- Posted October 9, 2010 by
New York City, New York
The Kochs, A Nazi Past, Oil & The Foundation of The Right
Notorious Nazis Ilse Koch, her husband Karl Otto Koch and Erich Koch are the ghosts of Koch Industries, who seized the U.S. conservative political agenda years ago and seem capable of seizing the government in total through the Tea Party. Ilse Koch was the Nazi's specialist in making objects from human skin; was the only woman charged with war crimes; and along with her husband was in charge of one of the most horrific horror camps in Nazi Germany.
Koch Industries is the child of the violence of Buchenwald, widely regarded as one of wartime Germany's most notorious "death camps".
Information connecting Ilse and Koch Industries is hard to find but is a string of fragments, pieces of information that connects the American and German Kochs and this connection gives us a clear image of the sentiment behind the Tea Party and conservative American politics since the 1950s. Where is the connection between the German Koch's and Fred Koch? Besides evidence the American Koch was related to Ilse's family, Erich Koch (a high level Nazi official in charge of Prussia) invites Fred Koch to sell his oil in Nazi Germany when he is banned from doing business in the US. After the fall of Nazi Germany, Erich Koch and Fred expand the oil empire to the Soviet Union. Erich Koch had been in charge of Prussia for Hitler so his ties to the Soviet Union ran deep. A few years later the Soviets took Fred Koch's oil and prosecuted Erich for war crimes - Fred Koch returned to the US, became anti-communist, and was allowed to do business in the States again.
American Fred Koch, and through association the Kochs from Germany, establish the John Birch Society in the 1950s in NY, which becomes the policy center for American conservatives. The society was built on Fred Koch's oil money in the 1950s and can be thought of as the center of neo-conservative politics as well as the Tea Party movement. The ideologies of each are not the same - but the Tea Party fits into the neo-conservative put for colonial corporate police state as a sort of consumer citizen of the neo-conservative strategy mad as hell at the government and the legacy of liberalism, postmodernism, multiculturalism, taxes....etc.
Ilse and her husband Karl were tried by the SS before the war ended, accused of corruption. Her husband Karl Otto Koch was tried and sentenced to death in Nazi Germany. After the war, Ilse was arrested in the German American Zone, tried in front of a tribunal and sentenced, but was quickly pardoned by the American general appointed leader of the zone.
Notes on the Koch's, Their Nazi Past, American Oil
The Foundation of Republican Ideology
Koch reported to Hitler that unemployment had been banished entirely from East Prussia, a feat that gained admiration throughout the Reich. On September 1, Koch became Reichskommissar of Reichskommissariat Ukraine with control of the Gestapo and the police. His domain was extended from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea; he captured ethnic German, Polish, Belarus and Ukrainian's declaring that "Ukraine children need no schools. What they'll have to learn will be taught them by their German masters" and"If I meet a Ukrainian worthy of being seated at my table, I must have him shot..". Koch worked together with the General Plenipotentiary for Labour Deployment, providing the Reich with forced labor. Due to his brutal actions, Nazi rule in Ukraine was disturbed by a growing number. Before once more getting away himself, by escaping through this Baltic Sea port on April 23, 1945, on the icebreaker Ostpreußen. He faced charges of war crimes for the extermination of 400,000 Poles, but was never indicted for his crimes in Ukraine. He was sentenced to death on March 9, 1959 by the district court in Warsaw for having planned, prepared and organised the mass murder of civilians. Russians thought he possessed information about art looted by the Nazis during the war. Years after the war, Koch stood trial in Poland and was convicted in 1959 of war crimes and sentenced to death. The sentence was commuted to life imprisonment a year later.
Brother of Erich Koch, Karl Otto Koch
....(August 2, 1897 – April 5, 1945), a Standartenführer (Colonel) in the German Schutzstaffel (SS), was the first commandant of the Nazi concentration camps at Buchenwald. On August 1, 1937 he was given command of the new concentration camp at Buchenwald. Investigation into his improper conduct at Buchenwald included corruption, fraud, embezzlement, drunkenness, sexual offences and a murder. Koch's orders to kill prisoners at the camp were revealed, as well as embezzlement of property stolen from prisoners.
