OH-09: Republican Rich Iott Is Nazi Re-Enactor

This takes the cake, doesn’t it?

An election year already notable for its menagerie of extreme and unusual candidates can add another one: Rich Iott, the Republican nominee for Congress from Ohio’s 9th District, and a Tea Party favorite, who for years donned a German Waffen SS uniform and participated in Nazi re-enactments.

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.”

Yeah, this is the guy:

Major props to the Atlantic’s excellent Josh Green for uncovering the story. Click the link to read more – and see more pics and even a video. I think my recent cracks about “consolidating panzer divisions” might wind up proving literally true in this district.

UPDATE: Good catch by TPM – the NRCC has already removed Iott from its Young Guns list.

66 thoughts on “OH-09: Republican Rich Iott Is Nazi Re-Enactor”

  1. when people try to nationalize a local race (i.e. Sarah Palin will make someone less likely to vote for someone in New Hampshire)

    That being said, this COULD really have a national effect if it the story lasts long enough. I mean, Sharon Angle has some rather fringe ideas, but at least she doesn’t have a fucking nazi fetish (that we know of)

  2. That is really disturbing.  I’m someone who has academically studied the Civil War for a long time, and have met some more “weekend Civil War historians.”  I’ve found there’s a clear line between those on the one hand who have an active amateur interest in history, and may go to events and collect Confederate memorabilia — and on the other hand those who really do dream about being in General Lee’s army.  It’s this second group that Mr. Iott strikes me as a member of.

  3. I wonder if he’s got the Horst Wessel Song on his Ipod because, you know, it’s got a good beat and you can dance to it.  This would be believable that they were just doing historical re-enactment if they also had a ‘team’ playing the red army and they took it in turns or something.  But I only see this German division.  And he joined it with his fracking SON as a father-son bonding tactic.  How twisted is that?

  4. before I get worked up about it.  I don’t really connect with reenactments, but there is a difference between a bunch of historians doing it and a bunch of neo-nazis doing it.  

  5. they were doing yahtzee re-enactments.  or patzi re-enactments from happy days.  or he just wanted more people to play “worship-the-fuhrer-opoly” with.  don’t want dumb jokes made about you?  don’t dress like a freaking nazi!


  6. I’m not going to defend the guy, it seems like he enjoys the re-enacting thing a little too much.

    However, why leave out what else he does?

    “He added that he has participated in re-enactments as a Civil War Union infantryman, a World War I dough boy and World War II American infantryman and paratrooper.”

    Are you going to condemn him for those roles too? I mean, it’d only be fair.

  7. I have to admit, when I saw the link referring to an Ohio Republican candidate and Nazism, I thought to myself, “Please be the guy in Kucinich’s, Fudge’s, Kaptur’s, or Ryan’s district.” So it was a bit of a relief that it wasn’t someone who had a chance of winning, but God, this is embarrassing for the Ohio GOP. Isn’t this the point of research?

  8. Simple lesson; if you want to run for office, you need to plan for it BEFORE you put on the Nazi uniform.  Not that people my age are throwing on Nazi uniforms, but there will be many of us who will get busted for our Fbook pictures.  The mods might as well start preparing witty remarks now so they’re twenty years ahead of the game.

  9. If I was the Ohio GOP chairman I would denounce him and find someone to run a write in campaign and throw my support to them. They are not going to win anyhow might as well save face.  

  10. On what ground is the man a Nazi sympathizer or neo-Nazi? Yeah, he does historical re-enactments that may be a bit romanticized. All they are doing is LARPing. There is nothing I read in the article or in any of the coverage of this to indicate these people are fighting for the third reich or praising their fuhrer or hate Jews.

    Anybody miss this nugget? “He added that he has participated in re-enactments as a Civil War Union infantryman, a World War I dough boy and World War II American infantryman and paratrooper.”

    Wait, so is he an evil Nazi or an American patriot? Oh, he must be hiding his real sympathies behind other LARPs.

    Come on! I feel bad for this guy. He is being villainized for an innocent hobby.  

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