On this day in 1951, Ilse Koch, wife of the commandant of the Buchenwald concentration camp, was sentenced to life imprisonment in a court in West Germany. Ilse Koch was nicknamed the “Witch of Buchenwald” for her extraordinary sadism.
Koch was born in Dresden, Germany, the daughter of a factory foreman. She was known as a polite and happy child in her elementary school. At the age of 15, she entered an accountancy school. Later, she went to work as a bookkeeping clerk. At the time the economy of Germany had not yet recovered from Germany’s defeat in World War I. In 1932, she became a member of the rising Nazi Party.
On May 29, 1937, she married Karl Otto Koch, a colonel in the SS who was commander of the Sachsenhausen camp. In the summer of 1937 he was transferred to Buchenwald, then a new concentration camp near Weimar. There Koch acquired her reputation as a sadist and nymphomaniac…
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