Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

95-year-old woman who worked as Nazi concentration camp secretary charged over 10,000 murders

Discussion in 'Concentration, Death Camps and Crimes Against Huma' started by BeeGeesOne, Feb 6, 2021.

  1. BeeGeesOne

    BeeGeesOne New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2015
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    3
    “A 95-year-old woman has been charged as an accessory to the murder of 10,000 people because she worked as a secretary at a Nazi concentration camp, German prosecutors announced on Friday.
    The woman has not been named under German privacy laws but has been partially identified by local media as Irmgard F, a German pensioner living in a retirement home in Pinneberg, north of Hamburg.

    From June 1943 and April 1945 she worked as a secretary and typist for the commandant of Stutthof concentration camp, in present day Poland.

    She is charged with “assisting those responsible for the systematic killing of Jewish prisoners, Polish partisans and Soviet prisoners of war at the camp”.

    It is not the first time a woman has been charged over the Holocaust, but the decision to bring charges against a former secretary is the latest in a series of recent attempts to widen prosecutions beyond those directly involved in sending prisoners to their deaths.

    She is charged with “assisting those responsible for the systematic killing of Jewish prisoners, Polish partisans and Soviet prisoners of war at the camp”.

    It is not the first time a woman has been charged over the Holocaust, but the decision to bring charges against a former secretary is the latest in a series of recent attempts to widen prosecutions beyond those directly involved in sending prisoners to their deaths.

    Around 65,000 people are believed to have been systematically murdered at Stutthof, around 28,000 of them Jewish. Several thousand died in the camp’s gas chambers. Others were clubbed to death, drowned in mud, killed by lethal injection, shot dead or worked to death.

    The majority died of the inhuman conditions at the camp, which saw a series of typhus epidemics. Those deemed too weak to work after recovering were sent to the gas chambers. There are claims the bodies of some of the dead were used to make human soap.
    Irmgard F told German radio in 2019 that she only learned of the murders at the camp after the end of the war. She claimed she never entered the camp itself and that her office window faced away from the complex.
    She testified in German hearings against more senior figures at the camp in the years following the war that she was unaware gas chambers were operating at the camp. She said she knew that some “executions” took place, but claimed that at the time she believed the victims had committed some crime.
    She testified that Paul Werner Hoppe, the camp commandant, was a “conscientious” boss who took his work seriously. Hoppe was sentenced to nine years imprisonment in 1957.

    For many years German courts held that only the most senior Nazi leaders could be held responsible for the worst crimes of the Holocaust. That changed in 2011 and prosecutors have since been racing to bring surviving perpetrators to justice while there is still time.”

    95-year-old woman who worked as Nazi concentration camp secretary charged over 10,000 murders
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
  2. Half Track

    Half Track Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,088
    Likes Received:
    527
    Location:
    Chambersburg Pennsylvania
    I suppose you are never too old to be exposed. But personally, at that age and the position she held, I don’t think any prison time should be served. Of course, other people with relatives affected may disagree.
     
  3. BeeGeesOne

    BeeGeesOne New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2015
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    3
    I can’t speak for people with relatives affected but I don’t know what kind of justice is being served for the victims by locking up secretaries.
     
    Otto and ColHessler like this.
  4. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    13,956
    Likes Received:
    2,397
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    While I agree that prosecuting her seems a bit of a stretch, her comment that because of the way her window faced, she was unaware of what was happening is disingenuous at best. I'm pretty sure she knew exactly what was going on. If nothing else, her participation needs to be exposed.
     
    Kai-Petri likes this.
  5. the_diego

    the_diego Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2016
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    53
    Stutthof was just a concentration camp, at least at the start. It will be difficult to pin her as an accessory to murder before June 1944, when the gas chamber became operational.
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    25,056
    Likes Received:
    1,799
    Location:
    Finland
    A typist only? You knew what you were typing. Money, gold teeth, clocks...
    10,000. Not worth building a camp. Must be at least 100,000. Or more.
     
  7. Riter

    Riter Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2020
    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    144
    How could she not know? She testified. That said, she should have been prosecuted decades ago and not now.
     
    Kai-Petri likes this.
  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    25,056
    Likes Received:
    1,799
    Location:
    Finland
    There are so called "lesser important" people in the machinery, but they made it work anyway. Making people lists, money in their wallets, shoes, hair, body numbers. The smaller camps might have beeen working camps but usually in connection with killing camps, when you were useless you were taken to killing camps. Like previously said, the Germans made written proof of everything. She wrote her own guilt proof and will go to jail old or not.
     
  9. Dutchsteammachine

    Dutchsteammachine Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2020
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    33
    What is the general opinion held by holocaust victims on the prosecution and sentences imposed on +80 year old partakers that may or may not have played a small role in the crime.

    I think the opinions voices by the victims on these matters would be the most valuable. I am sure they can decide better than us and got more right to it anyways.

    I sometimes question if people who played a small part, even guards, could have just stopped following orders? if not, what else could one reasonably expected one to do? defy an order and get executed on the spot?
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
    Kai-Petri likes this.
  10. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    25,056
    Likes Received:
    1,799
    Location:
    Finland
    However not shooting Jews did not mean your follow men would shoot you. It was your decision. You just would not shoot anybody. It was not your real duty in the end and you could decide There is a book on this on normal German reserve men who were ordered to shoot Jews in the forest something like 101. Reserve Unit. I will find it for you.
     
  11. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    25,056
    Likes Received:
    1,799
    Location:
    Finland
    Reserve Police Battalion 101. You also find a lot of discussion here with the search function. You could refuse to kill.
     
  12. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    25,056
    Likes Received:
    1,799
    Location:
    Finland
    What you need to research are the einsatzgruppen. Mostly highly educated antisemitists. Why? Lawyers etc looking for Jews. Or Katyn. Why? Why they did It? Nobody held a gun on their head.
     
  13. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    25,056
    Likes Received:
    1,799
    Location:
    Finland
    And read the Jewish doctors' plot in Russia. Stalin just died before starting it. Another massacre coming.
     
  14. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    25,056
    Likes Received:
    1,799
    Location:
    Finland
    Or the project underkeel. Interesting who does and what. Once I started reading facts fiction never attracted anymore.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  15. BeeGeesOne

    BeeGeesOne New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2015
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    3
    Something that we don’t always stop and realize today is the vast number of people who were truly involved. An interest point this video makes is that they chose not to prosecute every person that had a role, including small secretarial roles because if they prosecuted everyone with any involvement, there wouldn’t be enough people left to rebuild.

     
  16. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    25,056
    Likes Received:
    1,799
    Location:
    Finland
    Remember, it was not all Germans. That would be easy to say the Germans are guilty of all things. Many countries took part voluntarily.
     
    Half Track likes this.

Share This Page