Yesterday was Holocaust Memorial Day. I'm afraid we're heading that way again.

(449 Posts)
garlicblocks Mon 28-Jan-13 11:21:31

"It is estimated that close to 250,000 disabled people were murdered under the Nazi regime. Persecution of people with disabilities began in 1933, but mass murder commenced in 1939.

"The organised killing of disabled children began in August 1939 ... All children under the age of three who were suffering from conditions such as Down’s syndrome, hydrocephaly, cerebral palsy or ‘suspected idiocy’, were targeted. A panel of medical experts were required to give their approval for the ‘euthanasia’ of each child. In the first few months of the program this was usually achieved either by lethal injection or by starving the child to death. Many parents were unaware of the fate of their children, instead being told that they were being sent for improved care.

"The first experimental gassings took place at the killing centre in Brandenberg and thousands of disabled patients were killed in gas chambers disguised as shower rooms. Now that a fast and effective method of mass-murder had been developed it could of course be used to exterminate gays, Gypsies, political opponents and of course over six million Jews.

"Worryingly, in 2012 in Great Britain, Geoffrey Clark, a local government candidate for the UK Independence Party in a by-election in Gravesham, Kent posted this on his website:

"Consider compulsory abortion when the foetus is detected as having Downs, Spina Bifida or similar syndrome which, if it is born, will render the child a burden on the state as well as on the family."

"Although UKIP suspended Clark’s party membership when this hit the news, it was too late to cancel his candidacy. He came second to the conservatives with almost 27% of the vote."

What can we do about escalating persecution of the disabled and otherwise 'unproductive' people in the UK? Are we heading back towards forced sterilisation and murder?

garlicblocks Mon 28-Jan-13 15:15:56

Indeed there are, Katy smile Phew!

I fear we need a more concerted voice, though - and the internet does help, yes.

garlicblocks Mon 28-Jan-13 15:18:18

MmeL, did you visit the Useless Eaters website? It's slightly hard work - and there's one little bit I didn't like about abortion - but highly illuminating. The argument looks very clear to me.

Dawndonna Mon 28-Jan-13 15:19:08

I think I've joined the cast of Logan's Run.

garlicblocks Mon 28-Jan-13 15:20:30

It is wrong to use the Holocaust in this way, imo.

The Holocaust included the disabled, don't people get that? It was all part of the same programme, to eradicate "defectives". It was sold to the country as economic sense.

Cailleach Mon 28-Jan-13 15:21:11

Most ancient societies practised infanticide for a fairly simple reason: if a person was unable or unwilling to contribute to that society they posed a direct risk to it. Ditto if they were just another mouth to feed when a family's resources wouldn't stretch that far.

It's all very well looking back and being horrified from the vantage point of the 21st century, with all its labour-saving devices, comfy heated homes and cheap and abundant food. Bear in mind that survival as a group when you had to grow / raise every scrap of food for yourself, ditto your heating-and-cooking wood, and make all your own clothes and utensils means that each and every member of that group has to pull their weight, or else - listen now please - the rest of the group suffers and is at risk.

Ancient peoples would not have understood keeping a disabled child alive, especially one with severe congenital conditions. To them that person would have taken up scarce and valuable resources that were desperately needed by the able-bodied.

The more adverse a climate, the more pressing the need to dispose of people that couldn't contribute to the group, which is why the Romans noted that various Northern European peoples even killed people considered lazy by the rest of the group.

What has changed that survival of the fittest mentality isn't so much religion but technology and birth control.

Harsh, but true.

DizzyHoneyBee Mon 28-Jan-13 15:21:45

"This time the dickheads are running the country though. Bit different."

I think you'll find that Hitler was running Germany....same situation then if you regard the current government as dickheads.

Kendodd Mon 28-Jan-13 15:23:39

At the risk of being torn to sheds-

I think disabled people should work and see absolutely no reason for them to be written of as not 'fit' for work. Most disabled people have a 'fit' mind, with the right help/support some of them can do great things and most of them can do ordinary things. Also, I think working/being busy, is massively beneficial to most people whether disabled or not and we are not doing people any favours just signing them off for a lifetime on benefits. I think this is rightly being addressed. Where all these jobs are going to come from, well, that's another question.

Also I agree that by comparing re-classifying people as fit to work with Nazism looses you any argument.

Nancy66 Mon 28-Jan-13 15:24:40

I agree wth MmeLindor - the holocaust comparison is crass and misguided.

Dawndonna Mon 28-Jan-13 15:27:29

Cailleach Then we became civilised.

The comparison with the holocaust is neither crass nor misguided. It's people that start shouting the comparisons that stop it happening again.

DolomitesDonkey Mon 28-Jan-13 15:28:49

I think you're mistaking one person's "rather strange" views to be representative of those of a nation.

I don't see us as a nation moving anywhere near the extermination of those with disabilities - that's quite a leap to have made!

Harriet35 Mon 28-Jan-13 15:32:11

Comparing cutting benefits to putting people in gas chambers is utterly asinine, and does not do the people complaining about the cuts any favours at all.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Mon 28-Jan-13 15:37:29

"The owners if the daily mail were hitler admirers and nazi sympathisers.
They don't like to advertise that fact, though."
Given the people you are referring to are dead, liking anything isn;t really an option for them.
if we're holding historical associations against people, though, no doubt you'll be swift to point out that Oswald Mosley at one stage felt his natural home was the Labour Party.

garlicblocks Mon 28-Jan-13 15:39:04

Unfortunately, Ken, your two provisos: "with the right help/support" and "where are all these jobs going to come from" are not theoretical issues.

