Ohio GOP Congressional Candidate Dresses Up As A Nazi For Fun
Rich Iott is the Republican nominee for Congress from Ohio’s 9th District, running against Marcy Kaptur. He also happens to be a Nazi reenacter.
Iott, whose district lies in Northwest Ohio, was involved with a group that calls itself Wiking, whose members are devoted to re-enacting the exploits of an actual Nazi division, the 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking, which fought mainly on the Eastern Front during World War II. Iott’s participation in the Wiking group is not mentioned on his campaign’s website, and his name and photographs were removed from the Wiking website.
Iott says the group chose the Wiking division in part because it fought on the Eastern Front, mainly against the Russian Army, and not U.S. or British soldiers. The group’s website includes a lengthy history of the Wiking unit, a recruitment video, and footage of goose-stepping German soldiers marching in the Warsaw victory parade after Poland fell in 1939. The website makes scant mention of the atrocities committed by the Waffen SS, and includes only a glancing reference to the “twisted” nature of Nazism.
Iott told The Atlantic‘s Josh Green, “It’s purely historical interest in World War II,”and there are disclaimers on the Wiking website.
But disclaimers notwithstanding, the site’s discussion of the history of the Third Reich is oddly sanitized and presents the Nazi movement in Europe as in many ways an admirable and idealistic cause. “Germany,” reads the site’s history section, “headed a strong movement in Europe to actively campaign (politically and through warfare) against the ideals of Bolshevist Communism. This culminated in 1941, when the German armed forces were pitted against the very home of Bolshevism, Soviet Russia.”
Why would a politician with aspirations for national office do such a thing?
He told Green it was “a father-son bonding thing.”Click here for reuse options!
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