Nazi Stutthof camp secretary flees as German trial starts

Nazi Stutthof camp secretary flees as German trial starts
As the court waited for the trial to start, the judge said the defendant was now a fugitive. Source: EPA
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Daily US Times: German authorities have captured a former secretary at a Nazi concentration camp after trying to flee before her trial in northern Germany.

The 96-year-old Irmgard Furchner was due to face trial for complicity in 11,000 murders in a Nazi concentration camp, but she failed to turn up in the court and the judge issued a warrant for her arrest.

She was detained by German police hours after disappearing from a nursing home in the town of Quickborn.

The defendant fled to the city of Hamburg, where she was picked up on a local street.

She was placed in provisional detention center after her capture on Thursday ahead of the opening of her trial.

Ms Furchner had been due to appear at a special court in Itzehoe, an hour’s drive north of Hamburg.

Instead she left her retirement home, apparently heading for an underground station. She took a taxi in attempt to flee, according to court spokeswoman.

The court spokeswoman said later that Ms Furchner would now be brought before the court, set up in the hall of a logistics company in Itzehoe because the town courtroom is not big enough to handle the media interest.

Earlier, Judge Dominik Gross had postponed the case until 19 October. Because of the defendant’s age, the court is expected to sit for no more than two hours a day. A doctor was due to examine Ms Furchner to decide whether she should remain in custody.

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