Disability and Propaganda

“Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position.

As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda, in its most basic sense, presents information primarily to influence an audience. Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus possibly lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or uses loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented.

The desired result is a change of the attitude toward the subject in the target audience to further a political agenda. Propaganda can be used as a form of political warfare.” Wikipedia



March 1914. Exhibition of the Reichsausschuss für Volksgesundheit (Reich Committee for National Health)

“Three-year old boy, deaf, crippled and completely idiotic. The nursing costs amounting to 8 Marks a day”,

Newspaper Article 1939.

“You have the duty to be healthy for the nation and the state”

Adolf Hitler, “Mein Kampf”, Vol. 1, Chapter 3

“It [Christian Social Party] recognized the value of large-scale propaganda and was a virtuoso in influencing the psychological instincts of the broad masses of its adherents.”

Victoria Brignell

“The Nazis claimed that the existence of disabled people weakened society’s ability to operate efficiently and that the social and economic problems Germany suffered in the 1920s and 30s were partly caused by the burden of supporting disabled people.”

Translation: 60,000 Reich marks. What this person suffering from is hereditary defects costs the People’s community during his lifetime. Comrade, that is your money too.


Translation: “Mentally ill Negro (English) 16 years in an institution costing 35,000 Reichsmarks”

A poster showing the belief that the “inferiority traits” are passed on more easily than “high value traits”.

Residents in an asylum. Translation: “Life only as a burden”.

Nazi propaganda slide contrasting how far 5.50 German Marks will go. The cost of feeding one person with a hereditary disease for one day is the same as it would cost to feed an entire family of healthy Germans.

Concentration Camp badges. The black triangle was used for sick and disabled people. The word arbeitsscheu means workshy.


Newspaper Article 2010

“Hundreds of thousands of scroungers in the UK are robbing hard-working Sun readers of their cash. They cannot be bothered to find a job or they claim to be sick when they are perfectly capable of work because they prefer to sit at home watching widescreen TVs – paid for by YOU.”

Newspaper Article 2010

SCROUNGERS who play the system to milk incapacity benefit will be placed on the dole and made to hunt for work, it emerged yesterday.

David Cameron

“…it’s maddening to know there are some people who could work but just don’t want to. You know the people I mean. You walk down the road on your way to work and you see the curtains drawn in their house. You know they could work, but they choose not to.”


Recent Daily Mail Article on cuts to benefits. “Feet up: Claimants will lose their disability benefits as the public spending cuts bite (Posed by model)”

BBC Article 26th October

“Three of Britain’s churches have accused Chancellor George Osborne of exaggerating the scale of benefit fraud in last week’s spending review speech.

Mr Osborne told MPs £5bn was unlawfully claimed in welfare payments every year.

But an alliance of three UK churches has pointed out that the government’s own fraud figures are far lower.

The Methodist and United Reformed Churches, and the Baptist Union, said the £5bn figure Mr Osborne quoted in his spending review speech wrongly depicted the poorest and most vulnerable in society as thieves

The report published by the DWP this month, entitled Tackling Fraud and Error in the Benefits and Tax Credits Systems, used figures which showed that, overall, £5.2bn is lost due to fraud and error every year.

However, those figures are then broken down again.

They show that around a third of welfare benefit over-payments, amounting to £1bn, are due to recipients committing fraud, with the remaining £2.2bn being due to genuine error on the part of officials or recipients.

There are more than £2bn worth of over-payments annually in tax credits, but the DWP report stated that most of that – 78% – was also due to error.

Overall, say the churches, the government’s own figures show that welfare fraud accounts for only £1.6bn. They questioned why the chancellor used an incorrect figure when laying out his spending review in the House of Commons.

The Revd Graham Sparks, who is head of faith and unity at the Baptist Union of Great Britain, said there was already wide concern over the cuts in spending.

“This misuse of figures to exaggerate the scale of benefit fraud only adds to the sense of injustice,” he said.”

DWP figures released 25th October:

For new ESA claims from October 2008 to February 2010, the breakdown is:

  • Support Group (for those who cannot work now or in the foreseeable future and need unconditional support) – 6%
  • Work Related Activity Group (for those who cannot work now but with the right help could work in the foreseeable future) – 15%
  • Fit for Work – 39%

  • Claim closed before assessment complete or assessment still in process– 39%

DWP Press Release 25th October:”Three-quarters of people applying for the new Employmentand Support Allowance programme (ESA) are being found fit for work after undergoing the Work Capability Assessment or stop their claim.”

