Sunday, 17 January 2016

Ilse Koch's pickled penis collection

British musician Paul Weller of The Jam and The Style Council 

Music journalist Barry Cain writes in his 2007 book 77 Sulphate Strip about visiting the former Nazi concentration camp Dachau with the rock band The Jam in April 1977, and relates a extremely garbled story about Ilse Koch aka 'the Red Witch of Buchenwald' one of the band's entourage told him: 

In the camp museum, manager John Weller [Paul Weller's father] looks at a picture of Nazis burning books before the war. The caption runs: 'where books are burnt humans will be burnt in the end.' Henrich Heine.
He remembers a newspaper report at the end of the war detailing the surreal sex life of a woman SS commandant. Every time a new batch of prisoners arrived she would choose the most virile-looking and lay him that night. The following morning she'd whip him to death, cut off his penis and pickle it in a jar. When her home was raided by American soldiers they found a room full of jars. She was known as the 'preying mantis' 1 

Several years later, Weller's subsequent band The Style Council released a song called Ghosts of Dachau, which includes the line "Don't go to the showers".

1. Barry Cain, 77 Sulphate Strip: An Eye Witness Account of the Year that Changed Everything, Ellington, United Kingdom: Ovolo Books Ltd, 2007, p. 208. 

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