Skip to comments.Atlantic: Ohio GOP Candidate for Congress Dresses as Nazi
Posted on 10/09/2010 7:26:13 AM PDT by tlb
Rich Iott, the Tea Party-supported GOP nominee for Congress in Ohio's 9th District, is part of a group that likes to don German Waffen SS uniforms and participate Nazi re-enactments, Atlantic journalist Josh Green revealed on Real Time with Bill Maher.
The group, called Wiking, acts out exploits from the 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking, an actual Nazi division, which fought on the Eastern Front during World War II .
Iott, who confirms his involvement with the group, denies any belief in the principles of Nazism.
"It's purely historical interest in World War II," he told the Atlantic.
Iott can't remember when he joined the group, although his name appears on a group roster from 2003. He says he participated in the group with his son "as a father-son bonding thing."
While Iott neglects to address Jewish voters he might have offended, he does address veterans in an e-mail to the Atlantic: "Never, in any of my reenacting of military history, have I meant any disrespect to anyone who served in our military or anyone who has been affected by the tragedy of war. In fact, I have immense respect for veterans who served our country valiantly, and my respect of the military and our veterans is one of the reasons I have actively studied military history throughout my life."
Incidentally, there is no longer any mention of Iott -- also a member of the NRCC's Young Guns Program -- on the Wiking website and all photographs of the Congressional candidate have been removed.
A law professor who voted for Obama says this attack is a bunch of ‘shoddy political hackery’ that buries key exculpating evidence:
Please read first:
Like I said, PERCEPTION IS EVERYTHING IN POLITICS. Iott may or may not have Nazi sympathies, but in this case, WHO CARES? There are photos of him dressed like this and the PERCEPTION of the vast majority of potential Republican voters, would likely be, that yes, if you like playing around in Waffen SS uniforms, than yes, you may well have Nazi leanings. That spells political disaster.
This also shows, that at the very least, Iott lacks basic common sense when it comes to politics. He may be a great guy...but if he lacks judgement, we shouldn’t support him.
As shown above, Dr. JOSEF MENGLE—one of the most sinister individuals of all history—was a member of the Wiking Waffen SS...for crying out loud!
It’s worth reposting widawake’s post that gets down to the problem:
Let’s talk facts:
(1) If a voter sees a candidate dressed up in a Nazi uniform, he will not wait for an explanation or an excuse. He will move on in 90% of cases. That’s reality.[EXACTLY]
(2) Most people think that reenactors are weird. This is because so many of them are. I am not a reenactor, but I am a Friend of the National Military Park at Gettysburg and I know hundreds of reenactors. They’re a lovable but eccentric bunch.
(3) This reenactment group is far more sinister than the usual harmless reenactment group. Iott’s group specializes in reenacting warfare on the Russian front by dressing as members of the SS. Most American WWII reenactors reenact engagements in which American troops were involved, like the Bulge. The bad guys normally dress in German Army uniforms, not SS uniforms with elaborate Nazi insignia. Iott’s group calls itself “Wiking” the name of an SS unit and they reenact engagements in which no US troops were involved. Reenactors do not name their groups after the people they perceive as bad guys, but the people that they perceive as good guys. The more that is learned about this group, the more disturbing the details will be.
This October surprise by three FARRRRRR Left wing sources smells to high heaven !
Why do posters hear actually believe and promote
Obama front groups as reliable sources ????
Sorry. Heydrich was the commander [inially] of the SS SD. He went on to command the SICHERPOLIZEI, and eventually RSHA. He was Reichsprotektor of Bohemia-Moravia [Czechoslavakia]when he was assasinated. The WAFFEN SS was not in his bailiwick.
As an aside, Heydrich’s combat experience in WW II consisted of flying fighter planes in Norway and the Soviet Union [where he was shot down. He was a reserve MAJOR in the Luftwaffe, and an SS OBERGRUPPENFUEHER.
d@mn, coffee all over the place, and I just cleaned my monitor...
It's not so much the shape that's "interesting," as much as the SS shield that you see on a lot of them...
First off, the so called news sources are three far left wing front groups .
CBS- The Dan Rather Fake but accurate Obama front group.
Atlantic - The Andrew Sullivan rag that allows TRIG conspiracy stories to published and is run now by Linda Douglas , the Obama Obama care propagandist
Bill Maher - Need I say more ?
I would wait for his response before convicting him!
