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95-Year-Old German Woman Might Be Tried in 10K Killings

Prosecutors say she worked as the commandant's secretary at Stutthof concentration camp
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2021 4:45 PM CST

(Newser) – A 95-year-old woman who worked as a secretary and typist at a German concentration camp during World War II has been charged in the killings of more than 10,000 people. The senior prosecutor said she helped carry out "the systematic killing of Jewish prisoners," as well as those of Soviet prisoners of war and Polish partisans, NPR reports. Officials did not give the woman's name. She's also charged with aiding and abetting attempted murder, in reference to the tens of thousands of prisoners who survived the Stutthof concentration camp. A juvenile court will decide whether the woman will be tried, because she was under 21 when she started to work at Stutthof. The concentration camp was built in 1939 in what was German-occupied Poland, east of Gdansk. The woman worked there from June 1943 to April 1945 for the SS commandant.

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The woman has said she testified about the camp in the 1950s before the commandant was sentenced to prison. Prosecutors began investigating her SS work history in 2016, per the BBC, and have interviewed camp survivors who now live in Israel about her. She has told officials and interviewers that she knew nothing of the genocide, which included mass poisonings, partly because her office window looked out of the camp. Conditions at Stutthof were brutal, with many of the more than 100,000 prisoners dying of disease or starvation. Gas chambers were added in June 1944. She said she didn't learn the scope of the killings until after the war; she said she had assumed that anyone executed had done something to warrant it. Soviet troops liberated Stutthof in May 1945. The woman now lives in a retirement home near Hamburg. (Read more concentration camps stories.)

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