Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' Oskar Groening dies

'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' Oskar Groening dies

Oskar Groening, a former Nazi guard known as the so-called "Bookkeeper of Auschwitz" due to be sentenced for his war crimes, has died, his lawyer announced Monday.

Oskar Groening, the former Auschwitz guard convicted in his 90s for his role in the murder of 300,000 Hungarian Jews at the concentration camp, has died in Germany.

According to German magazine, Der Spiegel, he was sentenced to four years for being an accessory to the murder of millions of Jews.

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At the age of 21, Groening volunteered to join the elite Waffen-SS before transferring in 1942 to work at Auschwitz, where he counted the money found among the belongings of prisoners and sent it to SS headquarters in Berlin.

Groening, a former Nazi SS officer, did not kill anyone himself while working at the camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, but the lower court ruled he helped support those responsible for mass murder through various actions, including by sorting bank notes seized from trainloads of arriving Jews.

His trial went to the heart of the question of whether people who were minor participants in the Nazi atrocities, but did not actively participate in the killing of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust, were themselves guilty. He said he had guarded luggage on the Auschwitz arrival and selection ramp two or three times in the summer of 1944.

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"I know that. I sincerely regret not having lived up to this realisation earlier and more consistently".

In 2011, former OH autoworker John Demjanjuk became the first person convicted in Germany exclusively for serving as a death camp guard without evidence of being involved in a specific killing.

A court doctor had decided that Groening was able to serve his sentence, providing he was given appropriate nursing and medical care. This was one of the last Holocaust-related court trials.

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