Actual Percentage being found fit for work = 39%

Daily Mail Front Page 27th October:

I am emphatically not saying that the government, media, or any person within them are akin to Nazis.

Rather that propaganda is being used, with various levels of subtlety, and has been used for some time (by the previous Labour government too), to link the idea of sick or disabled people with being a financial burden on society, with being scroungers, with being workshy.

The government and the media are being selective in how they disseminate information.

This changes the attitude of the general public to the disabled, even if the comments are not specifically aimed at those who are genuinely unable to work.

Even when an article is talking about people commiting benefit fraud, it is again linking the idea of sickness with being workshy. Misleading headlines such as the Daily Mail one today makes the general public think that a very large percentage of people are pretending to be sick in order to claim benefits and live an easy life.

Resentment towards the disabled people in our society is created.

This then allows the cutting of disability benefits with little public outcry. (Compare outcry over cuts in child benefit to top 15% of earners, with limiting sickness benefits to 12 months, 20% cut in DLA, or removal of DLA to those in care homes.)

But it is likely to have other even less desirable effects, with the attitude of many members of the public to vulnerable sick and disabled people having been fundamentally altered. Disabled people are already more likely to be victims of violence or harrassment than non disabled. “Forty-seven per cent of disabled people have either experienced physical abuse or had witnessed physical abuse of a disabled companion” (Scope)

Additionally many disabled people already feel like a burden on society. And many feel scapegoated by the government and media campaign against benefit fraud. The campaign is affecting them, whether or not it is intending too. There are forums and groups springing up on the internet to allow people to share their stories and talk about their fears.

More information about the Nazi Euthanasia Program


“Artist and activist Liz Crow sat on the plinth in a crowded Saturday night Trafalgar Square on her wheelchair wearing full Nazi regalia to draw attention to a hidden history and the message it holds for us all today. Seventy years ago, the Nazis instituted their first official programme of murder. It targeted disabled people and became the blueprint for the Final Solution to wipe out Jews, gay people, gypsies and other social groups.” http://www.roaring-girl.com/resistance-on-the-plinth

At least 200,000 mentally or physically disabled patients, mainly Germans, living in institutional settings, were murdered in the so-called Euthanasia Program.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

New Statesman Article by Victoria Brignell

The Significance of the Black Triangle

53 thoughts on “Disability and Propaganda

  1. Pingback: Menschen mit Behinderungen im Nationalsozialismus – Diskriminierung von Rollstuhlnutzer*innen

  2. “I am emphatically not saying that the government, media, or any person within them are akin to Nazis.”

    Well I would.

    I’m sick of people invoking Godwins like smartarses, throwing their hands up in horror at the very idea that there is a similarity.

    The 3rd Reich was neither long ago or far away. Human evolution is a glacial process, we are not substantially different in our basic base of biology or neurology from them.

    We should all ask ourselves what we would have done in those circs, and what our politicians would have done. I have no doubt whatsoever that at least some of our current cabinet ministers would have gone along with it, quite possibly with enthusiasm.

    • it’s worth noting that I wrote this article 5 years ago, and I’ve changed my opinion since then. The tories have waged a campaign of hatred against disabled people that the nazis would have been proud of.

  3. Pingback: Memorial for Nazis’ disabled victims | 1voice.org.uk

  4. The “Big Lie” exposed – that the disadvantaged are permitted to exist only by the generous discretion of powerful elites. Whereas the truth is the exact opposite.

  5. Thousands and thousands of foetuses who are suspected of being disabled are still being murdered today all over the world. It’s just called abortion and is legal and is carried out by professional men and women in white coats. And it is the most heinous kind of Disability Discrimination aka Ableism that there is!

  6. First they came for the Communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Communist.

    Then they came for the Socialists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    Then they came for me,
    and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Niemöller created multiple versions of the text during his career. The earliest speeches, written in 1946, list the Communists, incurable patients, Jews or Jehovah’s Witnesses, and civilians in countries occupied by Nazi Germany. An English translation of Niemöller’s speech for the Confessing Church in Frankfurt on 6 January 1946 states:[1]

