A German court sentenced a 97-year-old former Nazi concentration camp secretary to two years in prison on Tuesday., was accused of complicity in the murder of over ten thousand people. In one of the country’s last Holocaust trials, Irmgard Furchner She was put on trial for her alleged role in the “brutal and malicious murder” of prisoners at the Stutthof camp in occupied Poland. The sentence conforms to the request Case investigationwhat emphasized the “exceptional historical significance” of the processOften with “symbolic” failure.
The defendant, whose face is blurred in photographs released by the media at the court’s order, was in a wheelchair and was present when the verdict was delivered. He did not speak in court except to break his silence during one of the hearings last December.
“I’m sorry for everything that happened”Furchner testified at the regional court in the northern town of Itzehoe. She is the first woman in decades to be prosecuted in Germany for Nazi-era crimes.
The elderly woman tried to escape when the procedure was scheduled to begin in September 2021, escapes from the nursing home where he lives in a taxi to a subway station. He tried to evade police for several hours before being arrested in the nearby city of Hamburg and spent five days in custody.
Her attorneys said the woman knew about the murders, saying the evidence presented during the trial “has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt.”
Defendant was a juvenile when the alleged offenses were committed and, therefore, was tried by a juvenile court. Between June 1943 and April 1945, Furchner worked in the office of camp commander Paul Werner Hope. As the case may be, Furchner took the SS officer’s orders and carried his letters.
During the trial, many survivors of the Stutthof camp gave harrowing accounts of their suffering. Prosecutor Maxie Wandson praised the witnesses for their courageThe man who spoke of “absolute hell” lived in the camp. “They feel it their duty to do it, even if they have to invoke pain over and over again.”He clarified.
The defendant’s administrative duties “ensured the proper functioning of the camp,” Wantzen told the judges, and gave him “knowledge of all events that took place at Stutthope.” In turn, he pointed out that “life-threatening conditions” such as food and water shortages and the spread of deadly diseases were being deliberately maintained.
The camp’s appalling conditions and forced labor claimed most lives. The Nazis used gas chambers to render hundreds of people unfit for work. Despite the defendant’s advanced age, “it’s important to conduct this type of investigation” in addition to completing the historical record because the survivors are dying.
At the Stutthof concentration camp near Gdansk, approximately 65,000 prisoners died during World War II., among them many Jews, Polish partisans and Russian-Soviet prisoners of war, mainly weak and sick. At least 200 prisoners were killed by Hurricane B inside the gas chamber and train carriage, and another 30 were shot in the back of the head in a secret location located in the crematorium.
Punishments for Nazi crimes
77 years after the end of World War II, Time is running out to bring the perpetrators of the Holocaust to justice. In recent years, many cases have been dropped because the defendant died or failed to appear in court.
The 2011 conviction of ex-guard John Demjanjuk Part of Hitler’s Death Machine, It set a legal precedent and paved the way for many other cases. Since then, courts have issued many criminal convictions for these reasons, and not for murders or atrocities directly related to the defendant.
Demjanjuk, then 91, was sentenced to five years in prison in May 2011 by a Munich court for complicity in the deaths of 27,900 Jews in Nazi death camps in occupied Poland. .
The process for Demjanjuk, who was extradited to Germany in May 2009 by the US, where he had lived since the 1950s, lasted a year and a half, and after his conviction, the prisoner was released on probation two years later. He spent time in pre-trial detention, his delicate health and no flight risk.
In July 2015, a German court sentenced 95-year-old Oskar Groening to four years in prison for complicity in 300,000 murders.Known as “The Accountant of Auschwitz” For their basically bureaucratic functions in this concentration camp. Gröning did not go to prison and died three years later, awaiting the decision of the Lower Saxony government to pardon him.
In June 2016, 94-year-old SS member Reinhold Hanning was sentenced to five years in prison by a German court.It found him guilty Complicit in the deaths of 170,000 prisoners He was murdered in the Auschwitz death camp between January 1943 and June 1943, during which he served as a guard there. Hanning died a year later with the cases pending.
In July 2020 Bruno Day, 93 years old, a guard at the Stutthof concentration camp in Poland, received a symbolic two-year probation for complicity in 5,232 murders during his time there between 1944 and 1945 when he was 17 years old. In February 2021, the US extradited Germany Friedrich Karl Berger, 95 years old, who was an armed guard at the German concentration camp at Neuengamm near Hamburg in 1945. However, the German judiciary found no evidence to charge him.
June this year Joseph S.A A 101-year-old former SS guard, was sentenced by a German court to five years in prison for complicity in the murder of 3,518 inmates of the Nazi concentration camp of Sachsenhausen, north of Berlin. Thomas Will, who directed the special prosecution in the case, declared that justice for those who were part of the Nazi death squad was crucial because “there is no prescription for murder and complicity.”
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