Convicted Auschwitz guard dies before jail


A former Nazi SS guard dubbed the "Bookkeeper of Auschwitz" has died aged 96 almost three years after his conviction for being an accessory to murder, German media said Monday.

A bank clerk in pre-war Germany, Groening never denied his Nazi past and accepted "moral responsibility" for the Holocaust on the first day of his trial.

Gröning was convicted of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 jews at the camp in Poland and in 2015 he was sentenced to four years' imprisonment.

As an Auschwitz guard, Groening had been tasked with sorting through banknotes and other belongings taken from arriving prisoners.

He, too, died before he could begin serving his five-year-sentence.

The man known as the "bookkeeper of Auschwitz" has died at the age of 96.

. However, his lawyers asked for the sentence to be suspended on the basis of the defendant's advanced age.

A Red Cross worker helps former SS guard Oskar Groening, right, leaves the court after the verdict of his trial. "I share morally in the guilt but whether I am guilty under criminal law, you will have to decide".

Second, that despite Groening being "just" a bookmaker at Auschwitz, his role as an enabler of genocide was rightly recognised as enough to convict him for his part in the Holocaust. Of the 6,500 former SS members who served at Auschwitz and survived the war, fewer than 50 were convicted.

His was one of the last major court battles related to the Holocaust when six million Jews were murdered under Adolf Hitler.

Efraim Zuroff, the head Nazi hunter for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said it was unfortunate that Groening's conviction didn't result in "at least symbolic justice" for the victims of Auschwitz.

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