Stutthof concentration camp
Stutthof concentration campiStock

Prosecutors in Germany said on Tuesday that a 97-year old woman on trial for being a secretary at a death camp during the Holocaust should be given a two-year suspended sentence.

Irmgard Furchner worked as the secretary to the SS commander of the Stutthof concentration camp. Furchner has been on trial in northern Germany for over a year. In September 2021, she tried to flee Germany before her trial started. She was being tried on charges of complicity in the murder of more than 10,000 people at Stutthof camp, but failed to turn up after leaving her retirement home near Hamburg.

Police detained her several hours later and she was remanded in custody before the resumption of her trial on October 19.

With the year-long trial drawing to a close, prosecutor Maxi Wantzen’s closing arguments described the case as of “outstanding historical significance,” DPA reported.

Wantzen charged on Tuesday that Furchner from her office could see most of the camp. That included the area where new prisoners were taken. He also accused her of being able to see and smell the smoke from the crematorium.

While she was not directly involved in the murders of prisoners in the camp, “that was not necessary from my point of view to have knowledge of the mass murders,” Wantzen said.

Stutthof operated as the first concentration camp outside German territory from 1939 to 1945. Between 63,000 and 65,000 died there, including 28,000 Jews.