December 11, 2023

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A German court sentenced a former secretary of the Nazi camp

More than 60,000 people were killed there by fatal injections of gasoline or phenol directly into the heart.

A German court on Tuesday convicted a 97-year-old woman of accessory to murder for working as a secretary to the SS commander at the Nazi Suthof concentration camp during World War II.

Furchner was accused of being part of the apparatus that kept the camp running.

According to the German news agency dpa, the Itzehoe state court suspended a two-year prison sentence for Irmgard Furchner.

“He alleged that between June 1943 and April 1945 he worked as a stenographer and typist in the camp commandant’s office and aided and abetted those in charge of the camp.

That sentence was in line with the prosecution’s request, while the defense sought acquittal on the grounds that the evidence did not show beyond a reasonable doubt that Furchner knew about the systematic killings at the camp. There is no proof of intent required for criminal liability.

In his closing statement, Furchner said he regretted what happened and that he was in Stutthof at the time.

The accused was a girl under 21 years of age and the case was filed in the Juvenile Court.

The defendant tried to escape from the start of his trial in September 2021, but was later tracked down by police and held in custody for several days.

Originally used to round up Jews and non-Jewish Poles, Stutthof, now evacuated from the Polish city of GdaƄsk, was used from 1940 as a “labor education camp” where workers, mainly Polish citizens and Soviets, were forced to serve their sentences.

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Most prisoners died.

Beginning in mid-1944, tens of thousands of Jews from Baltic ghettos and Auschwitz filled the camp along with thousands of Polish citizens who had been detained during the brutal Nazi repression of the Warsaw Uprising.

The compound also housed political prisoners, those accused of crimes or homosexuality, and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

More than 60,000 people were killed there, shot or starved to death by fatal injections of gasoline or phenol directly into the heart. Others were forced to go out without clothes in winter until they died, or were killed in gas chambers.

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