97 year old guilty in 10,500 concentration camp murders

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20 Dec 2022, 7:39 pm

97-year-old former Nazi camp secretary found guilty of complicity in over 10,000 murders

A 97-year-old woman in Germany was found guilty on Tuesday of aiding and abetting the murders of over 10,500 people at a Nazi concentration camp and given a two-year suspended jail sentence. The verdict came over a year after the trial — which could be the last in Germany for Nazi crimes — began.

According to the court's criminal chamber, Irmgard Furchner worked as a civilian typist in the commandant's office at the Stutthof concentration camp near the town of Gdańsk, in Nazi-occupied Poland, from June 1943 to April 1945. She was convicted of assisting those in charge of the camp with the systematic killing of thousands of inmates.

During World War II, the Nazis imprisoned more than 100,000, mainly Jews, in deplorable conditions at the Stutthof camp. Around 65,000 people died there, according to historians.

The camp was notorious for its deliberate lack of care for the prisoners, and while most people who perished did so from disease, debilitation or mistreatment, there was also a gas chamber and a neck-shooting facility.

Furchner worked directly for the commander of Stutthof, Paul-Werner Hoppe. He was imprisoned in 1955 for being an accessory to murder, though he was released five years after that.

When her trial began in September last year, Furchner, then 96, went on the run, disappearing from her retirement home. After a warrant was issued for her arrest, she was picked up by police in Hamburg and spent five days in custody.

Furchner is one of only a few women in decades to be tried for Nazi crimes. Because she was around 18 when she worked at the Stutthof camp, her trial took place in a juvenile court. Over the 40 days of the proceedings, her defense team argued she should be acquitted, because it could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that she had known about systematic killings at Stutthof.

The court heard testimony from a number of survivors of the camp, some of whom died during the course of the trial.

At the end of the proceedings, in her only statement in court, Furchner said: "I am sorry for everything that happened, and I regret that I was in Stutthof at the time. That's all I can say."

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20 Dec 2022, 7:48 pm

The vast majority of concentration camp guards and SS death squads simply melded into the general population in the fallen Nazi occupied countries.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. People might not even know their neighbor, spouse or parent was a mass murderer who may have physically taken part in ripping of babies heads or bayonetting pregnant women. The same monsters quietly live peaceful suburban life with their families in countries like the USA, Canada, Australia and other places.