Sat, 28 January 2023
The Daily Ittefaq

German court convicts ex-Nazi camp secretary

Update : 20 Dec 2022, 17:54

In possibly Germany's last trial for Nazi crimes, a 97-year-old former secretary at the Stutthof death camp was convicted of complicity in the murder of more than 10,000 people.

A court in northern Germany on Tuesday convicted Irmgard F.,  a former secretary at the Nazi Stutthof concentration camp, of complicity in murder in more than 10,000 people. She received a two-year suspended sentence as requested by prosecutors.

From June 1943 to April 1945, she worked as a stenographer and typist  at the Stutthof death camp, near what was then Nazi-occupied Danzig and is now Gdansk.

The prosecution had said her clerical work "assured the smooth running of the camp" and gave her "knowledge of all occurrences and events at Stutthof."

An estimated 65,000 people died at Stutthof, including Jewish prisoners, Polish partisans and Soviet Russian prisoners of war.

Irmgard F. remained silent during much of the trial, but said toward the end: "I'm sorry for everything that happened. I regret that I was in Stutthof at the time. I can't say anything else."

The 97-year-old was tried in a juvenile court in Itzehoe, a small town north of Hamburg, as she was only 18 to 19 at the time of the crime.

Prosecutors had requested a suspended juvenile sentence of two years, the longest possible without jail time. Defense attorneys had called for their client to be found not guilty, arguing she was unaware of the scope of the murder and crimes committed at the camp.

Last year, Irmgard F. was caught after apparently attempting to escape the trial by fleeing the elderly care home where she was living.

Officials said she had left by taxi and went to an underground station, and her whereabouts were unknown for several hours.

Trial of 'historical importance'

"This trial is of outstanding historical importance," public prosecutor Maxi Wantzen said in a recent hearing, adding that it was "potentially, due to the passage of time, the last of its kind."

Despite her old age, the trial of Irmgard F. was still important for historical records, Wantzen said.

German courts have handed down verdicts in several cases linked to the Holocaust since the 2011 conviction of a former Nazi guard.

However, several other cases have been abandoned due to the death of the accused or their physical inability to stand trial.

More on this topic

More on this topic