A 97-year-old woman who worked as a secretary at a Nazi concentration camp was convicted by a German court Tuesday of being an accessory to the murder of more than 10,000 people, but a survivor of the hideous massacre demands a higher sentence.
But despite the scale of her crimes, prosecutors have recommended that she is handed a two-year suspended sentence.
Furchner had previously claimed that while she worked in the camp between 1943 and 1945, she had no knowledge of the atrocities taking place.
However, this was called into question due to her role as secretary, which brought her into daily contact with the camp commandant, Paul Werner Hoppe.
His denial of involvement was criticized by Holocaust survivor Manfred Goldberg BEM, 92, who claims that reports of human hair collection were even sent to his office.
As relayed by the Holocaust Education Fund, he said: «The entry gate of Stutthof was known as the ‘Gate of Death’, entering was more or less equivalent to death.
«It is my belief that it would be impossible for Furchner not to know what was going on there, as she claims.
«Everything was documented and progress reports, including how much human hair had been harvested, sent to her office.»
But the survivor did praise the German court for finally convicting Furchner, who was a teenager at the time of her crimes.
He added: «This trial serves the purpose of letting the public know that there is no limitation of time for crimes of such cruelty or magnitude.
«My only disappointment is that a 2-year suspension appears to me to be a mistake. No one in their right mind would send a 97-year-old to prison, but the sentence should reflect the severity of the crimes.
«If a shoplifter is sentenced to two years, how can it be that someone convicted for complicity in 10,000 murders is given the same sentence.»
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Stutthof was infamous for its cruelty and suffering, with Holocaust survivors calling it ‘hell on earth’. The testimony shared by survivors during this trial has been harrowing, and their bravery in reliving such horrific memories must be commended.
«While Furchner will keep her freedom – this was stolen from over 60,000 Jewish victims ruthlessly murdered by the Nazis at Stutthof.