Ilse Koch, the wife of Karl-Otto Koch, commandant of the Nazi concentration camps Buchenwald and Majdanek, frequently interfered with the work of her husband.
At Buchenwald she got the nickname “Die Hexe von Buchenwald” (The Witch of Buchenwald) among the prisoners, because of her sadistic excesses. She often rode on horseback through the camp, and randomly lashed prisoners.
Koch was also notorious for collecting pieces skin of murdered prisoners showing striking tattoos. After the liberation, Allies found her collection of trinkets consisting of lampshades made of human skin, two ‘shrunken heads’ and organs of prisoners.