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Enema Action: The Koch Family’s Nazi Nanny

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COMMENT: Jane May­er’s Dark Mon­ey [5] has received con­sid­er­able dis­cus­sion and media play over the last cou­ple of years. What has been over­looked is a detail about the upbring­ing of the young Koch boys.

Afi­ciona­dos of psy­cho-his­to­ry will find the Ger­man Nazi nan­ny hired by Fred Koch to mind and raise his young sons sub­stan­tial, as well as inter­est­ing.

With Fred Koch hav­ing net­worked with the Nazi spy William Rhodes Davis, we won­der if the nan­ny might have worked for Nazi intel­li­gence as well.

[6] [7]D [5]ark Mon­ey [5] by Jane May­er; Anchor Books [SC]; Copy­right 2016, 2017 by Jane May­er; ISBN: 978–0‑307–94970‑1; pp. 39–40. [5]

 . . . . he [Fred Koch] was enam­ored enough of the Ger­man way of life and think­ing that he employed a Ger­man gov­erness for his first two sons, Fred­die and Charles.  At the time, Fred­die was a small boy, and Charles was still in dia­pers. The nan­ny’s iron rule ter­ri­fied the lit­tle boys, accord­ing to a fam­i­ly acquain­tance. In addi­tion to being over­bear­ing, she was a fer­vent Nazi sym­pa­thiz­er, who fre­quent­ly tout­ed Hitler’s virtues. Dressed in a starched white uni­form and point­ed nurse’s hat, she arrived with a stash of grue­some Ger­man chil­dren’s books, includ­ing the Vic­to­ri­an clas­sic Der Struwwelpeter, that fea­tured sadis­tic con­se­quences for mis­be­hav­ior, rang­ing from cut­ting off of one child’s thumbs to burn­ing anoth­er to death. [That’ll learn ’em!—D.E.] The acquain­tance recalled that the nurse had a com­men­su­rate­ly harsh and dic­ta­to­r­i­al approach to child rear­ing. She enforced a rigid toi­let-train­ing reg­i­men requir­ing the boys to pro­duce morn­ing bow­el move­ments pre­cise­ly on sched­ule or be force-fed cas­tor oil and sub­ject­ed to ene­mas. [“Shitzkrieg?”—D.E.]

 The despised gov­erness ruled the nurs­ery large­ly unchal­lenged for sev­er­al years. In 1938, the two boys were left for months while their par­ents toured Japan, Bur­ma, India, and the Philip­pines. Even when she was home, Mary Koch char­ac­ter­is­ti­cal­ly deferred to her hus­band, declin­ing to inter­vene. “My father was fair­ly tough with my moth­er,” Bill Koch lat­er told Van­i­ty Fair. “My moth­er was afraid of my father.” Mean­while, Fred Koch was often gone for months at a time, in Ger­many and else­where.

 It was­n’t until 1940, the year before the twins were born, when Fred­die was sev­en and Charles was five, that back in Wichi­ta the Ger­man gov­erness final­ly left the Koch fam­i­ly, appar­ent­ly at her own ini­tia­tive. Her rea­son for giv­ing notice was that she was so over­come with joy when Hitler invad­ed France she felt she had to go back to the father­land in order to join the Fuhrer in cel­e­bra­tion. What if any effect this ear­ly expe­ri­ence with author­i­ty had on Charles is impos­si­ble to know, but it’s inter­est­ing that his life­time pre­oc­cu­pa­tion would become cru­sad­ing against author­i­tar­i­an­ism while run­ning a busi­ness over which he exert­ed absolute con­trol. . . .