BERLIN — The 96-year-old woman, a former secretary in a concentration camp, was supposed to appear in court to face charges of being an accessory in the deaths of more than 11,000 people, in what may be one of the last Nazi trials in Germany.
But instead of taking a taxi from her assisted living home outside Hamburg to the nearby court, Irmgard Furchner, who was 18 when she started work in 1943 at the Stutthof concentration camp in Poland, headed instead for a nearby subway station, according to the court.
It was not immediately clear where Ms. Furchner, who had previously told journalists and the judge she didn’t want to be part of the trial, was heading, but she was soon apprehended by the police after the court reported her missing. The court, in the town of Itzehoe, said she was undergoing a medical investigation.
Ms. Furchner was indicted in February after a five-year investigation into her work as a secretary to the commander of the Stutthof camp, located near Gdansk, then known as Danzig, between June 1943 and April 1945. The indictment was part of an effort by German prosecutors over the past decade to hold lower-ranking people to account for their actions during the Holocaust.
aging suspects to court. Last year, a Hamburg court convicted a 93-year-old who was a guard in the same concentration camp on 5,230 counts of being an accessory to murder.