Karl and Ilse Koch( Butchers of Buchenwald)
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Biography Karl and Ilse Koch
Among the executioner masters "Third Reich" Karl and Ilse Koch noted especially. They ran the conveyor belt of death in the concentration camp Buchenwald, peremolovshem tens of thousands of lives. Even their counterparts from the SS became uncomfortable when Frau Koch boasted shades made of human skin.
The Nazis set up in the occupied territories of many concentration camps for the so-called "racial cleansing" in Europe. The fact that the prisoners were children, the disabled, the elderly, totally defenseless people, had no meaning for the sadists of the SS. Auschwitz, Treblinka, Dachau and Buchenwald became a living hell on earth, where people were systematically persecuted in the gas chambers, starved, beaten and forced to work to exhaustion.
To realize delusional Hitler's plans were required performers - people without pity, compassion and conscience. The Nazi regime created a system that could make them.
Some camp commander, Rudolf Hess, in particular at Auschwitz, does not directly kill the prisoners and so as to dissociate themselves from the atrocities being perpetrated in the camps. At trial, Hess said proudly about German ingenuity, which allowed performers to maintain the illusion of innocence executioners of their deeds.
Spouses were a couple of Koch, whose sophistication knew no bounds. These two - the camp commandant and his wife, who spent the evening over the manufacture lampshades from tattooed human skin, put into practice the essence of Hitler's ideas.
Moving Ilse Koch in Buchenwald concentration camp in Saxony, where she was born in 1906 and before the war worked as a librarian, still does not answer that turn an ordinary woman in an animal. Laborer's daughter, she was a diligent schoolgirl who loved and was loved, enjoyed success with the village lads, but always considered himself above the other, obviously exaggerating its merits. And when her selfish ambitions SS teamed up with Karl Koch, latent perversity. Ilse became apparent.
They met in 1936, when the system of concentration camps have already covered the whole of Germany. Standartenfц+hrer Karl Koch served in Sachsenhausen. We Ilse was having an affair with the boss, and she agreed to become his secretary.
Carl was born when mother was 34 years old, and his father, a government official from Darmiggadta, - 57. Parents were married two months after the birth of son. His father died when the boy was eight years old. Future concentration camp commandant poorly studied. Soon he left school and went to work at local factories messenger.
When he was seventeen years old, he enlisted in the army. The First World War was underway in Western Europe. But his mother intervened, and with the recruiting office, he was returned home. In March 1916, at the age of nineteen years, he still managed to get to the front.
Rookie fill nahlebalsya trench life in one of the busiest sections of the Western Front.
War for Karl Koch ended in a POW camp, and, like many others, he finally returned to the wrecked, angry, Germany.
Former soldier managed to get a good idea. Having obtained the post of bank employee, he married in 1924. But two years later the bank collapsed, and Charles was left without work. At the same time upset and his marriage. Young unemployed people found a solution to their problems in the Nazi ideas and soon had served in the SS.
The fate of more than once push that the commander of the unit "Totenkopf" Theodor Eicke, an active participant in creating the first concentration camps.
Eike praised Koch, writing about him in 1936, when he led the camp in Sachsenhausen: "His ability above average. He does everything for the triumph of National Socialist ideals ".
In Sachsenhausen Koch even among "their" gained a reputation as notorious sadist. Nevertheless, these qualities helped him win the heart of Ilse. And at the end of 1937 was held wedding ceremony. The happy couple united their efforts to serve the devil.
Sadistic Koch were quick to emerge as soon as he assumed his duties. The camp received a great pleasure, whip lashing prisoners, the length of which were inserted pieces of razor. He coined the grip for the fingers and branding with hot iron. These medieval torture used for the slightest violation of camp rules.
The heads of the chief of Security Service of the Reich, by encouraging a system of concentration camps, was nominated by Koch to increase. In 1939 he was commissioned to organize a concentration camp at Buchenwald. At the new duty station commander went along with his wife.
Buchenwald was considered a "corrective" camp, like all his predecessors. The purpose of the camp will change for the middle of the war, when the Nazi program of extermination of human beings will finally be put into effect.
Subsequently, the Buchenwald concentration camp, like Auschwitz, had a dual purpose. Those who were sick, weak or too young to work immediately sent to the death. Those who seemed a day of work for the Reich, were forced to work in inhumane conditions in the arms-producing factory in the vicinity of the camp. Poor diet and overwork would inevitably lead prisoners to death.
While Koch was intoxicated by power, watching the daily destruction of people, his wife had experienced an even greater pleasure from the torment of prisoners. In the camp it feared more of the commandant.