However, elections are about winning votes - not about having to come up with involved explanations as to why you're wearing the same unit insignia that Josef Mengele wore. An independent voter sees a picture of a candidate in that insignia, his immediate reaction is "Next!" not "I wonder if he has an innocent explanation for this?"
I tried to look up one of the ‘reenactment’ sites and got a virus.
I know somebody has to play the Robber in “Cops & Robbers” (or Redcoats, or Confederates, or Klingons, or whatever), but I agree that this seems to be a failure of judgment.
His response is in the article. He wore the uniform and was a member of the group by his own statement. The facts here aren’t in dispute. The interpretation of the facts is.
The disturbing aspect is that this group named itself after the bad guys. These were not guys who mostly dressed as GIs and then the guys who lost the coin toss put on the German uniforms for today’s reenactment. This group existed to reenact the actions of a specific SS unit.
"The guy is into historical re-enactment, and because a liberal rag was able to put a negative spin on it... Quite a few want to toss him overboard."
Let me provide a direct quote to why, when asked he reinacted thw Wiking SS, which the Dems can easily use to totally smear Iott:
“I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that here was a relatively small country that ... accomplished incredible things. I mean, they took over most of Europe and Russia, ...that’s incredible.”
PERCEPTION IS KEY. If you knew little about the candidates (as most voters do), would you vote for someone photographed smiling in a Nazi SS uniform while calling them “incredible?”
Friend, I’m a loyal American Conservative. I’ve been a part of FreeRepublic since the ‘90s, and have personally worked on (very) Conservative Republican political campaigns.
I’ve tried to reason with you on a political level, without calling you names, and, without returning the suspicion and gall you’ve loaded on me.
You haven’t countered any of the points I’ve made which are:
1) This looks terrible...and perception is everything in elections, and
2) why would any common-sense Conservative ever want to play-act being a Nazi?
Why are you accusing someone you’ve never met of being a coward, just because I cannot support a candidate who likes dressing up as a Nazi?
Actually, Heinrich Himmler, who reported to Hitler, was the SS Reichsführer. Heydrich was an SS General, however.
Here's a funny story about Heydrich wasting a mirror by mistake:
The only stumbling block [to Heydrich's rise in the Nazi Party] occurred as rumors surfaced about possible Jewish ancestry on his father's side of his family. Heydrich's grandmother had married for a second time (after the birth of Heydrich's father) to a man with a Jewish sounding name.
Both Hitler and Himmler quickly became aware of the rumors, which were spread by Heydrich's enemies within the Nazi Party. Himmler at one point considered expelling Heydrich from the SS. But Hitler, after a long private meeting with Heydrich, described him as "a highly gifted but also very dangerous man, whose gifts the movement had to retain...extremely useful; for he would eternally be grateful to us that we had kept him and not expelled him and would obey blindly."
Thus Heydrich remained in the elite Aryan order but was haunted by the persistent rumors and as a result developed tremendous hostility toward Jews. Heydrich also suffered great insecurity and some degree of self loathing, exampled by an incident in which he returned home to his apartment after a night of drinking, turned on a light and saw his own reflection in a wall mirror then took out his pistol and fired two shots at himself in the mirror, uttering "filthy Jew!"
I was just being rhetorical...I just wanted to see what she would say...:)
Hey, if the guy is taking part in historical reenactments, I don’t see what the big deal is. However, if he is out mowing his lawn in the getup, that might be problematic.
LOL...PJ O’Rourke is a talented guy!
Most notorious, certainly. Most illustrious would be Felix Steiner, the division’s first coomander.
Mengele, incidentally, served honorably with WIKING, as a combat doctor. He received the wounds badge, and appears to have been given an award for saving troops in the field. Under fire. It was while he was recovering from his wounds that he volunteered for service at Auschwitz.
Anyone who would say something like that doesn’t belong anywhere near the government. Sub in Al Qaeda for the Nazis(Waffen SS)
Can you imagine if a dem candidate had said he’d “always been fascinated by Al Qaeda...a relatively small group that from a strictly military point of view accomplished incredible things...19 guys with no tanks, no army, no air force, no navy, and they took down the WTC and landed a direct hit on the Penatgon...from a purely historical view, that’s incredible”.
Would you take umbrage at say Pres Obama or Nancy Pelosi saying AQ did some incredible things? Saying Bin Laden is incredible? Would you say that would be a good choice?
