Parallels exist between nazi-era fit-for-work assessments and Atos



Letters Monday 12 November 2012

Tony Simpson objects to the cartoon which depicts victims of Tory welfare cuts being herded into an Auschwitz-style concentration camp by “SS guard” Iain Duncan Smith (M Star November 6).

Yes, Auschwitz victims were immediately assessed on arrival if they were fit for work. Those who were not – old people, children and the sick – were fast-tracked to the gas chambers.

The German for that procedure was called “the work capability assessment,” chillingly similar to the current activities of Atos.

Has Tony Simpson heard of the German word Arbeitsscheu? It means “workshy” and the English word is frequently used these days by sensationalist   Tory tabloids to viciously attack the unemployed.

The nazis also used it in their concentration camps to brand alcoholics, the homeless, asocial, mentally ill and disabled who were all made to wear a black triangle on their already degrading striped camp uniforms while being used as slave labour. Many were worked to death.

Nowadays there are an alarming number of Atos victims dying after being found fit for work.

There are also a disturbing number of suicides among the sick and disabled due to these ideological benefit cuts.

A British government document talked of “cleansing” one million benefit claims, so yes, the cartoon is justified, even if we are not yet in the gas chamber. Not yet, anyway.

Andrew Forsyth


‘Predictable reaction misses the crucial point ‘

Letters Tuesday 13 November 2012 

I was disappointed by Tony Simpson’s predictable response (M Star November 6) to the cartoon by Bluelou showing Iain Duncan Smith outside the Auschwitz death camp gates on top of which the familiar words “Arbeit Macht Frei” had been replaced by “Atos will set you free” (M Star November 3-4).

I feel no apology is due from Bluelou.

The message I take from her cartoon is one of the dangers of a lurch to the right.

This is a pertinent point, given that it was the conservative and nationalist politicians who facilitated Hitler’s rise to power.

Duncan Smith was not presented in the cartoon as “an SS type figure” as Tony Simpson claims.

He was dressed as a modern Conservative politician, in a sober dark suit and blue tie.

We need to get past the stock reactions to references to the nazis in commentary on modern politics and understand the lessons from history that the commentator is perhaps trying to point us to.

Peter Tajasque

London SW19


9 thoughts on “Parallels exist between nazi-era fit-for-work assessments and Atos

  1. Jonathan Marsh says:

    Governments and their arms-length deniable units usually copy or imitate ‘models;’ employed by regimes that they may have studied or, more likely, heard about. So much about the tabloids/government war on welfare relates back to the whole pseudo-science of agronomics, eugenics, volkisch zeitgeist very effectively marshalled by Hugenberg, politicians of that stamp and other moronic excuses for rational thought that were so de riguer under the gangster government of the dodgy moustachioed Austrian concrete fetishist. It didn’t end well last time, they were frequently told it wouldn’t but they never listened.
    Ring any bells? Why do you think politicians hate historians?!
    Trouble is so many Tory MPs see themselves as the Master Race. Das Herrenvolk. Her-Ren-und-Stimpy-Volk, more like!

  2. maureen says:

    The way the country is going ,I can see a Lottery prize for a 1 way ticket ,bed&breakfast -to Dignatas! Unecompanyed as (it will be cheaper ) Assisted suicide is illegal!!

    1. Aletheia says:

      I think so too. They are already culling the elderly by asking GPs to put them on the death lists for if they go in hospital, to give NIL by mouth. The disabled or sick babies are also to be prevented from surviving . The gov don’t even try to deny the fact it is a cost cutting exercise. Pure evil.

  3. jay says:

    It’s an emotional subject, how can it not be but anyone that knows their history has to admit there are some very alarming parallels between what is happening today that are similar to pre- WWII in Europe.

    What is required is hard facts, it has been stated that approximately 79 people are dying every week after being found capable of work after the Work Capability Assessment. These need to be documented and used as hard evidence against our Foli- ticians.

    Imagine if there were a train crash and 79 people died, would the media ignore it. Imagine if it happened two weeks in a row and then a third time. What an absolute outcry would result.

    Yet the result is the same, 79 people a week die after being declared fit for work in what is one of the richest countries in the world.

    For the government opposition to stand by and say nothing means the only conclusion that can be drawn is that the opposition are complicit in the actions of this bullying government.

    The cartoonist has no reason to apologise for his work, when the Con Dem government issue an apology and compensation for everyone that have been caused untold distress and harm by Atos/DWP and their WCA then I am sure he would happily do so.

    But until that day I shall continue to believe in flying pigs.

  4. Humanity2012 says:

    Very Spot On The National Socialist Regime Persecution of the Poor and the Vulnerable
    and under the Con Dems is much the Same Thing Cruelty

    It is All a Crime against Humanity and Diabolical

  5. Humanity2012 says:

    The Arrogance of the Millionaires Regime is Un Acceptable

    Never Again must there be a Tory Government

    We must Oppose Eugenics and Capitalism both Embodiments of Cruelty
    and Cancers upon Mankind

  6. jed goodright says:

    Can’t take the Morning Star and Tony Simpson seriously.
    He insults disabled people everywhere by his asinine comments. If he had any understanding of the workings of oppression he would be fighting our corner not placidly standing by ….

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