Sadistic usually paced around the camp, handing out any counter-attacks with a whip in striped clothes. Sometimes it would take with a savage sheep-dog and went into raptures, pitting dog on pregnant women or prisoners with a heavy burden. Not surprising that the prisoners nicknamed Ilse "bitch of Buchenwald".
When utterly exhausted prisoners seemed to have no more terrible torture, sadistic invent new atrocities. She ordered the men to strip prisoners. Those who did not have a tattoo on the skin, Ilse Koch little interest. But when she saw on someone's body exotic pattern, in the eyes of the sadistic grin flashed carnivore. This meant that before her - another victim.
Later, Ilse Koch was nicknamed "Frau Shade". She used the tanned skin of the dead men for a variety of household goods, than extremely proud. Most suitable for craft projects she found the skin of the Gypsies and Russian prisoners with tattoos on his chest and back. This allowed us to do things very decorative ". Especially liked Ilse lampshades.
One of the prisoners, a Jew, Albert Grenovsky, which was forced to work in a pathology laboratory Buchenwald, told after the war, that the selected Ilse with a tattoo of prisoners brought to the clinic. There they were killed using a lethal injection.
There was only one sure way not to get "bitch" on the lampshade - disfigure his skin or die in the gas chamber. Some people and it seemed good.
Bodies having "artistic value", delivered in a postmortem laboratory, where they were treated with alcohol and carefully skinned. Then it was dried, greased with vegetable oil and packed in special bags.
And Ilse meanwhile improve their skills. Leather is closing, she began to sew gloves and fishnet underwear. "Tattoos, adorn the panties Ilse, I saw on the back of a gypsy in my block," - says Albert Grenovsky.
Apparently monstrous entertainment Ilse Koch had become fashionable among her colleagues in other concentration camps, which are multiplied in the Nazi empire like mushrooms. For her, it was pleasure to correspond with the wives of commanders of other camps and give them detailed instructions on how to turn human skin in exotic bindings of books, lampshades, gloves or cloth for the table.
This cannibalistic "craft" is not left unnoticed by the authorities. In late 1941 the couple appeared in court Koh SS at Cassel on charges of "excessive brutality and moral decay". Torture and killings were for the SS normal. But enjoy it hypocritical Nazi Themis considered "immoral". Knights of the Third Reich did not want to speak publicly in the role of sadist. Talk about lampshades and books spilled out of the camp and led Ilse and Karl in the dock, where they were held accountable for "abuse of power".
However, at that time sadists managed to avoid punishment. The court decided that they are a victim of slander by enemies. Former commandant for some time was the "advisor" in a concentration camp. But soon the couple-fanatics again returned to Buchenwald. And only in 1944 a trial was held, at which sadists could not escape responsibility.
Karl Koch was brought before a military tribunal on charges of killing the SS, who has repeatedly complained about the blatant extortion by the camp commandant. Found that most of the stolen property, rather than enter the coffers of the Reichsbank in Berlin and settled in the form of astronomical sums in secret accounts of the spouses Koch in a Swiss bank.
Karl Koch pulled the dead gold crowns, took away from living jewelry, wedding rings and money, which they tried to hide in clothes. Thus, the camp commander expects to achieve its postwar prosperity. Koch was a committed Nazi, but even more he was devoted to him and understood that Germany was losing the war. The commandant of Buchenwald was not going to perish together with the Third Reich. But he did not realize one thing: not the torture and murder, and theft was in the eyes of the higher ranks of the SS the most serious offense.
The Nazis found a pastor who was to testify against Koch at a meeting of the tribunal. The witness was kept under the watchful guard in prison. Incomprehensible, but he was found dead in his cell a day before the hearing. But this death meant the end for the defendant Charles Koch: At the pastor at the opening of potassium cyanide was found, and it was clear who killed the witness and why.
Koch is also accused of killing pastor, was sentenced to death. Closed tribunal heard an SS judge Konrad Morgen, who, having received authority from Himmler, went to Buchenwald concentration camp commandant to establish the guilt in theft. He found evidence of numerous crimes of the accused. Was found a large sum of money hidden by Koch under the bed - the money he "requisitioned" from the prisoners. Former commandant of the pleading to be given a chance to atone in a penal battalion somewhere on the Eastern Front. This request was rejected.
Reputation Koch was below the limit allowed by even the Nazi "moral". And in the cold April morning in 1945, just days before the camp's liberation by Allied troops, Karl Koch, was shot in the courtyard of the camp itself, where he most recently disposed of thousands of human lives.