Koch married Ilse Köhler with whom he had a son and two daughters. Köhler later became known as "The ***** of Buchenwald. She was accused of taking souvenirs from the skin of murdered inmates with distinctive tattoos. She built an indoor sports arena, which cost over 250,000 marks, most of which were taken from the inmates arrested by the Gestapo for embezzlement of SS funds and the murder of certain inmates in an attempt to cover up these crimes. She was tried for war crimes by an American military tribunal in 1947. Prosecuting her was future United States Court of Claims Judge Robert L. Kunzig. She was charged with "participating in a criminal plan for aiding, abetting and participating in the murders at Buchenwald." The tribunal found Koch guilty and sentenced her to life imprisonment. After she had served two years, General Lucius D. Clay, the interim military governor of the American Zone in Germany, pardoned her. Owing to international condemnation, however, Koch was re-arrested in 1949 and tried before a West German court for instigation to murder in 135 cases. She was sentenced to life imprisonment on January 15, 1951. She committed suicide by hanging herself at Aichach women's prison on September 1, 1967
Fred Chase Koch
....(September 23, 1900 – November 17, 1967) chemical engineer and founded the TEXACO oil refinery firm that later became Koch Industries (Chevron). Koch and its customers were sued for patent infringement, process for turning crude oil into gasoline. Litigation effectively put Winkler-Koch out of business in the U.S. for several years. Koch turned his focus to foreign markets, including the Soviet Union and NAZI GERMANY, reportedly with the help of ERICH KOCH. During his time in the Soviet Union, Fred Koch came to despise communism and Josef Stalin's regime "a land of hunger, misery and terror". Fred C. Koch married Mary Robinson in Kansas City, Missouri in 1932. They had four sons, Frederick (b. 1933), Charles (b. 1935), David (b. 1940) and William (b. 1940). His sons are Charles de Ganahl Koch and David H. Koch. The New York Times on Charles and David:
"Koch Industries began with oil in the 1930s and now also spews an array of industrial products, from Dixie cups to Lycra, not unlike DuPont’s portfolio of paint and plastics. Sometimes the biological DNA persists as well. The Koch brothers’ father, Fred, was among the select group chosen to serve on the Birch Society’s top governing body. In a recorded 1963 speech that survives in a University of Michigan archive, he can be heard warning of “a takeover” of America in which Communists would “infiltrate the highest offices of government in the U.S. until the president is a Communist, unknown to the rest of us". That rant could be delivered as is at any Tea Party rally today.
Last week the Kochs were shoved unwillingly into the spotlight by the most comprehensive journalistic portrait of them yet, written by Jane Mayer of The New Yorker. Her article caused a stir among those in Manhattan’s liberal elite who didn’t know that David Koch, widely celebrated for his cultural philanthropy, is not merely another rich conservative Republican but the founder of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which, as Mayer writes with some understatement, “has worked closely with the Tea Party since the movement’s inception". To New Yorkers who associate the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center with the New York City Ballet, it’s startling to learn that the Texas branch of that foundation’s political arm, known simply as Americans for Prosperity, gave its Blogger of the Year Award to an activist who had called President Obama “cokehead in chief.”
