David Koch Inherited His Millions From His Pro-Nazi Father, Who Helped Adolf Hitler Build An Oil Refinery

The history of the Koch family fortune is partly rooted in patriarch Fred Koch's help building a fuel plant crucial for the Nazi war effort in World War II.

David Koch accepts an award.
Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

The history of the Koch family fortune is partly rooted in patriarch Fred Koch's help building a fuel plant crucial for the Nazi war effort in World War II.

The billionaire industrialist and prominent financier of conservative causes David H. Koch, whose death at age 79 was announced Friday as The Inquisitr reported, was always honest about where his money came from. The Koch Industries corporate conglomerate was founded by his father, Fred Koch, who left millions to his son.

Koch liked to tell a joke about his wealth, according to The Daily Beast.

He said that, as a bit, he sold an apple for five dollars, bought two more apples and sold them for 10, and so on.

“Well, this went on day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year,” Koch said, “until my father died and left me 300 million dollars!”

But who was Fred Koch and where did his money come from?

According to a 2016 book, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, by investigative reporter Jane Mayer, the Koch patriarch was a Nazi sympathizer who specialized in building oil refineries.

He reportedly collaborated with Adolf Hiter’s Nazi regime to build a refinery that was crucial for producing fuel used by Nazi Germany’s Luftwaffe, or air force, in World War II, according to an interview with Mayer by National Public Radio.

Adolf Hitler speaks.
German dictator Adolf Hitler, whose Nazi regime was admired by David Koch’s father, Fred Koch. Keystone / Getty Images

In 1938, Fred Koch wrote in a letter to a friend in which he said he “saw something laudable in the rise of facsism.” This line was quoted in the 2014 biography Sons of Wichita by Daniel Schulman and posted online by Google Books.

“The only sound countries in the world are Germany, Italy, and Japan.”

Around the same time, the elder Koch hired a German nanny for his young sons who would later inherit the Koch business empire while donating billions to right-wing causes.

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The nanny was such a devout Nazi, as The Washington Post reported, that when Hitler’s Germany invaded and conquered France in 1939, she quit her job with the Koch family and hurried back to Germany so she could celebrate the Nazi triumph.

At the conclusion of World War II, long after the defeat of the Nazis, as well as Germany and Japan, Koch remained devoted to right-wing extremism. According to a report by The Guardian based on Mayer’s book, the Koch patriarch became a founding member of the far-right John Birch Society.

The John Birch Society was an extreme anti-communist group that accused numerous high-ranking American officials of being secret communists. Among them, he included then-President Dwight Eisenhower, who was also the general who led the United States and allied forces to victory over the Nazis in World War II.

Even though he was an extreme anti-communist, Fred Koch started building the Koch fortune later inherited by David Koch and his other sons by using $500,000 paid to him by Josef Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union. This money was in exchange for Koch’s help in designing numerous Soviet oil plants, according to Mayer’s book.