Widowed Ilse has been guilty of no less than her husband. Many prisoners felt that Koch committed crimes under the demonic influence of his wife. In the eyes of the SS fault it was insignificant. Sadistic released from custody.
Nevertheless, she has not returned to Buchenwald. Shortly before the war was a criminal already on the parents' farm near Lyudvigsbergom.
But her name was not forgotten by those who survived. Famous American radio commentator Edward Murrow shocked the audience a story about what he saw when Allied troops liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp: "We have reached the main entrance. Prisoners huddled behind the barbed wire. As soon as we passed the gate, as a crowd gathered around me, people who tried to touch me. They were in rags. Death has already breathed on them, but they were smiling with his eyes. When I got to the barracks and went to one of them, then heard a faint applause prisoners, unable to rise from the bed. I went outside. One person in my eyes fell dead. People are skeletons covered with skin ... The children clung to my hands and looked at me as a miracle. The men approached and tried to talk to me. There were people from all over Europe. Many patients do not have to move. I asked about the cause of death of fallen man. The doctor said: "Tuberculosis, starvation, physical exhaustion and total loss of will to live".
I implore you to believe in what I said about Buchenwald. But this is only a small part of the tremendous truth that the world will perceive many years ".
General Eisenhower ordered that the 80 th Division, liberating the Buchenwald concentration camp, saw a terrible scene with my own eyes. "They may not know what war - he said - but now, at least, they see against what is worth fighting for".
The Americans tried to comprehend the meaning of such mass extermination of people. Those who took an active part, did not have long to stay in the shadows. In the days that followed the liberation of Buchenwald, constantly floated two names.
After the collapse of the Third Reich, Ilse Koch was hiding, knowing that the authorities catch a big fish in the SS and the Gestapo. She remained at large until 1947, when justice finally caught up with her.
Before the trial held in a former Nazi prison. Forty-year Ilse was pregnant by a German soldier. In Munich, she appeared before an American military tribunal to answer for their crimes.
A few weeks many former prisoners with burning anger, his eyes came to the courtroom to tell the truth about the past Ilse Koch.
"The blood of more than fifty thousand victims of Buchenwald on her hands - said the prosecutor - and the fact that this woman is currently pregnant, does not exempt her from punishment".
American General Emil Kiel read the verdict: "Ilse Koch - life imprisonment".
Once in jail, Ilse made a statement which asserted that there was only "servant" of the regime. She denied making things out of human skin and claimed that was surrounded by secret enemies of the Reich, which stipulates it, trying to avenge his official zeal.
In 1951, life Ilse Koch turning point. Gen. Lucius Clay, . High Commissioner of the American occupation zone in Germany, . its decision to cast it as a shock to the world on both sides of the Atlantic - as the population of their country, . and the Federal Republic of Germany, . arisen on the ruins of the defeated Third Reich ",
. He gave freedom of Ilse Koch, saying that there are only "irrelevant evidence" that she ordered someone to be executed, and its involvement in the production of handicrafts from the tattooed skin is no evidence.
When the military is a criminal was liberated, the world refused to believe in the validity of this decision. Most of all indignant Washington lawyer William Danson, who was a prosecutor at the court sentenced Ilse Koch to life imprisonment. He spoke on behalf of millions of dead and alive: "This is a terrible miscarriage of justice. Ilse Koch was one of the most notorious Nazi war criminals among sadistok. It is impossible to count the number of people who want to testify against her not only because she was the wife of the commandant of the camp, but also because it is cursed creature ".
However Frau Koch was not destined to enjoy the freedom. Once Ilse came out of the U.S. military prison in Munich, she was arrested by German authorities, and again put behind bars.
Themis new Germany, trying to somehow make amends for the massive crimes of the Nazis promptly seated Ilse Koch on trial. Bavarian Ministry of Justice looked for former prisoners of Buchenwald, obtaining new evidence that would allow the military to lock up the guilty in prison until the end of her days.
240 witnesses testified in court. They talked about the atrocities in the sadistic Nazi death camps. At this time the Germans tried Ilse Koch, in whose name a Nazi, she believes, rightly served "Fatherland". The military is a criminal was again sentenced to life imprisonment. She was firmly stated that this time it could not rely on any leniency.
In 1967, in a letter to his son Uwe which Ilse born shortly after the first sentence, she indignantly complained that became a scapegoat for someone else's sins, while many important people managed to escape punishment. However, in these letters was not the slightest remorse.
In that year on September 1 in the Bavarian prison cell she ate her last schnitzel with salad, wrote a farewell letter to his son, tied bed sheets and hanged. "Bitch of Buchenwald" settled accounts with his own life.
