As the German trial begins, the Nazi Stutthof camp clerk leaves

Imgae credit: DW

After attempting to flee before her trial, a former Nazi concentration camp secretary was apprehended.

Irmgard Furchner, 96, was supposed to be on trial on Thursday for her role in 11,000 killings, but she didn’t show up, and the judge issued an arrest order for her. The former Stutthof Nazi concentration camp clerk had vanished from her nursing home. The court announced she had been apprehended four hours later.

The defendant was scheduled to appear in Itzehoe, about an hour north of Hamburg, in a special juvenile court. Instead, she went to a subway station, presumably on her way to Hamburg’s outskirts.

According to German reports, a court spokeswoman stated that she would now be brought before the court in the town of Itzehoe. Judge Dominik Gross had previously disclosed that Irmgard Furchner was a wanted person and had adjourned the hearing until October 19.

She was able to flee, according to a group representing Nazi survivors and relatives of the dead. According to the International Auschwitz Committee, “it demonstrates enormous disrespect for the rule of law and survivors.” She had worked as a typist in the office of Stutthof camp commander Paul-Werner Hoppe, near the modern-day Polish city of Gdansk, which was then known as Danzig and held by Nazi Germany.

Stutthof was home to 100,000 individuals who were confined in deplorable conditions, with 65,000 reported to have died.

Stutthof possessed gas chambers, and victims were killed there via gassing, shooting, lethal injection, death, and starvation, among other methods. As World War Two drew to a close, more people died on death marches leaving the camp.

Because few defendants are still alive, Thursday’s case is one of the last ever Nazi trials. Because the defendant was under the age of 18, the trial is being held in a juvenile court.

A former Stutthof camp guard was judged incompetent to face trial in March, while another camp guard, Bruno Dey, was convicted guilty of participation in the death of over 5,000 detainees last year. He was sentenced to a year in prison with no possibility of parole.

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