October 12th, 2010
10:41 AM ET

Congressional candidate defends wearing Nazi outfit for re-enactment

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - A Republican candidate running for U.S. Congress says his past donning of a Nazi outfit was part of a historical lesson - and defended his background in military re-enactments.

Rich Iott, a Tea Party favorite running for election in Ohio's 9th Congressional District, explained his position during an interview on CNN's "AC 360" Monday night.

Iott participated in World War II re-enactments for several years in the past decade and created a German alter ego. He has said he started participating in the events as a way to bond with his son. Iott has also participated in Civil War and World War I re-enactments.

"The whole purpose of historical re-enacting is to educate people one-on-one," Iott said. "And that is done by going out and participating in re-enactments."

When asked whether he thought the men being impersonated were "valiant men," Iott said, "I don't think we can sit here and judge that today. We were not there the time they made those decisions. Were there bad people? Absolutely. Were there atrocities committed? Absolutely there were. There are people that want to deny the Holocaust ever happened in this country and around the world."

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Filed under: 360º Follow • Raw Politics
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Robert

    In re-enactment just like in a video game, there is always two sides, otherwise, there would not be a re-enactment of a battle or a war. This is a game, not the real thing. Do not mix politic with re-enactment. And as for the Hollocost, if there was 6 millions jews dead at the end of the war, don't forget there was 50 millions dead total at the end of the war, this means 44 millions were none jew.

    October 13, 2010 at 8:42 am |
  2. Robert

    Are you going to be angry at the actors who played Hitler? This is for education and if he makes a good Nazi, well, someone has to play the bad guy. Why not?

    October 12, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
  3. elizabeth

    this is like a history class,do we not teach our kids about the evil that happened in wars or like alot of history..its cleaned up and told threw other peoples eyes,and not true..americans think they have no dirty secrets to hide

    October 12, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
  4. jimmie

    From dabbing in witchcraft to donning nazi attire, man these tea baggers sure know how to pick `em! Hehe

    October 12, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  5. Ed Irvine

    Why is everyone making such a big deal over Mr. Lott being in a Waffen SS uniform for a re-enactment. I am an avid WW2 history buff and I have numerous books on the Waffen SS, because they were an elite force during WW2. Some are ignorant to the fact that just because you like that type of history or like to do re-enactments does not mean you believe in that ideology! It's so funny how little thingas like this are blown out of proportion. I wonder if Mr. Lott being a member of the Tea Party has anything to do with this being such a "major" story? I think not!

    October 12, 2010 at 1:01 pm |
  6. El Hadji

    You have to support the views of the Nazi to dress up like a Nazi...
    Anyone is free to believe in whatever they want to believe in, but I don't get why the denial of what really happened in WWII.

    You have to stand for what you believe in, that's the bottom line: if he's ok with dressing up like a Nazi, then he's ok with Nazi views...we don't even have to drill him about that.

    Actions speak louder than words.

    October 12, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
  7. Patricia Beal

    This man is totally disgusting. Typical for the Tea Party. At this point I may end up moving to Canada in the near future. I am ashamed.

    October 12, 2010 at 12:37 pm |