A former secretary of a Nazi concentration camp escaped from the nursing home by taxi before her trial

Irmgard Furchner is 96 years old and lives in a nursing home in northern Germany. As a young woman she worked as a secretary, with a particularity: typed orders of execution and deportation in a Nazi concentration camp, in Poland. She is accused of complicity in the crimes against humanity that occurred there and therefore He had to give a statement before the German justice. However, yesterday morning she left home, took a taxi to a subway station, and nothing has been heard from her since.

“The accused ran away”, announced the person in charge before the court of Itzehoe, where she was going to be tried. “He left his home this morning, took a taxi,” he added to those present in the room, who were stunned. Among them was the defendant’s lawyer, Wolf Molkentin, in silence.

They waited for her for 20 minutes, the president of the court asked “a little patience”, until they realized that it would be in vain and decided to issue an arrest warrant.

The surprising event occurred in the Provincial Court of Itzehoe, northern Germany, where the trial against the accused woman should begin of complicity in 10,000 of the 65,000 murders that occurred in the Stutthof concentration camp, near the city of Gdansk, where years later Lech Walesa made history with the Solidarity union.

At one point there were doubts about the relevance of the trial and the possibilities that Furchner could participate in it. But after a long procedure, Justice estimated in February that she was fit to appear despite her advanced age, although visits by judicial officials to the nursing home should be limited to a few hours a day.

What Irmgard Furchner did

Furchner’s face was relatively known to be one of the oldest people ever judged by the crimes against humanity of Nazism, now occupies the front pages of international newspapers for circumventing justice.

Fuechner worked at Stutthof between June 1943 and April 1945 as typist and secretary to the camp commander, Paul Werner Hoppe, the Nazi criminal responsible for the murder of “Jewish prisoners, Polish partisans and Soviet Russian prisoners of war,” according to the prosecution.

At the time of participating in the crimes charged to her, the accused he was between 18 and 19 years old and had already declared twice as a witness, in 1954 and 1962, about his role in that killing center.

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The first time he said that all correspondence with the SS headquarters had passed through his hands and that Werner Hoppe dictated daily writings and radio messages to him. Nevertheless, swore that he had never been aware of the murderous machinery of which tens of thousands of people fell victim.

Attorney Christoph Rückel, who has represented Shoah survivors for years, says that “she handled all correspondence from the camp commander.” “He also typed the execution and deportation orders and put his initials”he assured the local press.

A trial against humanity that should have been symbolic

This trial was to precede that of a 100-year-old man who was a guard at the Nazi concentration camp at Sachsenhausen, near Berlin. In her case, it should be the first woman involved in Nazism to be tried in decades in the country.

The trial against Furchner also raised expectations because it was to take place on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the death sentence 12 of the main leaders of the Third Reich, during the Nuremberg trials.

The scandal of the escape is not minor nor is it restricted to that honomastic. In recent decades, Germany was questioned for not giving impetus to the search for war criminals. Such elderly ex-Nazis have never been tried.

Seventy-six years after the end of World War II, Justice continues to search for ex-Nazi criminals still alive. Different prosecutors are currently examining eight cases involving, in particular, former employees from the Buchenwald and Ravensbrück camps, the Central Office for the Clarification of National Socialist Crimes told AFP.

In recent years, several processes had to be abandoned due to the death of the suspects or your physical inability to appear in court.

But although Germany has sentenced four former guards or employees of the Nazi camps at Sobibor, Auschwitz and Stutthof in the last ten years, it has tried very few women involved in the Nazi machine.

Justice analyzed the cases of at least three field workers Nazis. About 4 thousand women worked as guards in the concentration campsAccording to historians, few were tried after the war.


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