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would you vote for someone who participates in Nazi re-enactments dressed as a real life Nazi military unit?

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."

Also had his teen son invilved?

Answer Question

Asked by sweet-a-kins at 10:33 AM on Oct. 10, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
Answers (121)
  • Historians of Nazi Germany vehemently dispute this characterization. "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."


    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 10:34 AM on Oct. 10, 2010

  • reenactorfest_sized.jpg


    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 10:37 AM on Oct. 10, 2010

  • this is the same as asking if you'd vote for someone who is a Confederate soldier in Civil War reenactments. being a historian for a time period does not mean you subscribe to the beliefs of that time period.

    i can't answer as to whether or not i'd vote for him as i know nothing of his politics. but if the entire issue is the fact that he likes to dress like a Nazi (who were admittedly one of the better-dressed armies), it wouldn't cause me to vote against him.

    Answer by Reni-Witch-Baby at 10:40 AM on Oct. 10, 2010

  • Reenactment of warfare is a big to-do for some people. It is all about historical accuracy and understanding all aspects of the battle itself. The people are very much into the details. We mostly associate them with Civil-War battles, but they happen all the time with all types of historical battles.

    Someone has to play the other side and often they take turns being on one side or the other. Same goes for Civil War enthusiasts, you don't have to agree with the Confederate or the Union Armies to play the parts- actually you have to take turns understanding both points of view in order to have an accurate portrayal.

    Answer by HistoryMamaX3 at 10:41 AM on Oct. 10, 2010

  • Absolutely not

    Answer by TALuke at 10:43 AM on Oct. 10, 2010

  • If you are going to have a play, someone's got to play the bad guy. I've got no doubt many of our politicians dress up as naughty things behind closed doors.

    Answer by lovinangels at 10:43 AM on Oct. 10, 2010

  • WASHINGTON – A top congressional Republican is criticizing a House GOP candidate from Ohio who wore a Nazi uniform during reenactments of World War II battles.

    The Atlantic magazine reported last week that Ohio Republican Rich Iott has participated in the reenactments wearing a Waffen-SS uniform since 2003. Iott says he has been a historical reenactor in other venues for many years.

    House Republicans' No. 2 leader, Eric Cantor says he repudiates Iott's actions and would not support someone who would do that.

    Cantor's remarks came after Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida cited Iott as an example of GOP candidates she said are extreme.

    Cantor and Wasserman Schultz appeared on "Fox News Sunday."


    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 10:45 AM on Oct. 10, 2010

  • Iott, "I've always been fascinated by the fact that here was a relatively small country that from a strictly military point of view accomplished incredible things. I mean, they took over most of Europe and Russia, and it really took the combined effort of the free world to defeat them. From a purely historical military point of view, that's incredible."


    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 10:51 AM on Oct. 10, 2010

  • 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, an and also only includes a glancing view to the "twisted" nature of Nazism. Instead, it emphasizes how the Wiking unit fought Bolshevist Communism


    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 10:51 AM on Oct. 10, 2010

  • Nazi Germany had no problem in recruiting the multitudes of volunteers willing to lay down their lives to ensure a "New and Free Europe", free of the threat of Communism. National Socialism was seen by many in Holland, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and other eastern European and Balkan countries as the protector of personal freedom and their very way of life, despite the true underlying totalitarian (and quite twisted, in most cases) nature of the movement. Regardless, thousands upon thousands of valiant men died defending their respective countries in the name of a better tomorrow. We salute these idealists; no matter how unsavory the Nazi government was, the front-line soldiers of the Waffen-SS (in particular the foreign volunteers) gave their lives for their loved ones and a basic desire to be free.


    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 10:51 AM on Oct. 10, 2010

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