ATOS and the Nazi Murder of the Mentally Ill


So many people now are struggling to support themselves after Atos has thrown them off invalidity benefit, that many see it as an organised attack on the very lives of the disabled themselves. If you read the comments to the Void’s posts about Atos, or those on Vox Political, you find the same thing said again and again: ‘I don’t think there will be any more people in a few years time, because Atos and the government will have killed us all off’. Some of the disabled people in the unemployment course I’ve been on have also said the same thing. People may phrase it differently, but the sentiment remains exactly the same: a feeling that the government is deliberately murdering the disabled as part of their welfare reforms.

The Nazi Euthanasia Order

The Nazi regime had a deliberately policy of murdering the mentally ill in its infamous ‘Euthanasia Order’. It was a secret decree passed by Hitler himself, and back dated to the 1st September 1939. It was implemented by Hitler’s personal doctor, Karl Brandt, and the Chief of the Fuehrer’s Chancellery, Philipp Bouhler. The major figure in the carrying out of this mass murder was Bouhler’s deputy, Oberdienstleiter Victor Brack. Brack was head of the Central Office, which handled, amongst other things, the requests for the ‘euthanasia’ of the incurably ill. Brack’s colleague in this was a Dr Hefelmann.

Brandt, Bouhler and their staff recruited a small group of doctors, who were in favour of euthanasia. These were then given membership of the Fuhrer’s Chancellery and granted promises of immunity from prosecution for their actions through Hitler’s secret decree.

The Reich Working Group for Asylums and Hospitals

The group and its intentions were strictly secret. They operated under the innocuous cover name of ‘Reich Working Group for Asylums and Hospitals’. Their real job was to select the programme’s victims. Under the Reich Health Leader, the former SS doctor Leonhardt Conti, and his subordinate Dr Linden, the head of Asylums and Nursing Homes in the health division of the Reich Ministry of the Interior, questionnaires were sent out, ostensibly for the registration of the sick in the Third Reich’s asylums.

The SS and the Gassing of the Disabled

The regime also set up a cover organisation from the SS transport fleet, The Welfare Transport Company for Invalids Ltd. Their duty was to remove the programme’s victims from their normal asylums to the institutions where they would be murdered. The main institutions for this were Hadamar in Hesse, Hartheim near Linz Grafeneck in Wurttemberg and Sonnestein in Saxony, where chemists from the Institute of Criminal Technology from the Reich Criminal Police Office tried out gassing them with carbon monoxide. The operation was financed through another cover company set up by the Fuehrer’s Chancellery, the Welfare Foundation for the Benefit of Asylums. Only about fifty people knew all the details about the programme. The directors of the asylums from which the victims were taken were only told that they had been transferred for special observation and treatment. The only Reich minister, who was directly informed by Hitler about the secret authorisation of the doctors was the head of administration in the Fuehrer’s Chancellery, Hans Lammers.

Opposition from Roman Catholic Churchmen

The euthanasia programme had to be abandoned in 1941 following opposition from the public, the legal system and the administration. The main opponent of the programme was the Cardinal Archbishop of Muenster, Count Clemens Galen. Galen was fiercely critical of Nazi racism, and had published a critique of The Myth of the Twentieth Century, by the Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg, in 1934. He publicly attacked the programme in a sermon. Regarding it as a crime, he informed the civil police. His condemnation of the programme was so effective, that it enraged Hitler and Goebbels had to advise the Fuehrer against ordering the Count’s arrest. Nevertheless, the programme had resulted in the medical murder of 70,000 people, by no means all of whom were ‘incurably insane’.

ATOS Not Physically Killing Disabled Like Nazis

However horrendous ATOS are – and they are deeply amoral and horrendous – they are clearly unlike the Nazi euthanasia programme. They do not have the ill and disabled taken away by a state operated private company and murdered in a secret institution, as was done under the Third Reich. The person assessed remains free. All that is done is that their benefits are removed. And at least in theory the most disabled individuals, who cannot work are still supported through benefits.

38,000 A Year Killed by ATOS’ and DWP’s Denial of their Benefits

Nevertheless, ATOS’ administration of the assessments has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths. ATOS have been set secret targets by the DWP to have a specific percentage of claimants thrown off benefits, a quota system that has been implemented across the system to cover people on Jobseeker’s Allowance. The number of people, who have died after their assessment by ATOS remains unknown. Ian Duncan Smith simply refuses to release the figures. Jaynelinney on her blog has estimated that it may be as high as 38,000 per year.

ATOS, DWP, Ian Duncan Smith and Esther McVie Refuse to Take Responsibility for Deaths Caused by Benefit Reforms

This indicates that the government is well aware of the number of deaths that have resulted, and are too ashamed or afraid of the public to release the true statistics. And while the system is not set up for the organised, physical mass murder of the unemployed, the government’s welfare policies are aimed at the removal of large numbers of them from government support, fully aware that for many this will result in their death. As they are not physically murdered, however, the government, the civil servants and ATOS employees and executives involved in the policies do not see themselves as responsible and so do not care.

