Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Did Ian Duncan Smith say "Work Makes You Free"? a phrase found on the gates of German concentration camps.

The question is Did Ian Duncan Smith say "Work Makes You Free" a slogan that was in place above the entrances to the NAZI concentration camps.  If he did its a, shall we say unfortunate, use of phrase. The actual phrase used at the concentration camps was in fact "Arbeit Macht Frei" or Work Makes Free.

So lets have a look, in this video he says "Work actually helps free people".

Here's the moment repeated for clarity.

Iain Duncan Smith to press ahead with plans to cut support for disabled and chronically ill

"And this notion of the power of work to reclaim ‘degenerates’ was what the most powerful commandant of Dachau, Theodore Eicke, saw as the purpose of concentration camps before the war." 

Entrance to Auschwitz

"Entrance Auschwitz I" by Pimke - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 pl via Commons -

Arbeit Macht Frei inscribed on the main gate of Dachau concentration camp 

"Mead's solutions are controversial – being simultaneously draconian and costly. More than 2.5 million people in Britain on disability benefits, he says, is "way too high" and claimants must be forced into an activity"

"There's little doubt that Mead's thinking is becoming increasingly influential in the UK. Here, the coalition government's agreement talks of replacing welfare with workfare, where benefits will be "conditional" on a "willingness to work" – a direct lift from Mead's own work. On this visit to Britain the New York university academic was having dinner with the Conservative party's big thinker on policy, David Willetts(see below) , followed by breakfast with Cameron's poverty tsar and Labour MP Frank Field. He had also seen Steve Hilton, the prime minister's director of strategy."

"Such sentiments have a whiff of 1930s Germany, something the Twittersphere buzzed with when welfare secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: "Work makes you free" – the same words hung over the entrance to the Auschwitz concentration camp. "I have faced this accusation," says Mead. "Hitler was non-democratic, whereas work requirements claim a popular mandate. There is something wrong when because of fascism we have to solve every problem with freedom and benefits."
More here:

"When Iain Duncan Smith, secretary of state for work and pensions, stated in a recent interview that disabled people would be made free by working, it was presumably said without any sense of irony or history"
More Here:

David Willetts  (nothing related to this topic but gives a flavour of David Willetts)
"Willetts attributed this partly to the entry of women into the workplace and universities for the lack of progress for men. "Feminism trumped egalitarianism", he said, adding that women who would otherwise have been housewives had taken university places and well-paid jobs that could have gone to ambitious working-class men. He went on to say that "One of the things that happened over that period was that the entirely admirable transformation of opportunities for women meant that with a lot of the expansion of education in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, the first beneficiaries were the daughters of middle-class families who had previously been excluded from educational opportunities", he said. He said that "And if you put that with what is called 'assortative mating' — that well-educated women marry well-educated men – this transformation of opportunities for women ended up magnifying social divides. It is delicate territory because it is not a bad thing that women had these opportunities, but it widened the gap in household incomes because you suddenly had two-earner couples, both of whom were well-educated, compared with often workless households where nobody was educated".

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