A 96-year-old woman, Irmgard Furchner, known to be a former secretary of the Nazi concentration camp at Stutthof, was arrested by the German Police after she managed to escape. She is standing trial on charges of complicity in the murder of over 11 thousand people. A spokesman of the Itzehoe court said that Irmgard was taken to the court.
The escape was detected after she did not appear before the court presided over by Judge Dominik Gross. Her absence led to issuing of an arrest warrant.
As per estimates by, International Auschwitz Committee, the organisation that probes Nazi crimes in the Stutthof concentration camp located on the outskirts of Gdansk in Poland, about 65,000 people were killed.
Irmgard Furchner was the secretary of Paul Werner Hoppe, who ran the concentration camp then occupied by the Nazis. The Nazis had opened the first such camp at Stutthof outside Germany and was the last to be liberated by Russian forces in May 1945.
Her trial opened before a juvenile court because at the time she was 18 -19 years.
As per the spokesman of the juvenile court, when the initial trials started, Irmgard Furchner was accused of assisting ‘those who ran the camp in the systematic killing of prisoners between June 1943 and April 1945 in her duties as a stenographer and typist in the office of the commander of the former Stutthof concentration camp”.
As per the German broadcaster Ard, Irmgard Furchner has been heard as a witness several times in the past because the correspondence with the economic leaders of the SS passed from her desk.
Irmgard Furchner admitted that she took note of what Hoppe dictated to her every day, but she claimed that she was unaware of the massacres that took place just a few meters from her office. The case against her was reopened in 2016 and the case uses testimonies from the United States and Israel.
In July 2020, Hamburg juvenile court sentenced a 93-year-old man John Demjanjuk, who was the guardian of the Stutthof concentration camp as a bo. He was found guilty of complicity in murder and was sentenced to two years in prison, with a suspended sentence. Starting from the 2011 trial against Demjanjuk, German jurisprudence believed that being employed by the Nazis in a concentration camp can prove complicity in the death of the inmates. This led to the reopening of several cases.