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Prosecutors seek conviction of former Nazi camp secretary, 97


BERLIN — German prosecutors demanded on Tuesday that a 97-year-old woman, secretary to the SS commandant of Stutthof concentration camp, be convicted of complicity in murder and given a two-year suspended prison sentence.

Irmgard Furchner has been on trial for more than a year in the state court in Itzehoe, northern Germany. Prosecutor Maxi Wantzen said in his final submissions that “these proceedings are of exceptional historical significance”, German news agency dpa reported.

Prosecutors accuse Furchner of being part of the apparatus that helped the Nazi camp in Stutthof operate during World War II.

She is accused of having “aiding and abetting those in charge of the camp in the systematic murder of those imprisoned there between June 1943 and April 1945 in her function as stenographer and typist in the office of the commandant of the camp”.

Wantzen said on Tuesday the defendant could have seen large parts of the camp from her office, including an area where new prisoners arrived. She also must have seen and smelled smoke from the burning of bodies at the crematorium, the prosecutor added.

Although the defendant did not enter the fenced camp herself, “it was not necessary from my point of view to have knowledge of the mass murders”, Wantzen said.

Furchner did not respond to the charges against her during the trial. There is no formal plea in the German court system.

Tens of thousands of people died at Stutthof and its satellite camps, or on so-called death marches at the end of the war.

Furchner is being tried in juvenile court because she was under 21 at the time of the alleged crimes. Oral arguments are due to continue on November 29.


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