Karl Otto Koch Becomes First Commandent of Buchenwald Concentration Camp Hot

Karl Otto Koch Becomes First Commandent of Buchenwald Concentration Camp

Karl-Otto Koch and Isle Koch at the Beach

SS Standartenführer (Colonel) Karl-Otto Koch becomes the first commandant of the Buchenwald concentration camp. He will be removed from the post in September 1941 after an investigation into his actions leads to allegations of fraud, embezzlement, and other crimes.

SS-Obergruppenführer Josias von Waldeck-Pyrmont, SS and Police Leader for Weimar, will launch a more thorough investigation that reveals significant crimes to have been committed by Koch. This investigation will lead to Koch's arrest, trial, and execution in 1945.

Josias will discover that Koch has ordered the death of Dr. Walter Krämer, a head hospital orderly, because Krämer has treated Koch for syphilis, and Koch wants to keep his condition a secret. He has also had others involved in the treatment killed to keep them quiet.

The Kochs will be arrested in 1943; Ilse is acquitted but Karl Otto is convicted and sentenced to death. Josias will himself be arrested after the war and convicted before a military trial at Dachau for his partial responsibility for the crimes committed a Buchenwald — a concentration camp that was in his jurisdiction.

His sentence will later be reduced because of irregularities in the trials.


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