96-Year-Old Nazi Suspect Arrested by German Police

Priya Kommu, Staff Writer

It has been nearly 80 years since World War II, but Nazis are still being caught to this day. 96-year-old Irmgard Furchner was detained by German Police after skipping her court date on September 30, 2021. Irmgard was supposed to take a taxi from her assisted living center in Hamburg to the courtroom, but instead she opted to go to the subway and went on the run. Irmgard was caught soon after her escape by police and was then examined by a physician to ensure that her health would allow her to be imprisoned.
Irmgard is facing 11,000 counts of accessory to murder in juvenile court after her time as a secretary at the Stutthof Concentration Camp. The only reason she faces charges in juvenile court is because she was 18 when she committed her crimes. Irmgard worked at the camp from June 1943 to April 1945. Irmgard was indicted in February of this year after a five year investigation.
Law enforcement officials are facing a unique problem when attempting to imprison offenders from World War II. Since the war was so long ago, officials are scrambling to get the aging suspects to trial before they are unable to come to court .
Irmgard requested a trial of absentia, a trial in which it is not required for the suspect to be present for the proceedings. However, Irmgard’s request was not granted and charges cannot be read until she is present in court in person.
The International Auschwitz Committee, which was founded by Auschwitz survivors, weighed in on Irmgard’s attempted escape. “This shows an incredible contempt for the rule of law and also for survivors,” Christoph Heubner, executive vice president of the committee said.
Irmgard’s new hearing date is October 19, 2021.