95-year-old former Nazi concentration camp secretary charged over 10,000 murders
A 95-year-old woman, a former secretary at the Stutthof Nazi concentration camp, has been charged with complicity in murders of as many as 10,000 people, said German prosecutors on Friday. They also charged her with "aiding and abetting murder in more than 10,000 cases." She worked at the Stutthof camp, which was located near Danzig (now Gdansk) in the then Nazi-occupied Poland. Here's more.
Accused of having assisted the systematic killing of Jewish prisoners
The prosecutors said that the 95-year-old woman "is accused of having assisted those responsible at the camp in the systematic killing of Jewish prisoners, Polish partisans and Soviet Russian prisoners of war in her function as a stenographer and secretary to the camp commander." She had worked at the concentration camp between June 1943 and April 1945, according to the prosecutors.
Rare case involving a female former Nazi camp staffer
Though prosecutors did not name the woman, she was identified as Irmgard F by German broadcaster NDR. She reportedly lives in an elderly care home in the north of Hamburg. This is reportedly a rare case involving a female staff member of a Nazi camp.
Woman was a minor when she served at Stutthof camp
Also, the woman was a minor at the time the alleged crimes were committed. She will face a juvenile court since she was aged below 18 years when she served at the Stutthof camp. "Given that some inmates survived their stay in the camp despite the hostile conditions, some of the acts has to be assessed judicially as attempted murder," the prosecutors said.
A very elaborate investigation was carried out
Investigators reportedly conducted a "very elaborate" probe into the case; they have also interviewed witnesses who are now living in the US and Israel, said the prosecutors' spokesperson, Peter Mueller-Rakow. In fact, historians were tasked with evaluating the scope of the former secretary's job at the camp. The "concrete responsibility" she had in the murders was a key question in the case, said Mueller-Rakow.
Stutthof camp was established by the Nazis in 1939
Prosecutors in Germany are also investigating 13 other cases in connection to the Nazi concentration camps of Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen, Mauthausen, and Stutthof, according to the Central Office for the Investigation of Nazi Crimes. To note, the Stutthof camp, established in 1939, housed a total of 115,000 prisoners. More than half of them died there during the Holocaust, while 22,000 were transferred to other Nazi camps.
Ex-Stutthof guard convicted of being accessory to thousands of murders
In July 2020, a 93-year-old former guard at Stutthof, named Bruno Dey, was convicted of being an accessory to thousands of murders and handed a two-year suspended sentence. Since he was a 17-year-old when he served at Stutthof, he was tried in a juvenile court, too. As the court gave its verdict, Dey apologized to Holocaust victims, saying, "Something like this must never happen again."
Six million Jews killed were in Nazi concentration camps
According to estimates, as many as six million Jewish people were killed in the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. In addition, hundreds of thousands of Romani people and those with mental and physical disabilities were killed during the Holocaust.