Ilse Koch
[back] Buchenwald

[Ilse Koch was accused of taking souvenirs from the skin of murdered inmates at Buchenwald with distinctive tattoos, but all the evidence points to her being a victim of the Human skin lampshades PSYOP.  She was the wife of Karl Koch, the commandant of the concentration camps Buchenwald from 1937 to 1941 and Majdanek from 1941 to 1943 who was executed by the SS for corruption and murder under Judge Konrad Morgen, which hardly suggests she would get away with that!  On the display table is a 50-page dissertation on the subject of how criminality relates to tattoos. It was written by a German camp doctor on the Buchenwald camp premises, around 1939-40, which may explain where those tattoos came from.
She was known as "The Witch of Buchenwald", "The Beast of Buchenwald" and "The Bitch of Buchenwald."   Irma Grese was the other victim of this PSYOP at Belsen.]

See: Dr. Kurte Sitte  Human skin lampshades

The Story Of The Buchenwald  

The Trial of Ilse Koch
Karl Koch

The internet video Buchenwald: A Dumb Dumb Portrayal of Evil (2008) makes the assertion that Psyche Warfare planted evidence at Buchenwald. Seeing Things by John Ellis (published by I.B. Taurus in 2000) mentions Billy Wilder forcing German audiences to watch footage of Buchenwald in order to receive bread rations. The movie Buchenwald: A Dumb Dumb Portrayal Of Evil Episode 2 points out that Wilder is actually in the Buchenwald footage, helping to direct.---- Buchenwald Flyer Sources

Ilse Koch and the Alleged Lampshade (1948)

BUCHENWALD A Dumb Dumb Portrayal Of Evil

See: Irma Grese

Dr. Sitte, who had a Ph.D. in physics, was one of the star witnesses against Ilse Koch. He had been a prisoner at Buchenwald from September 1939 until the liberation. He testified that tattooed skin was stripped from the bodies of dead prisoners and "was often used to create lampshades, knife cases, and similar items for the SS." He told the court that it was "common knowledge" that tattooed prisoners were sent to the hospital after Ilse Koch had passed by them on work details. Dr. Sitte's testimony of "common knowledge" was just another word for hearsay testimony, which was allowed by the American Military Tribunal.
    According to Joshua M. Greene, author of "Justice at Dachau," Dr. Sitte testified that "These prisoners were killed in the hospital and the tattooing stripped off."
    Under cross-examination, Dr. Sitte was forced to admit that he had never seen any of the lampshades allegedly made of human skin and that he had no personal knowledge of any prisoner who had been reported by Frau Koch and was then killed so that his tattooed skin could be made into a lampshade. He also admitted that the lampshade that was on the display table in the film was not the lampshade made from human skin that was allegedly delivered to Frau Koch. Apparently the most important piece of evidence, the lampshade made from human skin, was nowhere in sight during the trial.
Ilse Koch - human lampshades

Professor David A. Hackett has in his possession a 50-page dissertation on the subject of how criminality relates to tattoos. It was written by a German camp doctor on the Buchenwald camp premises, around 1939-'40. Nazi Shrunken Heads

Dodd claims that SS Judge Konrad Morgan, saw a shrunken head, saw the tattooed skin, and saw a human skin lampshade. But, explains Dodd, Morgen simply didn't prosecute Koch for these offenses. Dodd says this to protect his famous presentation of a head and skin in the Nuremberg courtroom; and to hedge against the logic that the skin, shrunken heads, and lampshades might have come up in a trial by the Nazis against Karl Koch. And Dodd isn't going to be "called" on that because the Americans have SS Judge Konrad Morgen imprisoned at Dachau. It will be a months of delay before the German lawyers are finally able to find Morgen so that he can testify. Ideally, Dodd wanted Morgen to take the stand and say all this himself and tried to get him to do so. In David Irving's free online book Nuremberg, The Last Battle, page 223, we read how Konrad Morgen felt about this: 
    "But he (Konrad Morgen) refused to give perjured testimony at Nuremberg to the effect that Ilse Koch, widow of the commandant hanged by the S.S., had made lampshades out of human skin. 'That was a legend,' he said: 'totally untrue. The Americans almost killed me,’ recalled Morgen. ‘They threatened three times to turn me over to the Russians or French or Poles.'"
    and here is Irving's source:  Note 492. Transcript of John Toland’s interview with Konrad Morgen, attorney, Frankfurt, Oct 25, 1971. (Roosevelt Library, John Toland papers, box 53). For Morgen’s Nuremberg testimony see IMT, Aug 7-8, 1946, pages 488-515 Nazi Shrunken Heads

