mentally and physically disabled Germans. They did not fit into the Nazi stereotype of the pure Aryan, that is physically fit with an obedient mind to serve the Reich. [Recognise this? If not, see above!] In addition, they were viewed as a burden on society, as they were unable to work and drained resources from the state.

As early as July 1933, the Nazis passed a law that allowed forced sterilisation of 350,000 men and women, who were deemed likely to produce 'inferior' children.
Between 1939 and 1941 a programme of euthanasia (so called ‘mercy killing’), ordered by the state, led to the murder, by doctors and medical staff, of at least 70,000 people." The Holocaust Explained
"The Nazi campaign started by targeting not the Jews but disabled people. They where quietly gassed in the first experiments with Zyklon B, these people were comparatively low in numbers, were less likely to be missed, could not speak up for themselves, and had no-one to speak up for them.

Then after a large propaganda campaign that tapped into the populations anger about the country['s] economic state, the murder of millions began, long standing prejudice's like.......
"they think the world owes them something"
"They are a drain on the country's limited resources"
"they do not work so they are worthless"
"It would be kinder not to mention cheaper to kill them, preferably at birth"
......Are stomach turning yet they are statements I hear from people and politicians every day. Maybe not put quite as frankly or bluntly as that but the underlining argument and sentiment is the same." Rabbi Debbie Young-Sommers

Here's a news item from April this year:

"Two medical ethicists connected to Oxford University are arguing in Oxford’s Journal of Medical Ethics that babies have no moral status, and can be killed because they are only “potential persons” rather than “actual persons.” They also argue that if a newborn is disabled, it can be killed.

The journal’s editor, Prof Julian Savulescu, director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, said in their defence, “The goal of the Journal of Medical Ethics is not to present the Truth or promote some one moral view. It is to present well reasoned argument based on widely accepted premises.” When asked about the threats made against the article’s authors, he casually categorised them as “fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society.”
The article, “After-birth abortion: Why should the baby live?”, was written by two of Prof Savulescu’s former associates, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva. They wrote:
“The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a foetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual … Both a foetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’. We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her … it is not possible to damage a newborn by preventing her from developing the potentiality to become a person in the morally relevant sense …
what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.”
And in the time-honoured philosophy of those who see life as purely a utilitarian matter, they conclude: “To bring up such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care.”"British Ethicists & Infanticide
The parallels are there plainly to see, if one is willing to open one's eyes and look and use one's ears to hear. Recently, a politician suggested that folk on benefits should not be permitted to vote. Meanwhile the Govt. has reclassified what is disability and has withdrawn benefits from some of the terminally ill, cancer patients and so on.
So you think these kinds of hate crimes couldn't happen today? Well, this very morrow I read this:

"A while ago, someone threatened Kaliya Franklin [a disabled activist] with the gas chamber. She's Jewish and disabled. They said they would gas her to death, it was what she deserved. Now that's a genuine threat." Sue Marsh

So, before anyone else tells me that what is going on today is nothing like what the NAZIs got up to, please go away and do some research, some reading and some pondering. It could be you next...


  1. When presented with the Nazi comparison, so many people make the mistake of looking at the full history of Hitler & co rather than with the Nazis at a comparable time in their power (ie just 2.5 years in). The propoganda and the targets are frighteningly similar, as is the apathy of the public.

    1. Thanks for your comment. My apologies for being so very tardy in responding.

  2. This is so right - my mother survived Nazi Germany, and she told me how it all began.
    Long before the camps and experiments, people who were "different" had their subsistence cut to the point that many simply starved. They were given useless tasks to perform to "earn" their pittance.
    It started, as you say, with the disabled and "defective" - and given how poor many Germans were due to the economic chaos in the country at the time, whipping up resentment was an easy thing to do.

    As Goebbels said, tell a big lie often enough and people will believe it. And because he controlled the media, that's exactly what happened.

    It's happening here and now - there are hundreds of thousands of people enduring lives of quiet desperation in this, the sixth richest economy on the planet. It is a national disgrace.

    1. Thank you for your comment and your recollection. Sincere apologies for taking so long to respond to you.