Second from right there is Rich Iott, running for a House seat in Ohio, who enjoys "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."
The actual Wiking unit has a history as grisly as that of other Nazi divisions. In her book "The Death Marches of Hungarian Jews Through Austria in the Spring of 1945," Eleonore Lappin, the noted Austrian historian, writes that soldiers from the Wiking division were involved in the killing of Hungarian Jews in March and April 1945, before surrendering to American forces in Austria.Iott quit three years ago, "after his son lost interest." The group has a website with a justification of their interest:
"What you often hear is that the [Wiking] division was never formally accused of anything, but that's kind of a dodge," says Prof. Rob Citino, of the Military History Center at the University of North Texas, who examined the Wiking website. "The entire German war effort in the East was a racial crusade to rid the world of 'subhumans,' Slavs were going to be enslaved in numbers of tens of millions. And of course the multimillion Jewish population of Eastern Europe was going to be exterminated altogether. That's what all these folks were doing in the East.
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.Three of four of those named countries were, of course, conquered and subjected to Nazi Germany. Perhaps this casts some light on the "freedom" so dear to the Tea Party?
... Some of the comments at the Atlantic link are a hoot:
Once he's elected, no doubt Iott will be able to use his knowledge and re-enactment of Wiking history to help him bring some good, clear thinking to the debate on health care.
After all, the first medical officer for the Wiking Division was that internationally famous expert on fair and balanced health care -- Dr. Josef Mengele.
Well we will see his ad very soon
I'm not a Nazi
Someone has to quote Walter Sobchak here.
"Say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, but at least it's an ethos."