Former Nazi secretary, 96, who tried to flee her trial once warned she wouldn't show up to court as it would make her 'the mockery of humanity,' report says

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germany trial nazi secretary empty seat
The empty seat of Irmgard Furchner at the courtroom in Itzehoe, Germany, on September 30, 2021. Markus Schreiber/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
  • A former Nazi secretary who tried to flee her trial previously warned she wouldn't show up at court.

  • Irmgard Furchner, 96, told a judge she feared her trial would make her "the mockery of humanity."

  • She faces more than 11,000 counts of accessory to murder.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A 96-year-old former secretary of a Nazi concentration camp commander, who tried to flee her trial in Germany on Thursday, previously warned the judge she wouldn't show up because she didn't want to become "the mockery of humanity," Bild reported.

Irmgard Furchner, 96, was a typist at the Stutthof concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Germany and faces charges of more than 11,000 counts of accessory to murder.

She was due to appear at her first court hearing in the state court of Itzehoe on Thursday but never turned up.

But her no-show did not come without a complete warning, Bild reported.

Last week, Furchner had written a letter to the judge, Dominik Gross, saying she did not want to appear in court for health reasons and for fear of mockery, the report said.

"As an 18- and 19-year-old I did nothing that I should be held responsible for as a 96-year-old," she wrote in the letter, Bild reported.

"I wish to spare myself these embarrassments and not to expose myself to the mockery of humanity."

"Due to my age and physical limitations, I will not attend the court dates and ask the defense counsel to represent me," she also said, per Die Presse.

Furchner's lawyers previously argued that the 96-year-old was too ill to face proceedings, citing a heart condition, Die Presse reported. But by Thursday, the court had ruled her fit to stand trial, the outlet said.

Hours before her Thursday court appearance, Furchner left left her care home and took a taxi to a nearby subway station, Der Spiegel reported.

Police officers later found her walking on a street around 9 miles from her care home on Thursday afternoon.

The court is now deciding whether or not to place her in custody, Agence France-Presse reported. There will also be another medical examination to assess whether her health would allow her to be imprisoned, Bild reported.

Christoph Heubner, vice president of the International Auschwitz Committee, said the escape attempt showed "contempt for the survivors and also for the rule of law," according to AFP.

The next hearing is scheduled for October 19.

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