Tuesday, February 15, 2011

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

Erich Koch

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.

Ilse Koch

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

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