96-Year Old Nazi War Crimes Suspect Irmgard Furchner Who Fled Retirement Home to Avoid Hearing On Trial

Irmgard Furchner, a 96-year-old former secretary to the SS commander of the Stutthof concentration camp, arrives in a wheelchair at the beginning of her trial in a courtroom, in Itzehoe, Germany, October 19, 2021. Christian Charisius/Pool via REUTERS

According to a published report, the trial for a 96-year-old former Nazi concentration camp secretary, who was on the lam before she was caught, appeared before the judge in northern Germany on Tuesday for allegedly being involved in war crimes during World War II.

Irmgard Furchner was charged with conspiracy in the killing or attempted killing more than 11,000 people at the Stutthof camp in occupied Poland, France24 reported.

According to The Central Office in Ludwigsburg, approximately 65,000 people died in the Stutthof concentration camp and its subcamps and on the so-called death marches at the end of the war, which investigates Nazi crimes according to CNN.

Furchner, who was 18 years old when she worked as a secretary to the SS commander of the Stutthof concentration camp between 1943 and 1945, faced the Juvenile Court Chamber on Tuesday. Since she had been a teenager when the alleged crimes were committed, the trial was in an adolescent court. She was not present for the reading of the charges. Reuters reported.

Furchner, who was in a wheelchair and dragging her handbag on her lap, arrived at the courtroom Tuesday with her handbag. A report stated that Furchner’s head was covered with a scarf, pulled down over her eyes. She also had a coronavirus mask covering her face.

She sat silent as prosecutors told the court that the suffering of victims sent to the camp’s gas chambers, including cries and jostling at the bolted doors, would have been “clearly audible” According to the news agency, it was all of them.

Wolf Molkentin, Furchner’s lawyer, stated in writing that his client “does not deny the crimes of the Shoah [Hebrew for “Katastrophe”], not even those terrible acts which have just been brought to our attention by the reading of the indictment. She merely confronts the accusation at the heart of this trial: that she is personally guilty of a crime,” CNN reported.

Molkentin stated to Dominik Groß, the presiding judge, that his client didn’t deny the fact. “terrible murders” France24 identifies the disputed criminal responsibility as “disputed.”

He said the proceedings, which have been limited to two hours a day, were “unreasonable” She is now in her later years.

Molkentin said his client would “not make a statement at this time, nor answer any questions,” According to the agency,

On Sept. 30, Furchner had fled her retirement home on the day her court proceeding was scheduled to begin. After several hours of evading the authorities, Furchner was finally located by Hamburg police. A report stated that she was taken into custody and given an electronic tag to help her track down her whereabouts.

CNN reported Furchner is the first woman to face prosecution for Nazi-era crimes for decades.

In July 2020, Bruno Dey, a 93-year-old former guard at Stutthof who was 17 years old at the time, faced a juvenile court and was sentenced to two years’ probation by the Hamburg Regional Court, the news outlet report.

From August 1944 to April 1945, Dey oversaw prisoners at Stutthof and was charged with 5,230 counts of accessory to murder over his time as an SS guard in the camp.

Around the same time Furchner fled, Josef Schuetz, a 100-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard, appeared before judges at a court in Neuruppin, northwest of Berlin, France24 reported.

Schuetz is accused of being involved in the assassination of 3 518 Sachsenhausen prisoners between 1942 and 1945.

He told the court that he was a fugitive during his July trial. “innocent” We all knew “nothing” Find out what happened at the camp.

According to a report, Furchner and Schuetz were among the oldest defendants facing trial for their alleged involvement in the Nazi system.

France24 reported that the Central Office for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes (COINSA) investigates eight additional cases.

According to the news outlet, many cases were abandoned in recent years because the accused died or were unable physically to stand trial.