Kenneth Kipperman has done the most to track down the Buchenwald table objects. There is a Washington Post article about him (Ken Kipperman and The Table of Horrors" 6/24/2001) and also a Jerusalem Post article ("Kenneth's Kaddish" 4/12/2007) . When I read the Washington Post article, I got the impression that some of the items may have existed around the time DNA evidence started to come into play in the 1980's, and that National Archives official Robert Wolfe gave Kipperman the runaround, finally saying he didn't have the items. Could someone have got rid of the items once DNA evidence technology appeared? Nazi Shrunken Heads

Among other things, I wanted to ask him about the table. How did the table with the heads and skins come about? He told me his answer: When he arrived at Buchenwald the table was already set up, and it had been set-up by the prisoners. He later mentioned that the prisoners had a self-governing structure, and their leaders were communists. I actually don't believe the prisoners set up the table. I think Psyche Warfare set up the table, but not Rosenberg--He was too low in the Psyche Warfare hierarchy and got to Buchenwald too late. David Hackett's introduction to The Buchenwald Report (pg. 15) states that Rosenberg arrived at Buchenwald on the 16th. That is the day the German tour took place, and the table was filmed with Billy Wilder directing the footage. But as was discovered by another researcher, we do know that Albert G. Rosenberg is the man who is speaking to the Germans on their forced tour of the camp. The researcher discovered a passage written by a Buchenwald inmate and author Jorge Semprun in his book, Literature or Life. Semprun had written this book many years later, and has mistakenly remembered Rosenberg as Rosenfeld. Nazi Shrunken Heads

Dr. Kurte Sitte, a 36-year-old doctor of Physics at Manchester University who had been a political prisoner at Buchenwald since September 1939, testified at the Buchenwald trial that a shrunken head, which he identified in the courtroom, was the head of a Polish prisoner who had been decapitated on the order of SS doctor Mueller at Buchenwald. Buchenwald Trial

Of all the table items above, I believe that David Hackett has the only remaining object. He has the dissertation, because Albert G. Rosenberg gave it to him.
    In a phone conversation, and before I told him I was a denier (he won't respond to me now) Professor David A. Hackett, the translator of "The Buchenwald Report" told me that among all the papers that Rosenberg gave him around 40 to 50 years after the war, was this dissertation, written by a German doctor who was studying a perceived connection between criminality and tattoos. (Common criminals were a significant part of the inmate population at Buchenwald.) Hackett told me that he'd read the dissertation and it was of really poor-quality scholarship.
    But consider that the dissertation is a piece of withheld evidence. Ilse Koch's lawyers would have liked to have known about it. After all, it could have helped exonerate Koch from the incredibly cruel charges that she made lampshades out of human skin. Her lawyers could have offered an alternate explanation, using the dissertation to bolster the notion that tattooed skin was at the camp because a student had been studying the skin. Similarly, the Nuremberg defendants' lawyers would have also wanted to see it, since they could have used it to offer an explanation as to why tattooed skin was found at Buchenwald. The Germans' lawyers probably never knew the dissertation existed.
    During various trials, Rosenberg had this evidence and withheld it.
    Does the dissertation mention anything about tribalism? Hackett won't answer my emails.
    The dissertation is the only thing on the table that is known to be in existence today. Rosenberg gave it to Hackett in the 1980's or 1990's and Hackett currently possesses it. In my nearly two-hour phone conversation with Rosenberg, he told me that he "burned half of the reports" he had lying around from his days in Psych Warfare. Did he also get rid of things like the "human pelvis ashtray"? One wonders.
    Imagine this withheld piece of evidence, in trials where people were sentenced to death long ago in Germany, probably sitting in the bottom of some box in some garage in El Paso, Texas; as kids ride their Razor scooters by on the hot asphalt street out in front.
    It would be helpful if Professor Hackett could use a digital camera, and take photos of the pages of the dissertation and put them on his website so that others can take a look at this German language document Nazi Shrunken Heads

