“Ergometer” Checks Pensioners (Jun, 1934)

“Ergometer” Checks Pensioners

DISPUTES between pensioners and government officials at Hamburg, Germany, as to their working capacities are now being settled by the “ergometer,” a machine which registers electrically the capabilities of different people for all sorts of work.
The queer machine is first adjusted to the height of the person.

A mask is adjusted over the face to meter the amount of air breathed in and out. The patient then cranks a device which records electrically the amount of work being done. From this reading a fair pension allotment can be found for any person. The machine will expose persons who claim disability when they are too lazy to work.

  1. Al says: March 3, 200910:21 am

    Put an exercise bicycle in place of the crank and you have a stress test machine as used in hospitals. Same basic setup – they measure respiration and capacities (and nowdays blood )2 sat and other measurements) against wattage out.

    Only in Germany…”ve haff vays of provink you are disabled…”.

  2. Thundercat says: March 3, 200910:41 am

    If people are just lazy and faking disability, don’t you think they would be too lazy to put their full effort into working this machine too?

  3. Gazzie says: March 3, 200911:35 am

    This article from 1934 is German propaganda. It wasn’t designed to root out deadbeats trying to obtain disability benefits. It was Hitler’s first fumbled attempt at mass murder. You strap on the mask, crank the handle and it pumps out Zyklon-B. Thus Hitler could deney the Holocaust by claiming these people committed suicide due to the Great Depression.
    I know, I know, my dark side is showing.

  4. Al says: March 3, 20091:16 pm


    This is why they were measuring the lung output. Easy enough to tell by graphing output vs. work input.

    Slackers vill not be permitted… 🙂

  5. Charlene says: March 3, 20092:52 pm

    Gazzie, you’re not as far off the mark as you might think. In Germany at the time, if you were too sick to work and in a public nursing home or long-term care facility, eventually you would have an appointment with carbon monoxide or Zyklon-B.

    Aktion T-4 killed not just the mentally disabled but also the physically disabled, the very old, and residents of public nursing homes and charity homes not run by the Catholic Church. Even severely injured soldiers from the invasion of Poland were murdered in this way.

  6. Baron Waste says: March 4, 20091:53 pm

    Actually, this does tie into the eugenics / “social engineering” mindset of the time. The resources of the State must not be squandered on the undeserving! All that’s needed is a scientific method of rooting out such anti-social slackers… And here we are.

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