German prosecutors issued Friday an indictment against a 95-year-old former Nazi concentration camp secretary, alleging 10,000 counts of aiding, abetting, and being complicit in attempted murders as part of the Nazi apparatus of terror.
According to the prosecutors, she “assisted those responsible at the camp in the systematic killing of Jewish prisoners, Polish partisans and Soviet Russian prisoners of war, in her function as a stenographer and secretary to the camp commandant.”
Identified by German radio and television broadcaster NDF as Irmgard F., the former secretary and stenographer typist to the Stutthof camp commandant Paul-Werner Hoppe had been under investigation since 2016. During the investigation, authorities interviewed survivors in both the US and Israel. Irmgard worked at the camp, which was located 20 miles away from the Polish city of Gdansk (known as Danzig at the time), between June 1943 and April 1945. It is believed that 65,000 people were killed at the Stutthof camp.
In 1954, as a witness in the case against Hoppe, Irmgard stated that all the correspondence with the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office passed across her desk and that Hoppe dictated letters to her. She said that she was aware at the time that some camp inmates were being killed but believed the killings were punishment for crimes committed by them. She also asserts that she was unaware of the scale of the killings in the gas chambers.
In an interview with the NDR, Irmgard claimed that her office’s window did not point in the camp’s direction, that she had never entered the camp, and that she only became aware of the killings after the war ended.
Last year, Bruno Dey, a 95-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard, was convicted on 5,232 counts of accessory to murder and one count of accessory to attempted murder.
It is the first time in several years that a woman is being indicted as a support staff member in a Nazi concentration camp, as most recent cases have focused on former SS guards. A court in Schleswig-Holstein must now decide whether a trial should be initiated. The decision will be based on a determination of the former secretary’s role at the camp and her “concrete responsibility” in the killings. As Irmgard was under 21 years of age at the time of the commission of the offenses, if the case proceeds, she will be tried as a minor.