    When Pastor Niemöller was put in a concentration camp we wrote the year 1937; when the concentration camp was opened we wrote the year 1933, and the people who were put in the camps then were Communists. Who cared about them? We knew it, it was printed in the newspapers.
    Who raised their voice, maybe the Confessing Church? We thought: Communists, those opponents of religion, those enemies of Christians – “should I be my brother’s keeper?”
    Then they got rid of the sick, the so-called incurables. – I remember a conversation I had with a person who claimed to be a Christian. He said: Perhaps it’s right, these incurably sick people just cost the state money, they are just a burden to themselves and to others. Isn’t it best for all concerned if they are taken out of the middle [of society]? — Only then did the church as such take note. Then we started talking, until our voices were again silenced in public. Can we say, we aren’t guilty/responsible? The persecution of the Jews, the way we treated the occupied countries, or the things in Greece, in Poland, in Czechoslovakia or in Holland, that were written in the newspapers
    I believe, we Confessing-Church-Christians have every reason to say: mea culpa, mea culpa! We can talk ourselves out of it with the excuse that it would have cost me my head if I had spoken out.

    In a system known as Resource Based Economy where all our basic needs were met without the use of money,credit,barter or any other form of debt or servitude our behaviours would be so different than they are currently. It is our environment that dictates our behaviour and that is learned form the culture/society in which we are born/brought up.

    For further research could I suggest, http://www.scribd.com/doc/144266206/The-First-Civilization-v2, for those are actually interested in resolving the many problems that human beings face and will face.

    • This is the best of the many blogs I have read on this subject. The blogger’s decision to focus on propaganda, rather than detailed but emotionally loaded, controversial, comparisons, is a good way of avoiding immediate condemnation by “Godwin’s Law.”

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  9. Using a slippery slope argument is also propaganda, and it’s lazy analysis. No one with sense will respect your position if the best you can do is compare cherry-picked media from non-dictatorships to cherry-picked items from dictatorships, and imply “See? They are the same!” They aren’t the same, for the very simplest of reasons – the difference in motives between the two.

    • If you kill disabled people because you don’t like them and want the money used to help them live for something else, like the nazis, you’re a cunt.

      If you don’t like disabled and want their money to go somewhere else, resulting in them having a harder life that ends prematurely in death, like the Tories, you’re a cunt.

      Motives can differ hugely, it’s the end results that define you.

  10. Pingback: Cameron & co will use even the Paralympics against disabled people | skwalker1964

  11. If you strip out the “still in process” claims and the ones that have been dropped the figure is actually 65% – two thirds rather than three quarters – of the rest. (Why would you include the “still in process” claims in your summary if you want to give an accurate picture?) DWP may have added in the dropped claims in their “fit to work” summary figure – why would someone drop their claim if they’re genuinely unfit to work, they would not unreasonably assume – although it’s odd that this isn’t listed separately.

    • “WP may have added in the dropped claims in their “fit to work” summary figure – why would someone drop their claim if they’re genuinely unfit to work, they would not unreasonably assume – although it’s odd that this isn’t listed separately.”

      Why would someone drop their claim?

      Because many conditions are self-limiting, such as curable illnesses and injuries from which you can recover. In other words, people get better. And once they are better, they no longer claim, which is as it should be.

      Claiming this (as Grant Schapps or whatever name he’s using now did) as evidence of workshy malingerers dropping the claim before the DWP susses them out is positively fraudulent.

      • Oh, and quite a few people with incurable conditions will have died of their conditions before their claims are fully processed. More and more, in fact, as delays and cock-ups become more frequent.

  12. A lot of those people who complain about disability benefit claimants ‘costing taxpayers money’ wouldn’t dream of calling them a burden to the state or something – you have very clearly and succinctly pointed out that they amount to the same thing. The rise in hatred towards disabled people is absolutely the most appalling thing that has happened as a result of this government’s policies.

  13. To think if the Nazis won WWII regardless of having a German last name, i would be sent to concentration camp makes me all the more happy and thankful to god that I am born and live in one of the greatest free nations in the world.

      • That is misleading. The Nazis were defeated, largely by the Soviets and the RAF. But after the War the Americans selected certain Nazi scientists for exemption from prosecution and transfer to the USA, for the Cold War. To distinguish them, paperclips were put on their dossiers, hence the name. The most famous was Wernher von Braun.

        • Bullshyte. The NAZI’s were defeated as a consequence of massive American bombing campaigns and the Normandy invasion. Germany was split along two fronts, East with the Russians and the West with Americans, respectively kicking their arses. The Germans in North Africa and Sicily reeled from American forces, as Britain was clearly logistically wasted. Were it not for the Lend-Lease program providing help to the allies, and in particular, Britain, you would not have had the logistic support to continue in an effective manner whatsoever. The greatest asset Britain provided was intelligence, a la Bletchley Park, and supportive roles in bombing campaigns, but the Yanks took the greatest heat during their missions over Germany. To conflate these efforts is to rewrite history. Now go drink your tea.