The John Birch Society
The foundation is financed via the oil and gas fortunes of Fred G. Koch, a founding member of the John Birch Society. Koch "wrote admiringly of Benito Mussolini's suppression of Communists in Italy, and disparagingly of the American civil-rights movement. http://www.jbs.org/
The depth of influence the Koch's exert over the US conservative agenda
Sons Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch run the company as well as Koch Family Foundations, one of the largest single sources of funding for conservative organizations in the United States. Organizations and think tanks supported by the foundation include Citizens for a Sound Economy, the libertarian Cato Institute, Reason Magazine, the Manhattan Institute, the Heartland Institute and the Democratic Leadership Council. David H. Koch ran for president on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1980. Author Thomas Frank wrote in "What's the Matter with Kansas?" that "Koch money flowed through Triad Management Services", an advisory service to conservative donors groups and candidates, for the 1996 Senate campaign of Sam Brownback. Other sources only hint at a connection of Koch family members and Triad. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Koch_Industries
Koch outspends Exxon on climate and clean energy disinformation
Although Koch intentionally stays out of the public eye, it is now playing a quiet but dominant role in a high-profile national policy debate on global warming. Koch Industries has become a financial kingpin of climate science denial and clean energy opposition. This private, out-of-sight corporation is now a partner to Exxon Mobil, the American Petroleum Institute and other donors that support organizations and front-groups opposing progressive clean energy and climate policy. In fact, Koch has out-spent Exxon Mobil in funding these groups in recent years. http://climateprogress.org/2010/03/31/report-koch-industries-outspends-exxon-mobil-on-climate-and-clean-energy-disinformation/
Another example of Republican ties to Koch Industries
(...) If convicted, the company faced fines of up to $352 million, plus possible jail time for company executives. After George W. Bush became president, however, the U.S. Justice Departmentdropped 88 of the charges. Two days before the trial, John Ashcroft settled for a plea bargain, in which Koch pled guilty to falsifying documents. All major charges were dropped, and Koch and Ashcroft settled the lawsuit for a fraction of that amount. Koch had contributed $800,000 to the Bush election campaign and other Republican candidates. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Koch_Industries
Koch family timeline from yahoo answers
A new article on Nazi skin lamps - NY Magazine
Ilse Koch was the most notorious for, among other things, her objects made from the skin of murdered prisoners. http://nymag.com/news/features/67963/
Also from yahoo answers:
From yahoo questions - College Park, Maryland, has identified "a human skin lampshade, or part of one, from the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald. The National Museum of Health and Medicine holds three pieces of tattooed human skin, also from Buchenwald. Ilse Koch is the most famous of all Germans accused of having committed atrocities during the war. She was the wife of the commandant of the Buchenwald camp. She was twice convicted in post-war trials, once by an international court and once by her own country. The chief charges against her were cruelty to inmates, including murder, but what she is best-known for is the making of human-skin ornaments, including the lampshades of which we've all heard.
"Neoconservatism... originated in the 1970s as a movement of anti-Soviet liberals and social democrats in the tradition of Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Humphrey and Henry ('Scoop') Jackson, many of whom preferred to call themselves 'paleoliberals.' [After the end of the Cold War]... many 'paleoliberals' drifted back to the Democratic center... Today's neocons are a shrunken remnant of the original broad neocon coalition. Nevertheless, the origins of their ideology on the left are still apparent. The fact that most of the younger neocons were never on the left is irrelevant; they are the intellectual (and, in the case of William Kristol and John Podhoretz, the literal) heirs of older ex-leftists."
In his semi-autobiographical book, Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea, Irving Kristol cited a number of influences on his own thought, including not only Max Shachtman and Leo Strauss but also the skeptical liberal literary critic Lionel Trilling. The influence of Leo Strauss and his disciples on neoconservatism has generated some controversy, with Lind asserting:
"For the neoconservatives, religion is an instrument of promoting morality. Religion becomes what Plato called a noble lie. It is a myth which is told to the majority of the society by the philosophical elite in order to ensure social order... In being a kind of secretive elitist approach, Straussianism does resemble Marxism. These ex-Marxists, or in some cases ex-liberal Straussians, could see themselves as a kind of Leninist group, you know, who have this covert vision which they want to use to effect change in history, while concealing parts of it from people incapable of understanding it."
William Kristol defends his father by noting that the criticism of an instrumental view of politics misses the point. When the context is a discussion of religion in the public sphere in a secular nation, religion is inevitably dealt with instrumentally. Apart from that, it should be born in mind that the majority of neoconservatives believe in the truth, as well as the utility, of religion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoconservatism
THE WAR ON MULTIPLICITY
The Tea Party is not radical. The Tea Party is the deadly anger in the populace that has always been there....has always driven Republicans. The strange part is we on the left sometimes believe their hatred is new or frame it in the media as 'new'. Although the anti-government sentiment seems at odd with the colonial policies and oppressive intelligence strategies of a neoconservative agenda, the neo-cons want nothing more than to dismantle government and install corporations. The neocons also explicitly incorporate the usefulness of right wing movements such as religious groups.