What would the GOP reaction be? Conservative reaction? If any sitting office-holder said that about AQ they’d be forced to resign immediately. If Obama said that about AQ his approval rating would drop to the single digits within 24 hrs.
Also, the guy is just totally wrong on his history. Germany was not relatively small. In terms of area and population it was one of the biggest if not the biggest country in Europe. Way moreso than England or France or Italy, or any of the low countries. It had by far the largest and most powerful military of any European country. He’s making it seem like they were some group of underdogs who overcame steep odds. Like Hoosiers or something.
BTW, the group’s website says the following:
The website says of the German unit used as a model for the reenactments, “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.”
Idealists???????? No one who belongs to any group that refers to members of the Waffen-SS as idealists has any place in the US Govt. There’s really no way to explain that.
Again, any sitting US politican who referred to the Waffen SS as idealists would see their career ended immediately. And rightly so. Take the most popular/powerful Republican or conservative in the country and they’d be finished if they said that. Even among their own supporters.
Do you think the Waffen-SS, the official armed wing of the Nazi Party, under the command of Heinrich Himmler, were idealists?
Do you really think the members of the Waffen SS had a basic desire to be free? That that’s why they invaded Poland, the USSR, France, the Low Countries? That’s why they carried out the Malmedy Massacre? Because they had a basic desire to be free?
To me calling the SS idealists is disqualifying. You belong to a group that says that and you don’t belong in office.
Better yet, imagine if some dem was a member of a group that did rennactments from Vietnam and he dressed up as a member of the NVA or VC.
Imagine he praised the NVA/VC and called them incredible. How they were a relatively small country and took on both France and the US. How they were very impressive from a military point of view.
Think anyone might be offended or take umbrage at that?
What if his group referred to the NVA/VC as idealists and said they just had a basic desire to be free and should be commended and honored for that?
What would the GOP/conservative reaction be?
You raise valid points.
1. The only thing I knew about at the get-go was the historical re-enactments and the photo. I had not delved into the website.
2. While Al-qaeda is still current and going on, I would not have a problem with a “re-enactment” for educational purposes of the Soviet-Mujahedeen war in the ‘80’s. And yes, I would root for the Mujahedeen, Taliban or no Taliban.
3. Of course you are right about Germany’s role in Europe regarding size and economy (making some allowance for problems brought on by WWI reparations). (Allowing one to make thne case that the candidate is too ignorant of history to be elected.)
4. There are historians who make distinctions among the different flavors of German soldiers. The quasi-factually based “The Great Escape” makes distinctions among the types (Gestapo being the lowest, performing summary-executions; the Luftwaffe being less unrespectable, as they had some semblance of a moral code regarding their tasks and how they performed them.) I do recognize your point, that whatever moral forms they have would not undo the basic soul of Nazism. The movie “The Godfather” does a good job of portraying the Italian Mafia in a seemingly sympathetic, almost romantic light, before tearing that image to pieces.
5. Based on the quotations you provided, I do admit that this group sounds pretty weird. I see your point that those kinds of positions put you well on the way to David-Duke-land ... and no, we don’t need anyone like that reporesenting the Republican Party or the conservative movement.
So, overall, assuming the quotations you provided are not of the Alan Grayson variety, and another Freeper would call you on it if they were, you are right. This man does not belong in office. For the record, it was the quotations, and not the mere re-enactment of war scenes that persuaded me. But you made your point patiently, respectfully and thoroughly.
This is really silly. Many thousands of actors have donned German uniforms (”Nazi” is a political party, not a military movement). Military reenactments are a long accepted pastime and certainly does not make one a sympathizer simply for playing a part.
I once dressed up as Vlad Tepes. It doesn’t make me a blood-thristy Transylvanian tyrant advocate.
‘Yes. I would have nothing to do with anyone who dresses up in a Nazi uniform for any reason.’
Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton dressed up as Nazi officers in one or two WWII movies.
‘An independent voter sees a picture of a candidate in that insignia, his immediate reaction is “Next!” not “I wonder if he has an innocent explanation for this?’
So, what is your solution for winning this district?
‘What if his group referred to the NVA/VC as idealists and said they just had a basic desire to be free and should be commended and honored for that?’
Hey, you’re talking about John Kerry.
Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Didn’t mean to come across as too intense or over the top or anything.
