Nazi secretary at Stutthof death camp charged for role in 10,000 murders

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A woman who served as a secretary at the Stutthof Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust has been charged for being complicit in the murders of 10,000 people as well as attempted murder, according to German prosecutors, CNN reported.

According to the claims of the prosecutors, the woman  “is accused of having assisted 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,” between June 1943 and April 1945.

As the woman was under 18 when she served at the camp, she will be charged at a juvenile court.

The woman is not the only recent trial relating of a Nazi from the Stutthof camp. In July, a German court convicted 93-year-old Bruno Dey, who served as an SS guard at the camp between August 1944 and April 1945. As he was also a minor at the time, having started at the age of 17, he was also tried in juvenile court.

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While Dey admitted to having been at the camp, he denied any complicity.

“I don’t bear any guilt for what happened back then,” the defendant told the Hamburg court in 2019, according to the international public broadcaster. “I didn’t contribute anything to it, other than standing guard. But I was forced to do it; it was an order.”

“I probably knew that these were Jews who hadn’t committed a crime, that they were only in here because they were Jews,” Dey said before his trial evaluation last year, according to the German newspaper Die Welt. “And they have a right to live and work freely like every other human being.”

Dey was given a suspended two-year sentence, a decision that sparked condemnation from the antisemitism watchdog Simon Wiesenthal Center at the time.

An estimated 63,000 people were murdered at Stutthof, located near what is now the city of Gdansk in Poland.

Despite over 80 years having passed since the Holocaust began, efforts are still ongoing to prosecute Nazi criminals, even those who had seemingly low-level positions.

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According to the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel Office director and chief Nazi-hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff, this is important as it raises awareness to the public today about the crimes the Nazis had committed.

“Over the years since the Holocaust, trials have played a major role in educating the public about the horrific crimes committed by the Third Reich and local collaborators,” Zuroff wrote in an op-ed written for The Jerusalem Post.

“Due to the enormous scope of the crimes, it was obvious from the very beginning that perfect justice could never be achieved. The contemporary efforts to hold lower-level accomplices accountable may seem of little value to some observers, but they continue to serve the important purposes of educating the public about the crimes, demonstrating the importance of the rule of law, and affording a measure of closure to the nations, families, and communities victimized by the Nazis.”

Zachary Keyser, Reuters and Efraim Zuroff contributed to this report.

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