Nazi camp secretary, 96, caught after trying to flee ahead of trial in Germany

Between 1943 and 1945, Irmgard Furchner was charged with complicity in 11,000 murders in the Stutthof camp. The woman should be tried on Thursday in a special court in Itzehoe

Irmgard Furchner worked as a secretary in the Stutthof camp in Poland (

Image: NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A 96-year-old woman who was working as a secretary in a Nazi concentration camp when she was 21 was found while trying to escape in northern Germany.

Between 1943 and 1945, Irmgard Furchner was charged with complicity in 11,000 murders in the Stutthof camp.

The woman was due to be tried in a special court in Itzehoe yesterday, but the judge issued an arrest warrant after she failed to appear.

She was then arrested by police for hours after taking a taxi out of a nursing home in the town of Quickborn.

Ms. Furchner was found in Hamburg that afternoon and is expected to be brought back to court.

Irmgard Furchner during her time as a secretary in the Stutthof camp in 1944

In the meantime, she was taken into custody before her trial was opened.

According to the German news agency DPA, the woman claimed not to have known anything about the murders in the Nazi concentration camp.

More than 75 years ago she worked as a typist and typist for the Nazi Paul-Werner Hoppe in the camp.

Her lawyer Wolf Molkentin told the “Spiegel”: “My client worked in the midst of SS men who had experienced violence – but did she share their level of knowledge?

“It’s not exactly obvious.”

The woman did not appear for her trial in Itzehoe, northern Germany
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

The indictment states: “As a stenographer and typist in the camp headquarters of the former Stutthof concentration camp, she is said to have helped those responsible for the systematic killing of the prisoners there between June 1943 and April 1945.”

Judge Dominik Gross had previously postponed the case to October 19.

It is understood that due to the age of the defendant, the court does not sit for more than two hours a day.

The woman claimed that she knew nothing about the killings in the concentration camp
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Image:

NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A doctor should also check whether the woman should remain in custody.

After the woman tried to flee, the International Auschwitz Committee, a group that represents Nazi survivors and relatives of victims, expressed outrage.

A statement said: “It shows an incredible disdain for the rule of law and the survivors.”

The Nazis murdered around 65,000 people in Stutthof and its satellite camps near what is now Danzig in Poland until the Red Army liberated it in May 1945.

Victims, including Jews, Poles and prisoners of war, were poisoned, shot or given fatal injections in gas chambers. Many died of disease and starvation.

It was there that Ms. Furchner, née Dirksen, met her future husband, the SS man Heinz Furchner.

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