  14. it is a ‘fact’ [there are many written records incl. letters to the press, by prominent Nazi’s enthusing about this…] Hitler’s Nazi Govt. Admired & emulated the ‘compulsory sterilization’ & other ‘ eugenics based laws enacted throughout the USA prior to WW1..in I think 37states! & then when you think about it…it was ‘Edward Bernays’ who was paid by ‘corporate usa’ to ‘influence the public opinion back in the 20’s to get rid of the ‘social stigma’ of ‘ladies smoking in public’ [i smoke & i am disabled from an accident i was in on my way to work…so don’t know where they’ll place me..ha ha! plz take that in context with the following], he paid some ‘high class debutantes’ to join an ‘annual parade’ & they were at a given point to light up…he then rang the papers to tell them that he knew that ‘some suffragettes were planning a protest by lighting their ‘torches of freedom’..usurping the legitimacy of that movement also…thus was born ‘propaganda’ aka ‘public relations’ & ‘madison ave’…we have been force fed their PR ever since….strange when you know that he [Bernays] was the nephew of Sigmund Freud…who eventually because he had ‘friends in high places…the british govt…was allowed to enter this country…when there was a ‘complete ban’ on ‘immigration’ from germany on the grounds of ‘race,religion,etc…’But Freud had these friends and so was allowed to come here, he was of course jewish…..fast forward the GB 2011 & that ‘model of ethics’ we all pay for…the BBC & there recent showing of a documentary filmed at ‘Dignitas’ in Switzerland…? enter ‘predictive programming’ perhaps? Certainly in the propaganda spilling from all the main stream media there is more than a hint of ‘neuro linguistic programming’…but the general public can’t or won’t see it…as Himmler said…’when a govts. actions’ are something, so repugnant & vile, they will refuse to believe that it is true, let alone being carried out’ & by the time they realise that they were wrong, far too late to do anything about it…indeed it becomes the ‘accepted norm’!

    It is because we so consistently refuse to learn from our history…that we are condemned to repeat it! I am quoting someone there…can’t just remember who [due to a severe head injury also sustained in that accident on my way to work….!], at the time I am writing this….but an axiom if ever there was one eh? then there’s the old saying ‘1st they came for the ‘activist’, but i was’nt an ‘activist’ so I did nothing….when they came for me…there was nobody left…’ So if the currently ablebodied & still employed middle ‘chattering class’ as the Daily Mail calls them…think they are immune to these ‘witch hunts’ to feign real action concerning the economy..distracting them with such methods as to the govts. total ‘corporate toadyisms’ & ‘handouts’ to their ‘real’ masters in the forms of ‘bail outs’ & ‘tax breaks’ & ‘complete obedience’ to those who may control the PR, next time an election is due…if there is a next time….News International were not the 1st to do it, nor more seriously the ‘only’ ones with such control & power where they should have NONE! If these people believe they are ‘safe’ from these heinous actions both by the govt. & the media…then I hope they don’t have any ‘unfortunate accidents’ on their way to work…& if they do…the ‘insurance they think they have to cover these ‘circumstances’ is sufficient to cover any of the devastating injuries they may sustain…I suggest they read their ‘small print’ in these policies…because many of them are only payable if you are ‘considered too disabled to work’ by the state & severely enough to be in receipt of ‘Disability Living Allowance’…which would be an awful ‘irony’! Do you not think…? thanks for letting me waffle on…I myself had no such insurance because I paid into the ‘states’ national health insurance…to cover any such ‘inability to work’….but I know people who do buy these policies….only when I point out that they ‘ain’t as covered’, protected as they think they are….they have ‘serious words’ with their ‘financial advisors’ & have cancelled their ‘not so protective insurance’…when I say ‘financial advisors’ I do of course mean ‘flim flam/snake oil salespeople’! yours perpetually awaiting that particular irony…which i hope never to live long enough to be witness to…..but I refer you to the statement I stole from ‘someone’ above! xxx

    • I agree about insurance. Paid mine faithfully till I ended up in hospital for a while. I should’ve been given so much per night I was in hospital, but by the time I got out I was past the “time window” given. I was supposed to notify them within so many days of admission, but, due to not being able to post of the form I couldn’t send for from my hospital bed; and not being able to send an estimated discharge date, I was turned down when I informed them I had been in hospital. (Never again!)

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  19. Good post.