The government withdrew funding from Remploy, the largest and most successful organisation that got disabled people into work, which has now had to close. DLA, which provides financial help for disabled people to get support, has been cut down and is being replaced with the much harsher PIP system. The Social Fund is being closed. "Help and support" are being cut off, not extended.

There are nine healthy people for every job vacancy (including unsocial and zero-hour jobs.) When signing on for JSA, people are required to state that they are fit for work. If they are not able to do a full-time job, they don't qualify for the benefit.

This happens even when the DWP has declared a disabled person "not disabled" and fit for work. The claimant would have to lie to get JSA, and will then have their benefit stopped if they can't manage full-time work activity, on the Work Programme for example. The consequent benefit gap is the reason for many of the recent suicides.

MmeLindor Mon 28-Jan-13 15:40:15

Ken
I see what you are trying to say - In Germany companies above a certain size have to employ people who are termed as 'disabled' to a certain degree. This can include disabilities ranging from partially sighted, to those with life limiting illness, even those with severe skin conditions. The governement basically forces companies to employ those who they normally would not because they require some assistance, or are likely to need time off due to doc appointments, or because they are sick.

I think that helping people back into work is a good thing - but then our government withdraws funding for Remploy.

Garlic
No,I didn't read the website. I don't think that it has relevance to what is happening in UK today, and think it is misguided and insulting to the survivors of the Holocaust to say insist that it does.

KatyTheCleaningLady Mon 28-Jan-13 15:41:42

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Can I come live in the lovely world that some users live in where being disabled doesn't attract abuse and where it's only a tiny minority treating disabled people badly? It sounds lovely! I much prefer it to this world.

Nancy66 Mon 28-Jan-13 15:42:14

Hilter was a mad man who hated everyone:

Jews
blacks
asians
disabled
the elderly
the overweight
homosexuals
gypsies

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Mon 28-Jan-13 15:44:24

"KKK, I disagree that recognising the systematic murder of a quarter of a million disabled people in any way devalues the memory of Jews, Gypsies and Blacks murdered under the same programme. What an odd thought."
You were not "recogniosing" (I think you probably meant "remembering") the urder of disabled people in the Holocaust. You were using it to make cheap points against those you disagree with politically. The more I think about this the more it disgusts me, frankly. There are plenty of battles I have to fight as the parent of a child with a disability and having to do so in association with people who makes points like yours pisses me off.

MmeLindor Mon 28-Jan-13 15:45:53

MurderofGoths
I am sure that abuse towards disabled people exists. I see enough on Twitter and FB to know that.

I still don't think it equated to the Holocaust, which was the planned extermination of several groups of society, including disabled but also jews, gays, Romany gypsies and anyone who disagreed with the Nazis.

KatyTheCleaningLady Mon 28-Jan-13 15:52:36

I know we were all shocked by that expose program that showed the abuse to residents in a care home. I think the problem is that the employees aren't exactly of the highest caliber and they're sort of bored and not given anything constructive to do because it's probably pretty much minimum wage work. Nobody is willing to pay for the quality of employee that we'd expect in a school.

It's sort of like the hospitals that starve the infirm. I would almost say that it's done deliberately. Not consciously deliberately but... well... that wrinkled old thing in the corner is just sitting there, taking up space and when one is already so very busy (due to staffing cuts) it's just so easy to let it go in that direction...

BreconBeBuggered Mon 28-Jan-13 15:55:58

Knowing how the Holocaust was allowed to happen by gradually dehumanising groups within society so as to eventually admit the notion of exterminating the 'enemy' is, I hope, what will prevent us going down that same path. We cannot afford to be complacent about how liberal and caring we think our society actually is.

LaVolcan Mon 28-Jan-13 15:58:23

I still don't think it equated to the Holocaust, which was the planned extermination of several groups of society, including disabled but also jews, gays, Romany gypsies and anyone who disagreed with the Nazis.

Hitler didn't come in 1933 and say 'Right, I'll kill all the Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals etc...' The point the Useless Eaters website makes,(and the link I gave earlier to the BBC history site), is that this was a slow insidious process. Unless we are vigilant, it could happen again.

MmeLindor Mon 28-Jan-13 15:59:16

This idea that the Holocaust was allowed to happen by the gradual erosion of resistance -- you do realise that there was something else that happened at the same time?

The Nazis developed a system, they had a plan. It was not the work of one madman, that is far too simplistic. But it was also not a drifting of opinion.

Mme I agree that it doesn't equate to the Holocaust. I was mostly responding to the posters who seem to think abuse for the disabled is minimal.

I do however think that some of the tactics used to marginalise the disabled are very like those used by the Nazis.

MmeLindor Mon 28-Jan-13 16:02:22

Yes. LaV but this idea assumes that at the end of our drifting, another Hitler will come along and take advantage of our weak will.

Does anyone really think that there is a danger of this happening? That the UK, and indeed the world, would stand by and let it happen? When a statement made now is being read in Seattle, in Sydney and in Moscow within seconds of it being published on the internet.

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