Germany charges Nazi death camp secretary with complicity in 10,000 inmates' murders

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A woman who worked as a secretary in a Nazi death camp has been charged with being complicit in the deaths of 10,000 inmates.

German prosecutors said in a statement she is accused of "having assisted... 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.

The woman, who has not been named, is charged with "aiding and abetting murder in more than 10,000 cases", as well as complicity in attempted murder, prosecutors from the northern city of Itzehoe said.

She worked at the Stutthof camp near what was Danzig, now Gdansk, in then Nazi-occupied Poland, where some 65,000 inmates died.

It is the first such case in recent years against a female staff member, who, because of her age at the time of the alleged offences, will face a juvenile court.

Germany's attempts to bring surviving Nazis to justice changed in 2011 when former guard John Demjanjuk was convicted on the basis he served as part of the Nazi killing machine.

Since then, courts have handed down several guilty verdicts on the grounds that suspects participated - rather than for murders or atrocities directly linked to the individual accused.

Among those who were brought to late justice were Oskar Groening, who was an accountant at Auschwitz, and Reinhold Hanning, a former SS guard at the same camp.

Both were convicted of complicity in mass murder at the age of 94, but died before they could be imprisoned.

In a more recent case, a former SS guard, Bruno Dey, was found guilty at the age of 93 and was given a two-year suspended sentence.

He worked in the same Stutthof camp as the woman charged on Friday.

Set up by the Nazis in 1939, the camp was initially used to detain Polish political prisoners, but it ended up holding 110,000 detainees, including many Jews.

The Duchess of Cambridge spoke to two survivors from Stutthof last month to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

Around 65,000 people perished there, part of more than six million Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust under Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime.