“Frau Shade” Of Buchenwald. The librarian with the Souvenirs of human skin

ILSA Koch trial of former personnel of Buchenwald. © /

Commons.wikimedia.org

All of these stories, perhaps, begin the same way. This is also not an exception. Ilse Koehler ‘s childhood was not cruelty or sadism. She was born in Dresden in a working class family of factory: lived a wealthy life, but also without poverty. He studied ILSA “excellent”, witnesses described her as cheerful and studious child. After school, Mr. Koehler went to work in the library. Visitors praised the chorus of a new employee: “honey girl,” “helpful and friendly”, “pure angel”. However, in the soul of the angel already defeated demons: in 1932, even before Hitler came to power, ILSA joined the National socialist workers party of Germany (NSDAP) in 1934 was married to SS officer KarlOtto Koch (taking his name), and in 1936 took a job as a guard in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. After a year, Koch was appointed commandant of the notorious Buchenwald: there’s “helpful and friendly” ILSA turned into such a monster that even seasoned historians, read the testimonies of prisoners poured cold sweat.

ILSA Koch. Photo: Commons.wikimedia.org

Bra from a prisoner of war

Thirty ILSA immediately drew attention to prisoners with a tattoo in the first place — former criminals, and then the sailors who navigated earlier in Japan or Malaya: they made drawings on the skin unusual red or green ink. “The librarian” was also interested in Gypsies: their tattoos are often depicted demons, the devil or mermaid. One day (in December 1940) ILSA Koch appeared at the Christmas party for SS officers and boasted there brand new purse with a picture of the red monkey: it is no secret that the handbag and slim ladies gloves “in the box”… made from human skin.

According to the testimony of former prisoners of Buchenwald, ILSA launched the camp in a real hunt on people with tattoos. Selected her victims under the pretext of medical examination was taken to the camp infirmary and were killed there by lethal injection: the commandant has forbidden the shooting, not to spoil bullet “image”. Pathologists “skinned” corpse, and then the skin fell into the hands of professionals dressing (also from among the prisoners). Wives of SS officers envious gasped, coming home to ILSA: she boasted a leather handmade lampshades, book covers, paintings on the walls and even a tablecloth for the kitchen table from the back of the singer of the Parisian cabaret. In 1941, the wife of the commandant received the title of senior guards: although her husband was transferred to Majdanek, she was working in Buchenwald. For his macabre fascination with “pure angel” received among the prisoners nicknamed “Frau Shade”.

From Dachau to Majdanek. The concentration camps of the Third Reich

However, the nicknames she did was enough: “the Red witch” (for the love of tattoos in red ink), “the Beast of Buchenwald”, “butcher Widow”. In her passion she reached full madness: even underwear Ilse Koch made himself in human flesh. The number of ruined her incalculable: perhaps there were hundreds of them. After the German attack on the USSR Ilse in conversation with friends rejoiced to Buchenwald began to receive Soviet prisoners of war, many on the chest was a tattoo of a Church or the coat of arms of the Soviet Union. These people were killed within 2-3 days after arrival in Buchenwald. To hide the death helped bribed by ILSA Dr. Erich Wagner, pointing out in the column “cause of death” heart attack.

Ilse Koch before a military Tribunal the United States to Dachau, 8.7.1947 Photo: Commons.wikimedia.org

Poisoned pregnant shepherd

Products of human skin is not all that distinguished wife of the commandant. As matron she was regularly beaten by the inhabitants of the camp with a whip, incited shepherd pregnant women give blood a real sadistic pleasure. In recognition of the prisoners of Buchenwald, they even the most cruel guards-the SS was not afraid not as this insane creature in a black uniform. Except for murder and production of lampshades Ilse Koch was involved in “jobs”. She and her husband stole the jewels of dead people sent to the gas chamber: as a rule, it was gold teeth, earrings and wedding rings. All SS couple stole gold worth a million Reichsmarks.

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The leadership of the SS turned a blind eye on the massacre of prisoners in a concentration camp, but stealing Finance could not forgive. August 24, 1943, Ilse and her husband were arrested on charges of “personal enrichment, applied the Reich economic damage and the physical elimination of witnesses of their crimes.” Mrs. Shade was kept in jail for 16 months and eventually released is dead (from cyanide), the camp priest, who promised to give the necessary evidence. Soon the Red witch, became a widow for embezzlement “of funds owned by Germany”, standartenfuhrer Koch was sentenced to death. Ex-commandant cried to the judges, asking him to send him to a penal battalion on the Eastern front, however, the request is not heard: April 5, 1945 Koch was shot.

The exhibition of human remains and artifacts retrieved by the American army from a pathology laboratory managed by the SS in Buchenwald. These items were used as evidence of SS atrocities in the trial on charges of war crimes in the Buchenwald Photo: Commons.wikimedia.org

The disappearance of “gifts”

Liberated Buchenwald, American soldiers were shocked by the stories about the prisoners, Ilse Koch. In addition, they found in the house of guards collection, as from horror movies: human internal organs in jars tied with pretty ribbons, like gifts. 30 June 1945 Ilse Koch was taken into custody by the American military administration, and in 1947 she was sentenced to life imprisonment. However, by this time she was in her eighth month of pregnancy (managed to “fly” from captured German soldier, who was sitting in the same cell).

Life among wolves. Three-year-old boy was hiding from the SS in Buchenwald

Soon, General Lucius Clay, commander of the occupation zone of the United States in Germany, said that despite the testimony of dozens of eyewitnesses, no direct evidence that Ilse Koch stripped off his skin and was making out of her purse. All “gifts” mysteriously disappeared. And, according to the Glue, most importantly: “She didn’t kill American and other citizens of the allied countries, so there is no reason to keep her behind bars ahead.” ILSA and she quietly told the press: Yes, she was fond of making leather gizmos for the home, but only from goat skins.

By the way the lampshade and its holder ILSA Koch.https://t.co/VpVhP93rO5 pic.twitter.com/F8iHcEgCRA

Russian Silence © (@s__ovpre__z) August 31, 2016.

Mrs. Shade was released, and this has led to such massive outrage that in 1949 the government of Western Germany, was arrested Ilse Koch. Four witnesses testified at the trial: they saw, by order of the commandant of tattooed prisoners killed and removed from their skin, has seen the lampshades made from it. The court did not believe them. However, and other crimes was enough: the former librarian from Dresden to freedom has failed. On 1 September 1967, sixty-year-old Ilse Koch rolled out the sheet rope and hanged himself in his cell women’s prison of Aichach. Shortly before her death she complained of hallucinations: dead prisoners at Buchenwald came to her through walls and demanded the return of their skin. Mrs. Shade was simply crazy.

Ilse Koch leaves the courtroom. Photo: Commons.wikimedia.org

From Karl-Otto Koch, Ilse gave birth to two sons. One of them later (twenty years after the war) committed suicide, leaving a note: “I can’t live with the knowledge of the crimes of my parents.” The third son by name Uwe (from the soldier-prisoner of war) in 1971, he gave several interviews to Western Newspapers, saying he’s going to “clear the name of his mother, turned into a monster.” Fortunately, it turned out that all around at his revelation to care. The warden Ilse Koch remained in history who was: mentally ill killer-sadist in the service of the Nazi regime.

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