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96-year-old woman who fled Nazi war crimes trial is found

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96-year-old woman who fled Nazi war crimes trial is found

96-year-old Nazi war crimes suspect goes on the run ahead of her trial. Pictured is a judicial officer at the court room in Itzehoe before the trial for the defendant was due to start.

A 96-year-old German woman who fled on Thursday before standing trial on charges of aiding and abetting murder in a Nazi concentration camp has been found by local authorities and will be brought before the court.

"The woman has been located by German police," Frederike Milhoffer, spokesperson at the court in Itzehoe, told CNN by phone, adding that, "local authorities are now assessing whether she is able to serve a prison sentence."

The trial of the former secretary, named by Reuters as Irmgard Furchner, was set to start on Thursday. The woman is "suspected of having aided and abetted 11,387 cases of murder," according to a court indictment.

The defendant was a stenographer and typist in the commandant's office at the concentration camp in Stutthof, near what is now the Polish city of Gdansk. She is alleged to have assisted those in charge of the camp in the systematic killing of prisoners between June 1943 and April 1945, the indictment reads.

Furchner faces trial before a Juvenile Court Chamber because she was an adolescent at the time of the alleged offenses. She is one of the first women to go on trial in decades for alleged crimes during the Nazi-era.

According to the Central Office in Ludwigsburg, which is responsible for investigating Nazi crimes, around 65,000 people died in the Stutthof concentration camp and its subcamps, as well as on the so-called death marches at the end of the war.

In July 2020, the Hamburg Regional Court sentenced Bruno D., a then-93-year-old former guard at Stutthof to two years' probation.

The former guard oversaw prisoners at Stutthof from August 1944 to April 1945 and was charged with 5,230 counts of accessory to murder over his time as an SS guard in the camp. He faced a juvenile court because he was 17 years old at the time he served there.

Next Thursday a trial against a 100-year-old SS-guard at the former Nazi concentration camp Sachsenhausen is also due to start.



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