GOPer for Congress Iott Dabbled in Nazi Re-Enacting of Joseph Mengele’s SS Division

October 9, 2010

(ChattahBox Political News)—-Meet Rich Iott, aka, “Reinhard Pferdmann,” the Republican nominee for the House from the 9th District of Ohio. The tea party-backed millionaire businessman and World War II buff loves to talk about “fundamental American values.” And Iott enthusiastically touts his membership in the Ohio Military Reserve. But what Iott doesn’t want you to know, is his prior long-standing membership in a Nazi re-enactment group, called Wiking. As reported by Joshua Green with the Atlantic, using the name Reinhard Pferdmann, Iott, for years, until he quit the group three-years ago, spent his weekends dressed as a Nazi Waffen SS soldier participating in mock battles that took place on the Russian front. Yes Nazis, the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler, the Holocaust, particularly the 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking. Since when does glorifying Nazis constitute “fundamental American values.” Only in the tea party apparently.

The slew of fringe extremist tea party candidates this election season are known for their far-right, way out of the mainstream views. So far, we have seen a senatorial candidate who has admitted to dabbling in witchcraft. Now, we have a Republican running for Congress who has been a Nazi dabbler. But Iott’s involvement with Wiking went way beyond dabbling. The Atlantic piece reports Iott donned a Nazi SS uniform for years, “as a father-son bonding thing.”

The Atlantic writes:

“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, Iott confirmed his membership in the Wiking re-enactment group, but denied he supported Nazism, saying “It’s purely historical interest in World War II.”

Iott further explained that he found Germany’s many World War II conquests “incredible.” “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, explained Iott.”

The Wiking website has been scrubbed of any evidence of Iott’s membership. Iott denies evidence of his membership in Wiking was removed over concerns for his political career.

Iott later emailed the Atlantic, expressing his “immense respect for veterans.” He added his Nazi re-enactment hobby was not intended as disrespectful “to anyone who served in our military or anyone who has been affected by the tragedy of war.”

But as Green pointed out, Iott did not think it necessary to even mention the Jewish atrocities committed by the Nazis and in particular, the slaughter of Jews by the Wiking division that Iott glamorized on the weekends, dressed in an authentic Waffen SS uniform, going by the name “Reinhard Pferdmann,” Iott’s “German alter ego.”

The 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking has a long and notorious history of slaughtering Jews. Beginning in 1941, the Wiking division teamed up with the Ukrainian militia in the massacre of hundreds of Jews in the castle at Zloczow. And in 1942, a mobile gassing van was attached to the Wiking division that was used to gas Jews and other undesirables. The Wiking soldiers continued to massacre Jews throughout the War, culminating in the Hungarian death marches in 1945.

The Wiking website in its sanitized version of Nazi history, portrays the Wiking division as a group of “idealists” fighting the scourge of Communism “in the name of a better tomorrow.”

The Wiking website fails to note that the Waffen-SS was declared a criminal organization by the International Military Tribunal during the Nuremberg Trials.

And there is this other little bit of historical horror associated with the Waffen-SS Wiking division. Guess who was the medic serving with the Wiking SS soldiers? None other than the notorious Dr. Josef Mengele, the Angel of Death, who performed grisly experiments on concentration camp inmates at Auschwitz-Birkenau, after his service with Wiking.

Joseph Mengele’s role in the Wiking division is also inexplicably missing from the Wiking’s website glorification of Nazi SS soldiers.

A chilling Wiking recruitment video depicts the re-enacters playing their Nazi war games in the Ohio woods.

The video includes the text: Want to live World War !! History? March back in time? Wiking. We march. We fight. We fall. We drill. We lead. We follow. We educate. We learn. We stand tall. What path will you choose? Join Us. Wiking.

How tall is Iott standing now?

Photo Source: The Atlantic. Iott is the Nazi SS soldier in the rear, on the left.

See the Atlantic for the full article.

Watch the recruitment video:


3 Responses to “GOPer for Congress Iott Dabbled in Nazi Re-Enacting of Joseph Mengele’s SS Division”

  1. Timothy Williams on October 11th, 2010 3:28 pm

    This is much ado about nothing. So the thousands of people involved in Civil War reenactments are all closest supporters of slavery? This pretend “historical” military stuff holds no interest for me, but it is no more relevant to a political campaign than a candidate being involved in a Medieval society. It says a lot about the bankruptcy of liberal ideas that this is your notion of “danger.”

  2. Fred Suter on October 11th, 2010 11:02 pm

    The notorious Dr. Josef Mengele, served with the SS Division Wiking during its early campaigns. According to all accounts, he performed the normal duties of a combat medic, even being awarded the Iron Cross for saving two wounded men from a tank. After being wounded, Mengele was deemed unfit for combat and was absorbed into the SS Nazi concentration camp system, where he gained his infamy. Mengele was very proud of his Waffen SS service and his front-line decorations. As the true horrors of the concentration camp system came to light, his former comrades attempted to have his name removed from the division’s roll of veterans.

  3. Robert Kennedy on October 18th, 2010 2:28 am

    This tempest in a teapot is just another good example of what is bad with politics. The article failed to mention that he also reenacted US soldiers too. A Union soldier from the Civil War. A WWI Doughboy and a Paratrooper from WWII. The media seems to have left out that he did.

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