A woman accused of Nazi war crimes will be tried as a youth because she was 18 at the time (Image: PA)
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A woman of 96 accused of Nazi war crimes will be tried at a youth court because she was 18 at the time.
Irmgard Furchner is charged with helping to murder 11,430 inmates at Stutthof concentration camp during the Second World War.
At the time she worked as a secretary for the camp commander Paul-Werner Hoppe.
Furchner now lives in a nursing home in Quickborn, near Hamburg.
But she must appear at the juvenile chamber of the Itzehoe Regional Court on September 30 – one of the few women to face trial for Nazi crimes.
According to the indictment, “As a stenotypist and typist in the camp commandant’s office of former concentration camp Stutthof, she is alleged to have assisted those in charge of the camp in the systematic killing of those imprisoned there between June 1943 and April 1945”.
The Nazis murdered around 65,000 people in Stutthof and its sub-camps near present-day Gdansk in Poland
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The Nazis murdered around 65,000 people in Stutthof and its sub-camps near present-day Gdansk in Poland until the Red Army liberated it in May 1945.
Victims, including Jews, Poles and prisoners of war, were poisoned in gas chambers, shot or given lethal injections. Many died of disease and starvation.
While working there, Furchner, whose maiden name was Dirksen, met her future husband, SS man Heinz Furchner.
The death camp fence and camp barracks, Sztutowo, May 31, 1946
Christoph Heubner, of the International Auschwitz Committee, said: “The fact that this is only happening now is a failure and oversight of the German justice system that has spanned decades.”
In March a German court declared a 96-year-old former Stutthof guard was unfit to stand trial on similar charges despite a “high degree of probability” that he was guilty.