German prosecutors have filed charges against a 95-year-old woman who says she helped commit the “systematic killing of Jewish prisoners”, along with Polish partisanship and Russian prisoners of war.
The woman, who testified against a Nazi camp commandant in the 1950s and was the subject of an investigation since at least 2016, was charged with 10,000 counts of accessory to murder and an unspecified number of accessory attempts to murder Was charged with.
In a twist, the case is being handled by a juvenile court since the woman was 21 years old when she worked as a secretary at the Stüthof concentration camp near Gdansk on the Baltic coast of Poland, NPR reported.
The woman was not named, but senior public prosecutor Peter Müller-Rocco used the term “Herranwachsenden” to refer to her. German law uses the term to refer to someone between 18 and 21 years old.
She must have been 18 or 19 years old when she started working in the Nazi camp in June 1943. She was a close associate of SS Commandant till April 1945. This camp was one in which the Zyklon B gas chamber was used to drive the prisoners away. More than 60,000 people were killed there.
In an interview with a German public broadcaster at the end of 2019, the woman, whom “Irgmard F.” Was identified as having said that he has repeatedly testified to officers what he saw and did at the Stutthof camp. She claimed that she was not collectively aware of the poison or other acts of genocide – as the camp was faced out of the window of her office, NPR reported. According to The Associated Press he said that he never set foot in the camp.
In 1957, Stutthof’s commandant Paul-Werner Hoppe was sentenced to nine years in prison. He died in 1974. In the interview, Irgmard F stated that he testified at his trial that all of Hopi’s correspondence with the higher SS administration had gone behind his desk and that the commandant had scheduled his letters daily, the AP reported. She said that she was not aware of the prisoners being gasped, but officers came to know when she knew that Hopi had ordered her hanged, which she believed was a punishment for her escape.
Last year, Bruno Day, a 93-year-old former guard at the Stutthof camp, was convicted of being an assistant in the murder of over 5,200 inmates – but closed with a two-year suspended prison sentence. Among his trial witnesses were 91-year-old Asia Shindleman, who survived the camp and eventually settled in Wayne, NJ.