The media, the right wing media, is not playing a game: they are serious. On the left we have recently argued and collectively seem to have decided to believe right wing media is not serious - is only manipulating fears for profit. This is a mistake: this collective belief. There is a chink in the logic - right wing media does actually believes its message at the level of the populace, those who deliver and receive the message - and powerful right wing advocates are also manipulating fears for profit we cannot even imagine: global domination in total. I think in our current collective summary of these political battles, we (on the left) are not fully recognizing the reality.
To refuse to protest this hatred is a strange choice by the left - to me. Does it imply a deep complicity with the right's xenophobia? There are many Reagan democrats who never admitted it, democrats who wanted a return to the colonial policies of Kennedy.
"Are Neocons & radical Islamists cut from the same fundamentalist cloth?": To a degree but there is a 3rd element - the political agendas supported by the neocons created the radical Islamist so there is a catch tangling everything. Both sides are a violent protest against multiplicity and pluralism. More confusing, the neocons are Kennedy liberals: liberal policies before postmodernism. Half of the US left finds itself in agreement with neocon sentiment, foreign policy, domestic policy - US colonialism - the half not connected to or influenced by postmodern ideas in some way. This is also an international rupture: You see the effect of this split in France - the 'postmodern' left opposed to banning the burkha is about 1/4 of the population.
Politics and war are the deadly mixtures of extremists on both sides - their target is a postmodern world. Humanity is faced with the problem that America's true colors are appearing, are not hiding.
And the left in America is faced with the result of 30 years on inaction, of refusing to get dirty. Worse, the left has to admit Obama so far is just a friendlier neoconservative. We know his real politics are more left, but Obama seems to have abandoned his own ethic.
If the Tea Party takes over America I expect the FBI to begin raiding the homes of anti-war activists and I would expect new legislation making it easier for the corporate government to censor the internet and I would expect a continuation of the Patriot Act and the Bush Doctrine. I also expect a wave of xenophobia spreading that will be tolerated by the silence of the new president - I did not expect Obama to do it first.
Unless Obama's move to fire Emmanuel signals a return to a forceful presidency (only implied during the election) then I am done voting or being a US citizen. After Obama, yes, it will only be worse and the Koch brothers will own our lives, which is why the President needs to make a stand and stop protecting his next campaign.
In this war of purity - purity fought for by both dedicated extremists of Islam, dedicated defenders of American colonialism, dedicated defenders of American corporate interest, an angry xenophobic populace, a mob of extremist Christians and others - divergent groups have become the pawns of a much deeper fascism that will do anything to protect its industrial empire.
The false writing of universals, projected from within a dominant community out towards another community, is destroying everything that exists in supposed strangeness. The protection of multiplicity and cultural pluralism becomes the spine of the death or life of all cities.
Why not erase the idea of universals, re-establish importance. The idea of a history of exchanges can replace the idea of a universal. Pragmatists, for example, believe ethics rise from human exchange. Language develops the same: we learn language from the person Other; learn ethics from community Other - but outside of community humans often become violent to the Other and carve universal values into reality. Universals are only psychological projections and this is the terrain where monsters are made.
Universals do erupt - but not as a product of nature. When Gearge W. Bush invaded Iraq, he was doing so with a new philosophy, the new trend back towards the universal - the Bush Doctrine; neocon ideology. Iraqi citizens did not appreciate, to say the least, this assertion of universal values from the west - it seems they did not want to live in an Americanized suburb.
In the Koch family's alliance with American Republicans: conservatives, constitutionalists, racists, tea partiers, military hawks, drooling fearful populists... the Koch family has found an alliance in the continued homogenization of society. Republicans gain purity in a world they have always viewed as a dirty, impure space and corporate empires like Koch Industries, built under the care of Nazi Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union, rise to lead the police state.