Nazi Re-enactors Get Sensitive

By Joshua Green

I've gotten a lot of angry emails from historical re-enactors, including some who, like Rich Iott, dress up as Nazis, most condemning me for "smearing" or "demeaning" what they insist is an admirable and even an important hobby--you see, it's all about "education." Several have demanded a retraction, which would be difficult, as Iott readily admitted to doing everything I asked him about. I think it's telling, though, that Iott's Wikings outfit, the group that re-enacts the exploits of an actual Nazi unit, the 5th SS Panzer Division Wikings, has quietly scrubbed its site of much of its material, including the "recruitment video" that shows its members running around shooting and whacking each other with rifle butts. I hadn't realized the video was gone until this New York Times article on the Wiking re-enactors alerted me. Guess they're not quite so proud of their hobby after all. Fortunately, we've preserved a copy of the recruitment video here:

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/10/nazi-re-enactors-get-sensitive/64382/