Former secretary at the Stutthof concentration camp, 96 years old, but facing a juvenile court. Irmgard Furchner was 18 years old at the time of the offense. She was charged with complicity in the murder in over eleven thousand cases – reported “Bild am Sonntag”.
Irmgard Furchner was the secretary of the commandant of the German concentration camp Stutthof and, as the German daily Bild am Sonntag reported, “claims she knew nothing of the murders.”
At the age of 18, Irmgard Furchner began working as a typist in a Nazi extermination camp. Previously, she worked in this position at Dresdner Bank in Marienburg (now Malbork). “In the Stutthof concentration camp, the secretary earned well, while the prisoners starved, died of exhaustion, were gassed or shot,” wrote “Bild am Sonntag”.
Charges of complicity in the murder in over 11,000 cases
“I was a stenographer for Commandant Hoppe and his adjutant, but I wrote more for Hoppe,” said the 96-year-old in a testimony in 1954. “All correspondence with the Office of Economic Administration of the SS” (which coordinated, inter alia, the use of forced laborers in concentration camps) passed through her hands. “Hoppe dictated executions and deportations,” emphasized the German daily. “But Furchner pretends that he has no idea about it. From the commandant’s office she saw the prisoners’ barracks, the gas chamber and the crematorium. Nevertheless, she claims that she did not hear anything about the murders” – the newspaper noted.
“Bild am Sonntag” announced that on September 30 “the terrible Mrs. Furchner” (furchtbare Frau Furchner) is to appear before the district court in Itzehoe (Schleswig-Holstein). The court is for minors because she was 18 at the time of the alleged offenses. She was charged with complicity in the murder in 11,387 cases, and complicity in attempted murder in seven cases.
Old neighbors don’t have good memories
Furchner was born on May 29, 1925 in Kalthof near Gdańsk as Irmgard Dirksen. In the concentration camp, Stutthof met SS-Oberscharfuehrer Heinz Furchtsam. As his name (furchtsam – fearful) did not fit the concentration camp officer at all, he changed it to Furchner and in 1954 he married Irmgard, 19 years his junior, the newspaper reported.
The former secretary of the concentration camp quickly found a new job after the war – including as a court clerk.
From 1960, Irmgard Furchner lived with her husband, who died in 1972, in an apartment building on Birkenweg in Schleswig – in a cooperative apartment for officials. In 2014, she moved to a retirement home. The old neighbors don’t have fond memories of Irmgard Furchner. Klaus-Rüdiger G. lived downstairs for many years. – She was not a friendly person. She was brusque, she had a cold and evil look, he told reporters “Bild am Sonntag”.
It’s not about revenge
In the trial against Irmgard Furchner, Judit Sperling is one of the victims. He currently lives in Israel. She was deported with her mother to Stutthof on July 19, 1944. She survived the horrors of a concentration camp, her husband and thirteen-year-old cousin were murdered.
Her lawyer Onur Ozata, who also represents another Stutthof survivor, told Bild am Sonntag: “This procedure is of particular importance to my clients.” It’s not about revenge. Rather, they want the criminal liability of many assistants and accomplices in the Shoah (the Holocaust) to be established.
More than 76 years after the end of the war, the trial of Irmgard Furchner is one of the last trials of the Nazis, emphasized Bild am Sonntag.
In October, a 100-year-old former guard of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp will be tried in the Neuruppin district court for complicity in 3,518 homicide cases.
The Central Office for the Investigation of Nazi Crimes in Ludwigsburg is currently investigating five guards of POW camps and two guards of concentration camps.
At the prosecutor’s office in Erfurt, proceedings are pending against a guard from Buchenwald, in Weiden against a guard from the Flossenbuerg concentration camp, in Neuruppin against two guards from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp and against a guard and guard from the Ravensbrueck concentration camp, the newspaper says.
In the years 1939-1945, about 110,000 people from 28 countries were imprisoned in the Stutthof concentration camp. The Germans murdered almost 65,000 prisoners.
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