Goebbels and the Disabled

By: A.C.

In this week of Disability Awareness & History, I am reminded of Goebbels, the Nazi Minister for Propaganda, for the Third Reich.  He was indeed a very strange man.

He measured around 5’ tall, had a club right foot which made his leg about 2” shorter than the other and along with his notorious resentful sensitivity to his height, this made other members of the Party call him the “ Poison Dwarf”. .

However that did not stop Goebbels laying the propaganda on thick enough to say that disabled people were not very productive, and as a consequence about 300,000 died in the gas chambers.   

The Holocaust Museum records the facts about disabled people here .

“On July 14, 1933, the Nazi government instituted the “Law for the Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases.” This law, one of the first steps taken by the Nazis toward their goal of creating an Aryan “master race,” called for the sterilization of all persons who suffered from diseases considered hereditary, such as mental illness, learning disabilities, physical deformity, epilepsy, blindness, deafness, and severe alcoholism. With the law’s passage the Third Reich also stepped up its propaganda against people with disabilities, regularly labeling them “life unworthy of life” or “useless eaters” and highlighting their burden upon society”.

This article at the BBC is even more forthright:

“The Nazis claimed that the social and economic problems that Germany experienced in the 1920s and early 1930s were due in part to the weakening of the population created by an unfair burden.  

Nazi propaganda in the form of posters, news-reels and cinema films portrayed disabled people as “useless eaters” and people who had “lives unworthy of living”. The propaganda stressed the high cost of supporting disabled people, and suggested that there was something unhealthy or even unnatural about society paying for this. One famous Nazi propaganda film, Ich Klage An (I Accuse), told the story of a doctor who killed his disabled wife. The film put forward an argument for “mercy killings”. Other propaganda, including poster campaigns, portrayed disabled people as freaks.”

We already know what these kinds of thoughts manifesting within Germany in the Third Reich, and backed by continual media propaganda, resulted in for hundreds of thousands of disabled people. That is simply factual history.

We should all be vigilant as to the lazy thought processes and ideas that are propagated by the media.

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