Trial begins for 96-year-old former Nazi death camp woman who fled before her last court appearance

Irmgard Furchner, 96, will be charged in an adolescent court as she was 18 years old at the time of the alleged crimes. Photo: Reuters

On Tuesday in the northern German town of Itzehoe, a 96-year-old lady was apprehended shortly after going on the run ahead of a court hearing last month on charges of committing war crimes during World War II.

When Irmgard Furchner was an 18-year-old typewriter at the Stutthof concentration camp between 1943 and 1945, she was accused of contributing to the murder of almost 11,000 people.

Ms. Furchner was wheeled into the courtroom wearing a white mask, and a scarf pulled down over her eyes, surrounded by tight security.

Last month, Ms. Furchner made international headlines when she ran for many hours and failed to appear in court on September 30. She was arrested later that day in Hamburg, a nearby city.

Ms. Furchner will be tried in an adolescent court, even though she is 96 years old, according to her age at the time of her alleged offenses.

Between 1939 and 1945, 65,000 people died at the Stutthof concentration camp near Gdansk, Poland, either malnutrition, sickness, or the gas chamber. POWs and Jews caught up in the Nazi extermination campaign were among the casualties.

She is the most recent nonagenarian to be charged with Nazi-related offenses. Some interpret it as prosecutors rushing to take the last chance to ensure that victims of some of history's biggest mass atrocities receive some justice.

Publish : 2021-10-19 20:43:00

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