    Being picky I am a little uncomfortable with the comparison between the outcry against Chb removal and disability benefit reform. Although papers such as the telegraph have made a fuss about the Chb thing other papers have beenin favour of it. In my experience the public very much support the Chb change and are concerned about benefit reforms… I’m not sure there has been an outcry against the Chb reform and putting a reference to it here does rather infer the attitude that I have encountered – the middle class whiners who can afford to give more, which doesn’t tally with the reality of the cut – that it will be inflicted unfairly and with no consideration of means (only income) which with badly affect larger families who have much higher living costs and need higher incomes. Also since it is imposed through the income tax system it will not affect the very wealthy just wage earners.

  20. Pingback: Atos Macht Frei – That Censored Carer Watch Post Revealed! | Black Triangle Campaign

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  22. Pingback: Couldn’t agree more | Dh19612002's Blog

  23. Good article! Have you also noticed how the media has been getting the bleeding heart liberals into the idea of euthenasia, with all that “right to die” bollox? Insidious.

  24. Pingback: Atos Mach Frei – Atos Origin Team Up With Gas Chamber Firm! | the void

  25. The German nation started to get nervous about their soldier husbands and sons who came back from fighting as amputees and psychologically disabled people. They suspected they would be killed according to the Nazi doctrine of eliminating those “whose life was not worth living.”

    By the way, 2.5 million Germans were all chased back to Germany after the war. They were robbed, raped and murdered after the war by the nations they had lived in.

    You get back what you give.

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  28. As a footnote on the nazi stuff the T4 programe which the nazis introduced had non medical people assesing disabled people for the gas chamber this was the forerunner for the future of the nazi programe of genocide.
    Today disabled peoples benefit entitelment is assesed by a computer programe where physiotherapists, nurses and retired or foreign doctors (most good doctors fear their credibility so do not want any part of this) hence using physiotherapists and nurses ticking boxes on a set of questions that appear on the screen
    clearly flawed as the rate of appeals has shown and a frightening parralel to the nazi system.
    Although not directly a life and death situation a person with no understanding of the claimants medical details or history relies on a computer to decide if enough points have been scored to allow a certain benefit, theese benefits can severly affect a persons quality of life and there wellbeing and health and in the future if DLA is put through this process their idependance. but the media would have you belive that it is a great sucess !

  29. Fab! Alarming to see it all laid out so clearly. We don’t have a Nazi government, but there needs to be dissent now, to stop us heading in that direction.
    What’s shocking is how powerful the propaganda is. Distrust in the media is at an all time high, yet many people (many of whom believe in the welfare state) have come to believe that the ‘crisis’ in the UK is due to the fecklessness of the poor rather than the recklessness of the rich.

  30. Pingback: The Political Propaganda War On Disablity. « Dawn Willis sharing the News & Views of the Mentally Wealthy

  31. Pingback: Comparing propoganda in modern UK with that of Nazi Germany « Stuartsorensen’s Blog

  32. What a powerful comparison. Thanks for that – really pertinent in modern UK and elsewhere too. When we start describing people only as financial burdens we really are on a very slippery slope.



  33. Pingback: Thanks to Richard « politically correct and proud of it

  34. Pingback: MindInFlux on Disability and Propaganda! « Dawn Willis sharing the News & Views of the Mentally Wealthy

  35. Fabulous blog – I am going to a meeting shortly in which the head of diversity from ITV will be attending. I would really like to print out and use this blog as I think it is an excellent representation of the current media portrayal of the disabled. Would that be ok with you? 😀

  36. Very powerful stuff. Have you ever looked at the psychiatry was abused in such places as the Soviet Union? The Soviets used the disipline as a political weapon to imprison people deemed to be enemies of the state.

    • It wasn’t just the USSR either. Although not used (so far as we know) for political purposes in the West, people were used as guinea pigs – “Lets give them some LSD & see what happens” etc. People were also sectioned in the UK for all kinds of inadequate reasons, getting pregnant when unmarried for example. The powers given to staff in psychiatric institutions were pretty much dictatorial & once you were in there you could be sedated & treated without your consent as you’d lost all your rights.
      For the situation in the US, just watch “The Changeling”, where a mother whose kidnapped son is returned to her realises he is an impostor. The police decide she is just being a hysterical woman, so she is sectioned & drugged merely on the word of a police officer. The film is an amalgamation of a couple of stories from the time, but the sectioning did happen. There were also experiments done during the 1950s on brainwashing, though not many details have emerged so far. Never give such arbitrary power to individuals . . .

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