Nobody, perhaps, would have thought of buhenvaldskim excuses executioners, but one man decided to do it in 1971. Uwe Kohler, taking mother's maiden name, tried in court to restore the name of the evil Ilse Koch ". He made a heartfelt letter to the newspaper The New York Times: "Since the review of the case in the courts of West Germany's virtually impossible, I thought that the Americans, my mother sentenced to life imprisonment, must know its true history".
Uwe was born in 1947. His appearance in the world he is obliged to random contact Ilse and former German soldier in prison Lavdebergskoy. The boy was immediately sent to one of the Bavarian shelters - the first of many that he will be held until the rise, while remaining in complete ignorance of who his parents are alive and whether they.
In eight years, Uwe accidentally saw his birth certificate with the name of the mother and remembered it. Eleven years later the young man read a newspaper headline: "No mercy Ilse Koch". Appointed by the State Guardian has confirmed that this is a mother Uwe.
At Christmas 1966 he first visited his mother in Lavdeberge. "For me it was not" bitch of Buchenwald, "- said Uwe. - I was glad to meet with the mother ". He continued to visit her mother until the moment when she killed herself.
Uwe said: "In a conversation with her, I always avoided mention of the war. She herself addressed this topic, denied his guilt and said she was the victim of treachery. I have not discussed these issues in more detail, as it was clear that this is painful for her. I wanted it had hoped that after 20 years in prison she was released. It's hard to imagine it during the war. I am not convinced that she was innocent. But I feel that the system of concentration camps, it took like many who could not or could not resist this. She was gripped by hysteria of time ".
Historians and psychiatrists often return to the "phenomenon" Ilse Koch, plunged into the abyss of the most grievous sin on earth, and all agree that this woman was initially a "bunch of" bad habits.
But the historian Charles Leach disagrees: "To Karl Koch and after him by Ilse was observed that cruelty, which it" fame "in Buchenwald. Her madness, if it really was caused solely by connection with this man. With his death, it seems, witchcraft slept shackles. Perhaps if they had not met as a truly diabolical partners, would not have happened and what happened ".
With this statement, however, difficult to accept. "Fatal" coincidence is not to blame. It's not so much in the personal qualities of a Nazi war criminal, as in criminal, hateful nature of most of the Nazi system. What happened to her and her "support staff" was not at all accidental. Because of history.
Photos of Karl and Ilse Koch
Photos of Karl and Ilse Koch
|HVK for Karl and Ilse Koch
|The psychology of these women is what is interesting. The female camp guards were uneducated, from humble backgrounds, and found that their new jobs-as slave camp and death camp supervisors-gave them some sort of status for the first time in their lives. The guard jobs also gave them some sort of power for the first time in their lives. Not unexpectedly, many of these women abused their powers.
Look at the dull, disturbed eyes of the women guards presented in the photos. Look at the blank, hardened, flabby faces. They are of a 'type' easily recognized even today, seven decades after the concentration camps were dismantled.
We encounter women like this every day in America, women from the bottom of the socio-economic order who work in low-level jobs in which they are granted some limited powers over persons who would otherwise never associate with them. Everyone recognizes this 'type' in an instant. We see them in school systems, in court houses, at the Department of Motor Vehicles. They often delight in their new-found authority over persons who otherwise would not give them the time of day. These women are generally of low intelligence, overweight, unattractive and abusive-and often evince qualities of the sociopath and psychopath.
As a practicing attorney, I have been called upon, frequently, to deal with modern-day recreations of this type. In fact, once I had to deal with a ghastly women who was a dead ringer for the original Ilse Koch-and this modern-day Ilse Koch was even called 'the Bitch of Buchenwald' by persons who knew her. I have never forgotten it.
In a homeowner association in Fairfax County, Virginia, right outside of Washington, D.C., the local property manager IS Ilse Koch. She looks like Ilse Koch, she acts like Ilse Koch. She has been openly known to Sully II residents as 'The Bitch Of Buchenwald' for twenty years. The property manager must be a clone of Ilse Koch-she even dresses inappropriately and provocatively, as did Koch.
Some time ago, I represented a Sully II client in which this modern-day Ilse Koch showed up at a hearing wearing a body-hugging gray T-shirt without undergarments, exposing her nipples, which were disfigured. It was unbelievable. It was revolting. It was sickening. The first thing that came to mind the minute I saw this pig-faced woman was 'The people who live in Sully II are right-this woman IS the Bitch Of Buchenwald. Ilse Koch has been reincarnated'.
So we must be careful not to attribute the existence of such appalling women to Germany, or to particular times and events.
Such women are still with us. They are everywhere, in all cultures, in all societies.