The lampshade and tattooed-skin charges were made against Ilse Koch, dubbed by journalists the "Bitch of Buchenwald," who was reported to have furnished her house with objects manufactured from the tanned hides of luckless inmates. But General Lucius Clay, military governor of the U.S. zone of occupied Germany, who reviewed her case in 1948, told his superiors in Washington: "There is no convincing evidence that she [Ilse Koch] selected inmates for extermination in order to secure tattooed skins or that she possessed any articles made of human skin." In an interview General Clay gave years later, he stated about the material for the infamous lampshades: "Well, it turned out actually that it was goat flesh. But at the trial it was still human flesh. It was almost impossible for her to have gotten a fair trial."(8) Ilse Koch hanged herself in a West German jail in 1967. The Liberation of the Camps by Theodore J. O'Keefe

The German court found Ilse Koch guilty of one count of incitement to murder, one count of incitement to attempted murder, five counts of incitement to severe physical mistreatment of prisoners, and two counts of physical mistreatment. In January 1951, she was again sentenced to life in prison. While not finding her guilty of ordering prisoners killed for their tattooed skin, the court did take judicial notice that there was no doubt that lamp shades made from human skin had been found at Buchenwald, even though it had not been proved that Ilse Koch had ordered these lamp shades to be made. Ilse protested her life sentence, to no avail, to the International Human Rights Commission. After serving over 20 years in prison, Ilse was founded dead in her cell at Aichach on September 1, 1967. Her death, by hanging, was ruled a suicide. The Trial of Ilse Koch

 Morgen worked as both investigator and judge prosecuting officials and guards in the concentration camps for illegal activities. In the Buchenwald camp, four people were arrested, including the former camp commander's wife, Ilse Koch. The main issue was that 3-4 prisoners had been killed some years earlier. Morgen sentenced two of them to death. Ilse was acquitted on the charge of embezzlement, and the charge against her levelled by the inmates of making items out of human skin was withdrawn due to lack of evidence. Morgen had interviewed the prisoners at Buchenwald, but couldn't prove their stories about Ilse making tattooed lamp shades so he withdrew the charge.
....What Morgan did during the war flies in the face of the standard holocaust story: Morgen sentenced to death the top two officials of a concentration camp for killing just 3-4 inmates, years earlier. Not hundreds, not thousands. Yet holocaust survivor stories tend to describe the average guard as killing that many people every day, with and without an alcoholic drink in one hand. Contrast with Morgen: he moved to the Buchenwald area for 8 months, and had to really look, placing his staff to live in the concentration camp itself. He wasn't investigating the current camp commander Hermann Pister, but rather the former camp commander who had left 2 years earlier. After some major sleuthing, Morgen found some corruption practices but turned up no murder leads. Finally, near the end of 8 months, and looking at records that were 3-5 years old, Morgen uncovered a stealthy way in which the camp commander, Karl Koch, with the help of the camp doctor had killed around 4 inmates, and Koch was tried and sentenced to death. That doesn't fit with the holocaust at all does it? In short, Morgen spent an enormous amount of time in regard to the deaths of a few inmates that had occurred years before. Konrad Morgen

