BERLIN: Public prosecutors in Germany on Friday indicted a 95-year-old woman for her role in supporting the Nazis as a secretary in a concentration camp during the Second World War, charging her with 10,000 counts of being an accessory to murder, and complicity in attempted murders.
According to the New York Times, the woman was identified as Irmgard F under German privacy laws. Her indictment followed a five-year-old investigation. As she was under 21 at the time of the accused offenses, prosecutors said that she would be tried in a juvenile court, where she is likely to receive a milder sentence.
The woman worked as a secretary for the camp commander at the Stutthof camp, 20 miles from the Polish city of Gdansk, between June 1943 and April 1945.
Prosecutors said that she had admitted that much of the correspondence related to the camp and many files crossed her desk and that she knew of some killings of inmates.
However, the accused maintains that she did not know that large numbers of the camp's inmates were being killed by gas during the time she worked there.
"It's fair to say that the majority of these women knew about the persecution of the Jews and some of them knew about them being murdered... But some secretaries had roles that gave them more access to information than others," said Rachel Century, a British historian who wrote a book on female administrators in the Third Reich.
Last year, a 93-year-old man was convicted in a juvenile court in Hamburg of being an accessory to 5,230 murders when he was a 17-year-old guard at Stutthof, reported the New York Times.
Over 60,000 people are believed to have died or been killed at Stutthof, which was the first concentration camp to be established by the Nazi regime outside Germany's borders.
As the last people involved in carrying out atrocities for the Nazi regime are close to death, German authorities have been pushing hard to bring as many of them as possible to justice.
The process started when in 2011, John Demjanjuk, who worked for years as an autoworker in the US, was found guilty in a Munich court on the charges of killing 28,000 Jews when he was a guard at the Sobibor camp in German-occupied Poland in 1943. After that case, other local prosecutors began investigating the responsibility of other surviving concentration camp guards.