Crime & Justice

Suspected Nazi concentration camp secretary, 96, flees trial

Berlin, Sep 30 (EFE).- A 96-year-old alleged former Nazi concentration camp secretary is on the run after failing to appear at a German court to face charges of aiding the mass murder of over 11,000 people.

Irmgard Furchner left her retirement home in Quickborn, in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, Thursday morning and took a taxi to a metro station, German media report. Her whereabouts are unknown.

Prosecutors have accused Furchner of working as a secretary at the Stutthof Nazi concentration camp located to the east of Gdansk in modern-day Poland between 1943-45.

The trial is set to be held at a juvenile court as the defendant was just 18 to 19-years-old at the time of the alleged crimes.

Around 65,000 prisoners were murdered by the Nazi regime at the Stutthof camp in World War II. Most died from illness and starvation and almost half of the victims were Jews.

Nazi guards also used gas chambers to kill prisoners.

Furchner has given testimony on two previous occasions, once in 1954 and again in 1962.

In 1954 she said that correspondence between the camp commander Paul-Werner Hoppe and central office, and vice-versa, passed through her hands.

She claimed, however, that she had been unaware of the extermination program being carried out at Stutthof.

In July 2020, a former Stutthof guard, 93, was sentenced to a symbolic two years of probation after being convicted of being complicit in 5.230 murders at the camp. He too was tried at a juvenile court as he was 17 at the time of the crimes. EFE

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