Death of Ilse Koch by Suicide - in Prison for War Crimes Hot

Death of Ilse Koch by Suicide - in Prison for War Crimes

Karl-Otto Koch and Ilse Koch at a picnic

Timeline of History


Ilse Koch commits suicide in prison in Aichach, Germany, at the age of 60. Infamous as Die Hexe von Buchenwald ("The Witch of Buchenwald" or "The Bitch of Buchenwald"), she was a Nazi war criminal who abused inmates in concentration camps in especially cruel and sadistic ways.

She was even accused of having inmates killed so she could take their skin as a souvenir when they had distinctive tattoos.

Ilse Koch was put on trial before a military court at Dachau on charges of "participating in a criminal plan for aiding, abetting and participating in the murders at Buchenwald." Convicted and sentenced to life, she only spent a few years in prison. General Lucius D. Clay, the interim military governor of the American Zone in Germany, reduced her sentence to just four years because he didn't think there was enough evidence to justify such a harsh punishment.

She was arrested, tried, and convicted again in 1951 in a West German court because of the public outrage over her being allowed to walk free. As with the first trial she was sentenced to life in prison, and after her appeals ran out she chose to commit suicide.


Ilse Koch "Concentration Camp Murderess" War Crimes Trial, 1948/10/28

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