I mean it’s almost shocking. The GOP nominated a guy who belongs to a group that calls the Waffen-SS(the very group that perpetrated the worst ever massacre against US forces) idealists.
I’m just thinking back to how moving Reagan was when he spoke in 1984 about the boys of Pointe-Du-Hoc and now his party nominated a guy for Congress who’s in a group that thinks the guys who mowed down hundreds of unarmed GIs just miles from where he spoke were idealists and just yearned for freedom.
And he didn’t belong in the WH, either. Doesn’t belong in Congress, as far as I’m concerned. And in the end, his aactivities during Vietnam helped cost him the WH. As they should have.
I don’t know if he belongs to a group that calls the NVA/VC idealists, or praises their military achievements against large odds.. If he does, he should be drummed out forthwith.
Also, re your post on Where Eagle Dare. You don’t really think Clint and Dick gallling out Danny Boy and Broadsword is the same as what this guy did, do you?
‘You dont really think Clint and Dick gallling out Danny Boy and Broadsword is the same as what this guy did, do you?’
No, they got paid big bucks, he did it for nothing but an interest in history.
None of this matters when your candidates are laughingstocks for the entire nation. When O’Donnell mentions witchcraft in a TV commercial, everyone is diminished. Saturday Night Live made her look like a fool! The psycho nonsense becomes the issue - Paladino threatening a reporter who did nothing will be the opposition’s message of irrationality. All psycho and no brain. People dressing as Nazis, probably for any reason unless they are staring in the Broadway show “The Producers”, is not a good idea - that candidate will most surely lose. If you need a plan to avoid this, then we are too far underwater.
This is a wide open battle with many eyes and ears tuned in, meaning people have to understand perception, they have to understand message, symbolism and presentation. There is a massive Dem-media distortion machine to focus on every possible weakness the TP brings. Every idiosyncrasy will be exaggerated, every strange statement, activity, action, costume, photograph, video, etc. Learn this and adapt, or become fodder for comedians and increase the growing perception that the Tea Party is made up of witches or guys who dress like Nazis, and that is not true.
Perception is reality.
What a retard! I could see if they were technophiles or museum volunteers at some WWII tank museum who happened to have a couple of panzer III and panthers to face off against some t-34s in some re-enactment, but just donning the jackboots and hanging out guzzling schnapps is just creepy.
Today Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Fox News Sunday brought this issue up as a smear.
So this all proves he is a National Socialist?
In truth he is, running AGAINST a socialist.
Um... This clown wasn’t dressing up as a regular German soldier, he was dressing up as an officer in an SS division. He is wearing SS insignia... and anybody who would do that is simply not right in the head.
WRONG - the Waffen SS was the military wing of the Nazi Party. It was seperate from the German Army. Unless he was forced to do this at gunpoint, there is really no excuse for this candidate's actions. He's clearly not fit for office.
I suspect that most reenactors are just harmless eccentrics. Nevertheless the only one I ever met turned out to be a pedophile sex offender.
However, we are in the middle of an election cycle right now, and what has been done is done. So, what do we do NOW?
We're playing defense in answer to *their* arguments. We must change the arguments to the issues. As Rush Limbaugh says, we must never accept the libs' arguments, so we must not accept their arguments going forward.
The voters will continue to believe the MSM and the Dems unless they gain a new perception of our candidates, COUPLED WITH accurate information from US.
I just hear you crying about what should have been done, without any solutions regarding where we go from here. It sounds like you're ready to give up on these people who, despite their being political neophytes, put themselves on the line for the good of our country. Though they may feel embarrassment, or perhaps humiliations, when they didn't have to risk exposure in the first place, *they* are not giving up. And OTOH, what the h3ll are you doing to help pull the election cycle out of the fire?
I just see you as jumping on the Dem/MSM bandwagon - the effect of what you're posting amounts to the same thing. Or is perception not always reality?
Nobody is accepting a libs argument, but when you start talking about witchcraft they win. Here’s a plan for you, it’s called VETTING the candidates. Start with that.
(Guilty as charged. Hence my FR handle.)
I always wondered when the idiots would go after Axis re-enactors; now I know.
His boots look a bit farby, though. ;-)
I think he was dressed as the Germans, not the Russians.
Yeah, they did it for profit, not pleasure. Your point?
This was actually a reenactment of Soviets vs Nazis in this particular battle so there were no "good" just "less bad"
How dare the people chose their candidates. The nerve.