A 97-year-old former secretary at a Nazi SS death camp has been given a two-year suspended jail sentence for her part in the murder of more than 11,000 victims.
Irmgard Furchner, 97 – dubbed the ‘secretary of evil‘ – was sentenced at the final hearing of the 14-month-long trial at the Itzehoe Regional Court on Tuesday, 20th December.
Lawyer Hans-Juergen Foerster, who represented four Stutthof survivors as joint plaintiffs, said: “The defendant, who is in her 98th year of life, has received her guilty verdict for being an accessory to several thousand murders.
“State criminal law can not do more in terms of content.”
Furchner worked as a secretary to SS commander Paul Werner Hoppe of Nazi Germany’s Stutthof concentration camp.
She was charged with aiding the systematic murder of more than 11,000 prisoners at the camp, where she worked from June 1943 to April 1945.
The camp was set up by Nazi Germany on 2nd September 1939 near what is now the village of Sztutowo, in Poland’s Pomeranian Voivodeship.
It accommodated more than 110,000 people from its establishment until it was liberated by the Red Army in May 1945,
Between 63,000 and 65,000 prisoners, of which 28,000 were Jews, were murdered or died of starvation, disease, and after being worked to death in the camp.
Since the beginning of the trial, Furchner claimed she was not aware of the mass killings, despite her job as secretary of the camp’s commander, meaning that she reported directly to the SS.
Prosecutors had earlier requested that she be sentenced to just two years probation if found guilty.
Furchner’s lawyers requested her acquittal and argued that there was no clear evidence that the 97-year-old woman had any knowledge about the systematic killings at the camp.
This, according to them, signified that there was no proof of intent as required for criminal liability.
Furchner had meanwhile remained virtually silent since the beginning of the trial on Thursday, 30th September, 2021.
She spoke her first words on Tuesday, 6th December, and said: “I’m sorry about everything that happened. I regret that I was in Stutthof at the time. I can not say more.”
The ex-secretary made headlines last year in September after she left her retirement home in Quickborn, Hamburg, jumped into a taxi and went on the run.
But the police arrested her just hours later and held her in custody for five days. It was not revealed where she had gone.
To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Georgina Jadikovska, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
The Ananova page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.