Karl Koch
[back] Buchenwald

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 In the subsequent trial the charge against Ilse Koch regarding making items out of skin was withdrawn due to lack of evidence, and Ilse was acquitted on the charge of embezzlement, but her husband was found guilty of murdering 4 inmates.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