She had tried to flee her trial: a ninety-year-old former secretary of a Nazi camp tried in Germany

the essential Seventy-six years after the end of the Second World War, German justice continues to search for former Nazi criminals who are still alive. Some 4 000 women were guards in the concentration camps, according to historians.

It was an incredible day! On 30 last September, a former Nazi concentration camp secretary aged 96 took flight before the opening of his trial.

Irmgard Furchner was to be tried for having participated in the murder of detainees in the Stutthof concentration camp in present-day Poland. This Tuesday 19 October, drastic security measures were ordered by the Itzehoe court, so that she could be tried for complicity in murder in more than 10 000 case.

Before the opening of her trial, the accused had announced in a letter addressed to the President of the Court that she did not want to appear before her judges.

While she was 18 and 18, she worked there as that typist and secretary of the commander of a camp near Gdansk where perished 30 people, “Jewish detainees, Polish partisans and Soviet prisoners of war” were systematically murdered, recalled the prosecution.

Amazement and indignation

By fleeing, Irmgard Furchner had created amazement in the court and the indignation of representatives of the victims of Nazi barbarism. “This shows contempt for survivors and the rule of law,” Christoph Heubner, vice-president of the Auschwitz Committee, lamented to AFP.

“Even if this woman is very old, could the court not have taken precautions?” He also noted, wondering moreover about the complicity from which she was able to benefit. “Sufficiently healthy to flee, sufficiently healthy to go to prison!”, Had for his part launched on Twitter Efraim Zuroff, the president of the Simon Wiesenthal Center which tracks the Nazis still alive.

Another ongoing trial

So far, the four former guards or employees of Nazi camps sentenced for ten years in Germany had all sat in the accused’s box.

Another accused, 100 years, has since started to appear on October 7 before the Brandenburg an der Havel court (north-east), where he claims his innocence. The oldest accused of Nazi crimes, this former non-commissioned officer of the SS “Totenkopf” (“Skull”) division is being prosecuted for “complicity in the murders” of 3 518 prisoners when he was operating in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, between 1942 and 1945.

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