Jewish community reacts to Iott photos in Nazi uniform - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Jewish community reacts to Iott photos in Nazi uniform

By Matt Wright - bio | email | Facebook | Twitter

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Fallout continues after photos of Republican congressional candidate Rich Iott dressed in a Nazi uniform recently surfaced. This time the Jewish community weighs in.

Local Rabbi Edward Garsek says some members of his congregation were disturbed by the pictures.

"Anytime that I would see someone dressed in a Nazi uniform, it's very disturbing," Garsek said.

The rabbi says he doesn't think Iott was portraying his personal feelings when he donned the uniform of the lethal German unit Waffen-SS. Rather, he was acting in a role.

Still, Garsek commented, "Maybe it wasn't the best judgment that he made."

He says the memory of millions of Jewish people killed at the hand of Nazis is still very painful.

"The reminder that that has brings back memories that are very, very sorrowful and tinged with emotion," Garsek said.

Meanwhile, Iott downplayed these photos of himself dressed in a Nazi uniform while participating in a historical re-enactment about five years ago.

"I certainly don't support anything the Germans did from a political or ideological point of view. It was despicable," Iott said.

Iott says he did re-enactments for years, including the American Civil War, World War I and World War II.

"Just because someone puts on a uniform and acts out a role, that doesn't mean that's who they are or that's what they stand for or that's what they believe in," Iott said.

Iott maintains that the pictures are being used politically and remains optimistic they won't affect his campaign.

Copyright 2010 WTOL. All rights reserved.

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