The Allied Psychological Warfare Department (called PWD-SHAEF) came up with a plan to exploit a rumor which they had heard about. The rumor was that at Buchenwald, Ilse Koch, the sadistic wife of the camp commander Karl Koch, would ride out into the prison yard on a horse, have prisoners strip, and then choose tattoos on their bodies she liked. These prisoners would then be sent to a place where they would be killed, so that their tattooed skin could be removed and made into lampshades and other items. Konrad Morgen

The Buchenwald Report, translated, edited, and with an introduction by David A. Hackett, Westview Press, 1995
Professor David A. Hackett, who is not a holocaust denier, documents this in the introduction of his book, page 5. The book is a translation of the 1945 "The Buchenwald Report."
Hackett inadvertently reveals that nearly everyone in psyche warfare involved regarding Buchenwald was Jewish. You can tell from their names: Edward A. Tenenbaum, Albert G. Rosenberg, Daniel Lerner, Saul Padover. Rosenberg was German Jewish. Tenenbaum was American Jewish. Jews were probably around 2 percent of the US population at the time. Tenenbaum was the first American to arrive at the camp along with a civilian named Egon Fleck. On page 5 of Hackett's book, it mentions that Tenenbaum stayed overnight in block 50. Maps show that that is in the medical experiments area, which would have been the right place to plant skin and shrunken heads. Then again Rosenberg could have planted them when he arrived 5 days later.
    Then shortly after, an American film crew arrived, headed by Billy Wilder, an Austrian Jew turned American Film Corps officer, and lo and behold, there on a display table ready to be filmed were dried pieces of tattooed human skin. Oh, and two shrunken heads. Never mind that they were South American shrunken heads. Konrad Morgen

The Logic of The Psych Warfare Plan: Ilse Koch was killing prisoners and making items out of their tattooed skin. When the Americans were coming in April 1945, she hastily left, and morbid objects indicating what she had done were there for the Americans to find. Konrad Morgen

The Problem with The Psych Warfare Plan: If Psych Warfare had known about Konrad Morgen, they might have done the math. The math is that no one associated with the rumor of the tattooed skin, shrunken heads, and lampshades had been at Buchenwald for almost two years. Morgen had arrested four people: Karl Koch, his wife, the deputy camp commander, and the lead camp doctor, all in late 1943. In the subsequent trial the charge against Ilse Koch regarding making items out of skin was withdrawn due to lack of evidence, (20) and Ilse was acquitted on the charge of embezzlement, but her husband was found guilty of murdering 4 inmates. He was sentenced to death and later executed, as was the deputy. When the Americans arrived, Ilse Koch hadn't lived at Buchenwald for almost 2 years. And during the Morgen crackdown, one would think the camp would have been run by the book. The new commander of Buchenwald, Hermann Pister, was already there in July 1943 when Morgen started his 8 month investigation. Karl Koch had transferred to be the head of Majdanek in 1941. The new commander, Hermann Pister, was never charged by the SS nor later the Americans with making shrunken heads or procurring human skin, so it doesn't make sense that the Americans would find these items when they arrived almost 2 years later. Morgen threw a wrench into the works of the Psych Warfare plan, because they didn't know about him.
    But the plan worked anyway, because when it comes to a psychologically powerful atrocity spectacle, the public doesn't really think. That could be seen in 1991, when a Hungarian Jew turned US congressman, Tom Lantos, staged a spectacle: A 15 year-old girl testified that she had been in a Kuwait hospital room when the Iraqi soldiers came in and yanked babies off life-support systems so they could take the incubators back to Iraq. No one noticed that the girl testifying spoke perfect American English. She had no accent whatsoever. What are the chances of a 15 year old Arab girl in Kuwait speaking flawless American English happening to be in the neo-natal intensive care unit when Iraqi troops barge in? The horrible spectacle she described, her brown skin, and her Arabic name was enough to fool everybody. Konrad Morgen

