Koch, Karl-Otto

Karl-Otto Koch
Karl-Otto Koch

Karl-Otto Koch (2 Aug. 1897 – 5 April 1945), SS Standartenführer, first headed the Esterwegen Camp in 1936, then became the first commandant of the Sachsenhausen Camp. In 1937, he was put in charge of the Buchenwald Camp, and in 1941 of the Majdanek Camp. In August 1942, Koch was arrested by the SS-internal police for crimes committed in Buchenwald. He was charged and eventually sentenced by an SS court in 1945 for having embezzled large amounts of inmate property, and for having killed three inmates who were about to become whistleblowers. Koch was executed by an SS firing squad one week before the camp was occupied by the U.S. Army. Karl Koch had already been sentenced to a prison term for embezzlement in 1930. (See the entry on Konrad Morgen and his testimony, IMT, Vol. 20, pp. 500f.)

Karl Koch’s wife Ilse Koch supposedly was involved in her own set of crimes while at the Buchenwald Camp – among them the murder of inmates for the sake of retrieving human skin with fancy tattoos, with the aim of manufacturing certain objects of them. See the following entry on her.

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