Yeah, We Didn’t See This One Coming…
The Tea Klux Klan is at it again. Rich Iott, “the Republican nominee for Congress from Ohio’s 9th District, and a Tea Party favorite” (1) has spent the last few years wearing the uniform of a German Waffen-SS officer and participating in Nazi re-enactments. The Atlantic originally ran the story, complete with a full spread of color photos featuring the GOP candidate in the uniform of the elite Nazi unit. It was revealed that “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” (1).
Congressional Candidate’s Group Openly Hails Nazi Forces
The following quote saluting the fascist armed forces of Nazi Germany appeared on the group’s website:
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 [emphasis added].
Iott is a member of the Ohio Military Reserve and noted in the article, “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” (1). However, if one reads the above statement one can see far more than simply “historical” or “military” fascination with the Nazis. Instead the support of their policies and world outlook is palpable.
Notice that the Tea Party candidate barely makes any references whatsoever to the atrocities committed by the Nazis during on the Eastern Front, and instead chooses to openly praise the violent and cruel anti-communism of the SS, which culminated historically in the slaughter of over 20 million Soviet citizens and 5-7 million Red Army soldiers, among other war crimes committed in Europe. In fact, the Tea Partier outright says in the interview that “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” (1).
In addition, the Wikin group’s website contains “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 [emphasis added]” (1).
Its no coincidence that the crypto-fascist Tea Party is fetishizing an anti-communist military regimen that butchered millions of Jews, Slavs, Poles, Soviet citizens, Serbs, Roma, homosexuals, dissenting clergy and those with physical or mental disabilities during the Second World War. The Tea Party has not done a very good job of hiding their own innate racist viewpoints when it comes to immigrants and ethnic minorities in the United States, nor have they hidden their connection with actual fascist and racist organizations.