This is disgusting and unacceptable. Although they have not physically killed anyone, the government’s benefit reforms have nevertheless resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Britain’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens. In this sense ATOS, the DWP under Ian Duncan Smith, the Disabilities Minister Esther McVie, and David Cameron and George Osborne are certainly responsible, and all the more so because they know it is happening and have done nothing to change the policy.

It needs to stop. And stop now.

Let’s hope the protests against ATOS tomorrow help turn public opinion even further against the administration and its lethal policies.


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15 Responses to “ATOS and the Nazi Murder of the Mentally Ill”

  1. pippakin Says:

    Reblogged this on Political Pip Spit or Swallow its up to You and commented:
    Exaggerated? Maybe but there is something seriously wrong when govt privatises unemployment, disability and even the approval needed for claims. Atos is a disgrace I think its employees have a kind of spiel which they have to repeat with each ‘client’ ticking/crossing as they feel appropriate but with no real expertise or interest in the person being subjected to such an invasion.

  2. rainbowwarriorlizzie Says:


  3. ATOS and the Nazi Murder of the Mentally Ill | ... Says:

    […] So many people now are struggling to support themselves after Atos has thrown them off invalidity benefit, that many see it as an organised attack on the very lives of the disabled themselves. If y…  […]

  4. stewilko Says:

    Reblogged this on stewilko's Blog.

  5. Mike Sivier Says:

    Reblogged this on Vox Political.

  6. hopsail Says:

    Reblogged this on hopsail.

  7. fkreid Says:

    It seems that so few people see what is happening: “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”. A paraphrase of the original quote but salient nevertheless.
    Only one criticism: The Minister for the disabled is called Esther McVey. (Often parodied as Esther McVile)

  8. jaypot2012 Says:

    Now that the grip of Atos is loosening due to the government blaming them for everything – it’s time to see that, as much as I despise Atos and everything it stands for, this is all part of a strategy to blame them instead of blaming themselves! It’s the WCA that is to blame, and that comes from the higher up ministers – IDS, Fraud, McVey etc.
    The DWP take their orders from IDS, they are set targets from IDS, they then give targets to Atos and other firms.
    The whole WCA should be scrapped and then IDS and co should be sacked and then brought in front of a judge for Crimes against Humanity!

  9. thelovelywibblywobblyoldlady Says:

    Reblogged this on glynismillward189.

  10. The Swans New Party Says:

    Labour brought in welfare reform and Atos back in 2005. Labour invented the Bedroom Tax.

    The Tories with Welfare Reform are killing the vulnerable just as they killed over 5 million with the Workhouse.

    The Naxis may indeed have learned their stock in trade from the report published by Engels on the working class and the workhouse in the 19th century?

    See my blog for one explanation why this is happening:

    The Swans

  11. Current Government are insane - Page 16 Says:

    […] […]

  12. elvis nixon Says:

    2 months and 2 days now,benefits stopped and awaiting tribunal date to hopefully sift throught the tissue of lies spun by Atos.Hungry,angry and certainly on a worse mental footing than I was before.

    • beastrabban Says:

      I’m really sorry to hear that, Elvis Nixon. As you’ve already read, you’re certainly not alone, and I wish you all the best for now and when you finally go before the tribunal. If you haven’t already, you might like to look at the some of the websites from which I’ve reblogged articles, and those of some of the commenters here, such as DPAC-Disabled People Against Cuts, and Jayne Linney, who’s a disability activist. They might be able to give you some further help and advice.

  13. Anne Says:

    I’m housebound myself and I am orders to travel 12 miles to the city centre to go for my medical I haven’t left the house in years and last time I was in the city was over 10 years ago I have asked for a home visit twice but refused they want you to go to their centres to trick you so they can say well you traveled here your fit to travel and that goes against you and what makes me even more mad the Atos boss got like a 3K pay rise a week and people are fighting to keep a couple of hundred a fortnight I’d like to see the Atos boys live like us for a few weeks take away his fat bank accounts and posh houses and clothes he wouldn’t cope like we have to every time I see Cameron on TV I think in Hitler as he is him I’m gonna fight again for my heart me visit and I’m gonna say to Atos so when are you gonna put me in the gas chambers and have done with it because that is what Atos and the DWP are all Nazies and Cameron in Hitler and his men even talked about bringing back workhouses so get ready to be thrown out your homes stripped of your belongings and put in to a work house

  14. Jeffrey Davies Says:

    Oh dear oh dear aktion T4 rolling along with out much of a ado. Yet now they once more back into power look out all you who are disabled mentally ill or sick they coming with more vengeance coming for you or I. In street near you

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