So Morgen's name enters the court transcript, but as part of a lie Dodd is telling in order to save the integrity of his presentation. Because Morgen never saw a head, tattoos and lampshades in his investigation of Buchenwald. And as mentioned, that charge against Ilse Koch was withdrawn due to lack of evidence. At that point, around January 1946, the Americans start looking for Morgen in Germany. When they find him, they imprison him at Dachau and threaten to turn him over to the Soviets if he doesn't testify that he saw the tattooed human skin, lampshades and shrunken heads. He refuses. Konrad Morgen


Ilse Koch leaves the courtroom at Dachau, April 1947

Ilse Koch, August 19, 1947

Prosecution witness Dr. Kurte Sitte identifies 3 pieces of tattooed skin

Ilse Koch on the witness stand, 7/14/1947

After World War II, no expense was spared to educate the American public about the evil perpetrated by Hitler's Third Reich and the horror of the concentration camps. The photograph below shows a traveling exhibit of photographs, enlarged to twice the size of life. This photo in the exhibit, entitled "The living dead" was taken at Buchenwald. The Trial of Ilse Koch

Fifty years later, the memories of the horror of Buchenwald were still fresh. In a ceremony to commemorate the 50ieth anniversary of the liberation of Buchenwald, one thousand survivors of the camp participated along with some of the American veterans who had liberated the camp. As quoted in an article about this event by Stephen Kinzer in the New York Times International, one of the former inmates shared his memories of Ilse Koch:
    "She was a very beautiful woman with long red hair, but any prisoner who was caught looking at her could be shot," recalled Kurt Glass, a former inmate who worked as a gardener at the Koch family villa. "She got the idea she would like lamp shades made of human skin, and one day on the Appellplatz we were all ordered to strip to the waist. The ones who had interesting tattoos were brought to her, and she picked out the ones she liked. Those people were killed and their skin was made into lampshades for her. She also used mummified human thumbs as light switches in her house."
    If the human thumb light switches were ever found, they were not introduced as evidence into the trial of Ilse Koch. The Trial of Ilse Koch

According to a book entitled "The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of Hitler's SS," by Heinz Höhne, Otto Koch had extorted money from Jewish prisoners who were sent to Buchenwald in November 1938 following the state-sponsored pogrom known as Kristallnacht. Approximately 10,000 Jewish men had been brought to Buchenwald in November 1938 but they were offered the opportunity to be released if they promised to leave Germany with their families within six months. Koch was accused of taking money from these prisoners without official authorization. Koch had also ordered the deaths of two prisoners, allegedly in an attempt to cover up his misdeeds.
    Another version of the story, according to the Buchenwald Report commissioned by the US Army, is that Koch had syphilis and he had ordered the deaths of two hospital orderlies to prevent them from revealing his secret.
    Before his crimes at Buchenwald were uncovered, Commandant Karl Otto Koch had been transferred to the Majdanek death camp in Poland in September 1941, but his wife stayed behind, continuing to live in the Commandant's house. According to the Buchenwald Report, it was rumored that Ilse Koch was having simultaneous love affairs with Dr. Waldemar Hoven, a Waffen-SS Captain who was the chief medical doctor at Buchenwald, and Hermann Florstedt, the Deputy Commandant.
    Both Florstedt and Dr. Hoven were put on trial in the special Nazi court, which was run by Dr. Georg Konrad Morgen, also an officer in the Waffen-SS. Florstedt was convicted by the Nazi court and was executed. Dr. Hoven, who was a Communist sympathizer, was convicted of killing non-Communist Buchenwald prisoners by injecting them in the heart. He was sentenced to death by the SS court, but his sentence was never carried out. After serving 18 months in the Buchenwald camp prison, he was reprieved because there was a shortage of doctors in the camp and his services were needed.
After the war, an International Military Tribunal again charged Dr. Hoven with killing Buchenwald political prisoners by injection. He was one of 23 Nazi doctors who were put on trial in June 1947 in the case of USA vs. Karl Brandt and others at Nuremberg, where he was again convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Dr. Hoven was executed by hanging on June 2, 1948. The Trial of Ilse Koch