Ilse Koch, the Most Evil Woman in History?

Was Ilse Koch the most evil woman who ever lived? Countess Elizabeth Bathory is said to have killed hundreds of women, but she had a mad agenda: Bathe in their blood for eternal youth. Ilse Koch’s only motivation was to watch the suffering of others. She gave the orders to kill the inmates of Buchenwald and felt like a queen to have the power of life and death over people. She killed because she loved killing.

The Bitch of Buchenwald (wikimedia)
Example I
Example II

Margaret Ilse Koch, née Köhler was the child

Of poor peasants, her disposition was quite mild

She did not shine but worked fairly well at school

Was attentive, polite, and followed all the rules.


So what turned this unspectacular young woman

And urged her to commit practices subhuman?

One type of monsters evolve from innate nature

But the other type are just victims of nurture


In times of pandemic viruses roam the air

Fascistic climates breathe their spores into your nare

Which explains why later she deserved to be called

The heartless murderous bitch of Buchenwald


Hitler had promised a glittering new dawn

Jobs for all, everyone coming into their own

And Ilse Köhler clambered on that hopeful ship

By signing to the Nazi Party membership


If the spores in her nostril had not been enough

Karl Otto Koch was poised to catch her by the scruff

Acting as each other’s inspiration and guide

They’d soon become the Holocaust’s Bonnie and Clyde


Since thuggery was to be part of their arsenal

The Party welcomed Koch the petty criminal

With open arms and were more than mightily chuffed

When they heard the man had done time for fraud and theft.


Karl and Ilse keen to show their Nazi fervour

Set themselves to work with incredible ardour

Creating blond Aryan kids to make the race purer

So they could in time fight and die for the führer


Their devotion to the cause was duly noted

And Karl went from strength to strength getting promoted

The one-time petty thief now named camp commander

Giving him more opportunities to plunder


Koch was summoned by Heinrich Himmler and was told

That he was to be commander at Buchenwald

The biggest prison camp now under construction

Ilse said Karl, ask them to build us a mansion


At her trials Ilse Koch would maintain and stress

That she had no say in how Karl ran his business

She was a housewife, had no wish to be his truss

But from the first she meant to show who was the boss


Though her name is forever linked to tattooed skins

Ilse Koch committed equally damning sins

She soon learnt the extent of her god-like power

And used every chance to make the inmates cower


If Herod were a woman he’d have loved this stunt

With scanty clothing on displaying tits and cunt

She’d parade herself with instructions to the guards

To seize those who dared to look and shoot the blackguards


She would indulge in copious meals on her balcony

And squeal with laughter at the frenzy and agony

Of the starving inmates below fighting over skins

And bones that she tossed over like into dust bins


She welcomed teenagers (Buchenwald was male only)

And attired flimsily and provocatively

She’d spell out the stake: show signs of sexual arousal

And, dear child, it’s at your precious young life’s peril


Though at the camp there were no gas chambers

The dead were counted in astronomical numbers

With the official figures of forty three thousand

Witnesses swear more’n half were at Ilse’s command


She relished the chance of giving orders to shoot

And thought the painful slow death of her victims a hoot

Drunk on her power she must have felt like a queen

The poor little chubby peasant girl from Dresden


The sexual mores at the camp were pretty lax

Wife swopping and orgies, to get to brass tacks

Were openly practised by commanders and staff

The inmates saw all this and later would blow the gaff


When Koch was in Berlin on his Nazi duty

Ilse would move in with his chief deputy

The equally promiscuous Karl would catch syphilis

Which would mean death for the doctor who told him this


She spent her ample free time riding through the camp

Or in her purpose built gymnasium when it was damp

Fancying herself a proud modern Valkyrie

Relaxed, contented, never in any hurry


She had seen tattoos on the bodies of the captives

And had from the first found them quite attractive

How nice to have something like that on my wall

Thought the woman who became the bitch of Buchenwald


She convinced doctors Wagner and Hoven to test

Her theory that tattooed men were the vilest

By making them ingest dubious nostrum or linctus

Which resulted, as they knew in their quietus


Once dead, Ilse Koch demanded the excision

Of the prized tattoo for the next operation

Which saw the human skin dry into a piece of art

She knew that she couldn’t with this trinket part


Wagner and Hoven merrily pursued their task

Killing dozens more tattooed victims as she did ask

Replenishing her stock which triggered her quip

This Christmas I won’t need to go on a shopping trip


She posted to other camp commanders and their wives

Human leather gloves, lampshades and sheathes for knives

For Karl she had a well-preserved shrunken human head

There are photos, the specimens eliminated


Photos and witness accounts notwithstanding

Nuremberg found solid proofs of her guilt wanting

So her life was spared and she was set free for a while

But post-war Germany did put her on trial


The Gestapo had earlier caught up with the pair

Tried them for theft and other crimes laid bare

Karl duly faced the firing squad when found guilty

But she was just a wife under Koch’s authority


New Germany wanted a new beginning

And were in no mood for pussy-footing

She was found guilty of crimes against humanity

And condemned to prison in perpetuity


Was it remorse, was it despair no one knows

She tied some sheets together to make her own gallows

Mourned only by the son she had conceived

Whilst in prison knowing there’d be no reprieve

Prizewinning playwright. Mathematician. Teacher. Professional Siesta addict.