WARSAW, Poland — Erich Koch, the only Nazi war criminal held by Poland and one of the Third Reich's most senior imprisoned leaders, died today, the official news agency PAP reported. He was 90.
Koch governed East Prussia and was commissar for the Soviet Ukraine during World War II. Regarded as one of the cruelest of Hitler's Nazi administrators, Koch was sentenced to death by a Polish court March 9, 1959, for killing 72,000 Poles and sending about 200,000 others to labor camps. His death sentence was never carried out because of his poor health.
In the Soviet Union, he was alleged to have been responsible for the deaths of 4 million Russians and Jews and sending 2 million people into forced labor.