British Holocaust educators have said “time is no barrier to justice” after German prosecutors charged a 95-year-old former secretary at a Nazi concentration camp for complicity in mass murder.
The woman, who lives in an elderly persons’ care home near Hamburg and has not been named, was stationed at the Stutthof camp near what was Danzig, now Gdansk, between June 1943 and April 1945. She was a minor at the time.
She is now charged with “aiding and abetting murder in more than 10,000 cases, as well as complicity in attempted murder”, with Holocaust experts saying the camp had a particularly gruesome reputation.
“Stutthof was infamous for its cruelty and suffering, with survivors calling it ‘hell on earth’,” said Holocaust Educational Trust chief executive Karen Pollock.
“Tragically, the victims did not have the luxury of growing old or having families, as this alleged perpetrator did.”
She added: “The passage of time is no barrier to justice when it comes to the heinous crimes of the Holocaust.”
The woman is accused of “assisting 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 commander”.
If a court decides that her case should proceed to trial, which in part depends on whether the woman is judged to be fit mentally and physically fit enough, a key question will be the extent to which she had “concrete responsibility” in the killings.
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