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Nazi death camp secretary captured after attempting to flee trial

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 9/30/2021 Joseph Wilkinson

A German woman who worked as a secretary at a Nazi concentration camp attempted to dodge her trial Thursday but was captured.

Irmgard Furchner, 96, is charged with aiding and abetting more than 11,000 murders, the Guardian reported. The case is being prosecuted in juvenile court because Furchner was 18 when she began work at the Stutthof camp in 1943.

Thursday morning, she took a taxi from her nursing home to a train station and traveled into the city of Hamburg in northern Germany, according to the BBC. The trial was supposed to happen 30 miles north in Itzehoe.

Chairman judge Dominik Gross, third from right, arrives with a trial judge Thursday for Furchner's trial. The hearing, of course, was delayed. © Markus Schreiber Chairman judge Dominik Gross, third from right, arrives with a trial judge Thursday for Furchner's trial. The hearing, of course, was delayed.

Chairman judge Dominik Gross, third from right, arrives with a trial judge Thursday for Furchner's trial. The hearing, of course, was delayed. (Markus Schreiber/)

Authorities caught up to her in Hamburg, and she was briefly detained, the BBC reported. Her trial was rescheduled for Oct. 19.

An estimated 65,000 people died at the Stutthof camp, near what is now the Polish city of Gdansk. The camp was established Sept. 2, 1939, just one day after the Nazis invaded Poland, and was not liberated until 1945.

Furchner was a secretary to camp commander Paul-Werner Hoppe. Prosecutors said she assisted in the operation of the camp, which enabled the killings of Jews, Poles and Soviet prisoners of war, the Guardian reported.

Her defense team is expected to argue that she had little idea what was going on around her at Stutthof. Furchner has appeared as a witness at previous Nazi trials and said she had no contact with prisoners.

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