Germany: 96-yr-old Nazi death camp secretary ‘on the run’ ahead of trial

A district court in Germany has issued an arrest warrant for a 96-year-old woman due to go on trial on Thursday on charges of complicity in murder at the Stutthof death camp during World War II, court officials say.

Irmgard F, who prosecutors say worked as a secretary at the camp from 1943 to 1945, left the elderly care home she is living in on Thursday morning by taxi and went to an underground station, a spokeswoman for the Itzhoe district court said. Her whereabouts are unknown.

DW’s Luise von Richthofen, who is at the court, said that the announcement of the woman’s disappearance came as the trial was about to open.

“If they find her, they will bring her to court today, read the arrest warrant, and they still have to determine whether she is fit to stand trial,” von Richthofen said.

Thousands of deaths

The woman has been charged with complicity in the murder of more than 11,000 people and attempted murder in several more cases.

Her trial, if it takes place, might well be the last trial for Nazi crimes in Germany. It is due to take place in a juvenile court, as the woman was aged just 18 and 19 at the time of the alleged crimes.

Some 65,000 people, many of them Jews, died at the Stutthof death camp. Many prisoners died of malnourishment and illness, but the camp was also equipped with gas chambers and other murderous devices.

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