Nazi camp secretary, 96, who skipped trial is released from custody

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The 96-year-old former secretary of a Nazi concentration camp who was charged with more than 11,000 counts for murder except at the start of his trial has been released from custody.

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At the age of 18, Irmgaard Furchner was due to appear in a German court on Thursday on charges related to her work as secretary at the Stutthof concentration camp.

But the pensioner left the Hamburg care home by taxi on the morning of the trial and was picked up by the police hours after the arrest warrant was issued.


Ms Furchner, who is accused of aiding and abetting those in charge of the camp in the systematic killing of prisoners between June 1943 and April 1945, has now been released from custody, five days after skipping the start of her trial.

As she appeared in court on Tuesday, judges said they suspended the arrest warrant and released her, ordering unspecified “security measures”.

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Ms Furchner is due to appear in court again on 19 October, when an indictment is to be read out officially outlining the charges against her. She will appear in the juvenile court as she was below 21 years of age at the time of the alleged offences.

The 96-year-old has been charged by prosecutors with complicity in 11,387 counts of aiding in murder and seven counts of attempt to murder while he served as first secretary to the Stutthof concentration camp commandant, SS Major Paul Werner Hoppe.

A spokeswoman for the court said that when she skipped the start of the trial last week, the defendant had previously “declared that she did not wish to appear in court”, but that she did not have sufficient grounds to detain her before the trial. Gave.

Given the woman’s age and condition, she was not expected to “actively avoid trial”.

Over the past decade, German prosecutors have brought charges against several former concentration overseers, including those who only played minor roles.

This year, prosecutors charged a 100-year-old man with aiding in 3,518 murders while he was allegedly a guard in Sachsenhausen during World War II.


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