A 96-year-old former secretary to a Nazi concentration camp commander, who was due to go on trial in Germany this week, has run away from her care home, according to Der Spiegel.

The woman, identified by German media as Irmgard Furchner, faces charges of more than 11,000 counts of accessory to murder, the Associated Press reported.

She was due to appear in the state court of Itzehoe, northern Germany, on Thursday but never showed up, Der Spiegel reported.

She left her care home early Thursday morning and took a taxi to a nearby subway station, Der Spiegel reported. It is not clear where she is now.

Last week Furchner had written a letter to the judge, Dominik Groß, saying she did not want to appear in court due to health reasons.

Speaking to the court on Thursday morning, Groß announced that Furchner was missing, adding: "The defendant is now a fugitive, and the chamber has issued an arrest warrant," Der Spiegel reported.

Furchner was 18 when she started working as a secretary to the former Nazi SS commandant Paul Werner Hoppe at the Stutthof concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, Der Spiegel and the AP reported.

As camp commander, Hoppe wrote execution orders, deportation lists for the trains to Auschwitz, and instructions for mass killings in the camp's gas chambers, Der Spiegel reported. Furchner passed on his commands in the form of letters and radio messages, the report said.

Furchner, who had been questioned as a witness in past Nazi trials, previously said she was not aware of the killings that occurred at the camp while she worked there, the Associated Press reported.

She is the first woman in decades to stand trial over crimes committed by the Third Reich.

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