What year does Rich Iott think this is?

Rich Iott is the tea party-endorsed Republican nominee for congress from Ohio, and his favorite past-time seems to be playing dress up fetishist as a soldier in Josef Mengele’s Waffen SS division, re-enacting battles and living it up like it was 1943.(KINKY!) The Atlantic has more.

Iott, second from right.

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.

When contacted by The Atlantic, Iott confirmed his involvement with the group over a number of years, but said his interest in Nazi Germany was historical and he does not subscribe to the tenets of Nazism. “No, absolutely not,” he said. “In fact, there’s a disclaimer on the [Wiking] website. And you’ll find that on almost any reenactment website. It’s purely historical interest in World War II.”

[…]

“These guys don’t know their history,” said Charles W. Sydnor, Jr., a retired history professor and author of “Soldiers of Destruction: The SS Death’s Head Division, 1933-45,” which chronicles an SS division. “They have a sanitized, romanticized view of what occurred.” Sydnor added that re-enactments like the Wiking group’s are illegal in Germany and Austria. “If you were to put on an SS uniform in Germany today, you’d be arrested.”

[…]

The following part is most notable for the NS idiots from Eastern Europe, who apparently have no sense of history:

“What you often hear is that the [Wiking] division was never formally accused of anything, but that’s kind of a dodge,” says Prof. Rob Citino, of the Military History Center at the University of North Texas, who examined the Wiking website. “The entire German war effort in the East was a racial crusade to rid the world of ‘subhumans,’ Slavs were going to be enslaved in numbers of tens of millions. And of course the multimillion Jewish population of Eastern Europe was going to be exterminated altogether. That’s what all these folks were doing in the East. It sends a shiver up my spine to think that people want to dress up and play SS on the weekend.”

5 Comments

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5 responses to “What year does Rich Iott think this is?

  1. Arslan Amirkhanov

    First off his Tea Party involvement is the main issue, not the reenacting. Though I do know that many reenactors who do German impressions(Wehrmacht, Waffen SS) have either right-wing views or at least extremely romanticized views of their units. They often see Germany as the “good guys” on the Eastern Front at least. It’s a post-war version of the “Lost Cause of the Confederacy.”

    I am currently joining an airsoft reenactment team(American), and I sometimes eye the “Germans” with suspicion; their numbers are disturbing as well. But look at it this way, I get to shoot them with plastic pellets. And if nobody plays the Germans, who would we shoot?

    If you want to learn more about whitewashing the Eastern Front, I suggest you find the book Myth of the Eastern Front. Thanks for providing those quotes as well.

  2. Arslan Amirkhanov

    The thing is it’s hard to find anyone who does SS impressions that doesn’t over romanticize them. Let’s face it, they were well trained and well motivated, and even the US army based a lot of its strategy on information provided by ex-Wehrmacht generals. But still, one needs to keep in mind that even though the Waffen SS was nominally a combat organization, said organization is up to its elbows in war crimes, not to mention thousands of undocumented things. You have to remember that on the Eastern Front, German forces were allowed to do whatever they want. There was to be no prosecution whatsoever for any crime against the local populace.

  3. Arslan Amirkhanov

    BTW, Pat Buchanan has for a long time publicly expressed the “we fought for the wrong side” view of the Second World War. This is not surprising as even the European liberal establishment is re-writing the history of the war, claiming that all Europe was not “liberated” until the collapse of the USSR, as if someone in 1944 would have given a shit that it was the Red Army that liberated their country. People tend to forget that Communism was popular with millions of Europeans back then. But I digress…

    The point is, if the expansion of Communism in Eastern Europe as a result of the war is seen as such a terrible thing, it is only natural that right-wing people would gravitate toward the best anti-Communist fighters of all time- the fascists. In the same way that glorification of fascist collaborators in Eastern Europe led to the creation and explosion of an Eastern European Neo-Nazi movement, so has this idiotic view of WWII led to the widespread idea that the US fought on the wrong side.

  4. Arslan Amirkhanov

    I just thought of another positive point of his reenacting- perhaps his political campaign will be a spectacular failure, just like that of the Third Reich. That’s what you get when you bet on the losing side.