97-Year-Old Woman Guilty in What Could Be Germany’s Last-Ever Nazi Trial

Irmgard Furchner worked as a secretary at a Nazi death camp where 65,000 prisoners are thought to have died.
Irmgard Furchner Stutthof nazi camp
PHOTO: Christian Charisius/DPA via AP, Pool

The former secretary of a Nazi concentration camp has been found guilty by a German court of being complicit in the murder of 10,505 inmates, in what could be Germany’s last-ever Nazi-era criminal conviction

Irmgard Furchner, 97, worked as a stenographer and typist between June 1943 and April 1945 at Stutthof death camp, which is in modern-day Gdansk, Poland. 65,000 Jewish prisoners, Polish partisans and Soviet prisoners of war are estimated to have died at the camp. 


She was given a two-year suspended sentence after the court in Itzehoe, a town north of Hamburg, found that her work "assured the smooth running of the camp" and that she had "knowledge of all occurrences and events at Stutthof."

The 97-year-old was tried at a juvenile court, as she was aged 18 or 19 when she worked at the camp. 

"I'm sorry for everything that happened,” she said in court. “I regret that I was in Stutthof at the time. I can't say anything else."

Furchner’s defence had argued that she should not be found guilty because she had been unaware of the severity of what was happening at the camp at the time. 

In October 2021, she was caught after absconding right before the trial was due to start. Furchner escaped from the elderly care home she lives in before being found by police after a few hours on the run.

Her trial could be the last to take place in Germany featuring Nazi-era crimes. Earlier this year a 101-year-old former Nazi camp guard was jailed for 5 years for being complicit in the murder of 3,518 people.