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Berlin - 'Accountant Of Auschwitz' Reportedly Dies In Hospital

Published on: March 12, 2018 04:00 PM
By: AP
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FILE - In this July 15, 2015 file photo defendant Oskar Groening waits for the verdict of his trial at a court in Lueneburg, northern Germany. Groening, a former SS officer known as the "Bookkeeper of Auschwitz" was sentenced to four years prison. (Tobias Schwarz/pool photo via AP, file)FILE - In this July 15, 2015 file photo defendant Oskar Groening waits for the verdict of his trial at a court in Lueneburg, northern Germany. Groening, a former SS officer known as the "Bookkeeper of Auschwitz" was sentenced to four years prison. (Tobias Schwarz/pool photo via AP, file)

Berlin - German prosecutors said Monday they were notified that a former Nazi death camp guard dubbed the “Accountant of Auschwitz” died before he could begin serving his 4-year sentence.

Hannover prosecutor Kathrin Soefker said a lawyer informed her office that Oskar Groening, 96, died Friday in a hospital. The office is awaiting an official death certificate, Soefker said.

The lawyer, Hans Holtermann, didn’t immediately respond to a request for confirmation. Groening’s death first was reported Monday by German weekly Der Spiegel.

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Groening was convicted in Lueneburg in 2015 as an accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews. The Lueneburg court concluded that although there was no evidence of involvement in a specific killing, Groening knew that Jews were being slaughtered at the German death camp and supported the killings through his actions.

Groening testified at his trial that he oversaw the collection of prisoners’ belongings at Auschwitz and ensured valuables and cash were separated to be sent to Berlin — the actions that earned him the “Accountant of Auschwitz” label.

He said he witnessed individual atrocities, but did not acknowledge participating in any crimes.

All of his appeals were rejected, and it was only his ill health that kept him from being sent to prison in recent years. Most recently, his lawyers made one final bid for clemency, a decision on which still was pending.

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.

In 2011, former Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk became the first person convicted in Germany solely for serving as a death camp guard without evidence of being involved in a specific killing. Demjanjuk, who always denied serving at the Sobibor camp, died before his appeal could be heard.

In 2016, former SS sergeant Reinhold Hanning was convicted on 170,000 counts of accessory to murder for serving as an Auschwitz guard. He, too, died before he could begin serving his 5-year-sentence.

Hanning apologized for his wartime service, telling Holocaust survivors that “it disturbs me deeply” to have been a part of the Nazis’ genocidal machinery.



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Read Comments (8)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 12, 2018 at 04:37 PM triumphinwhitehouse Says:

will yamsar call me a bad person for being happy?

2

 Mar 12, 2018 at 04:50 PM Yisroel Says:

Hashem Yikom Dammo.

3

 Mar 12, 2018 at 05:45 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Yisroel Says:

Hashem Yikom Dammo.

Seriously? Do you even understand what you typed?

4

 Mar 12, 2018 at 06:03 PM Educated Archy Says:

Very sad that this rotten scumbag yimach shimo didn't suffer a long painful illness of cancer & ALS

5

 Mar 12, 2018 at 09:09 PM PaulinSaudi Says:

Very simply time has closed the door on earthy justice on these people. I suppose this is the last one who will see the inside of a jail.

6

 Mar 13, 2018 at 01:18 AM Anonymous Says:

No surprises, he was ancient. But he is in eternal hell. That's all we can ask for.

7

 Mar 13, 2018 at 12:28 PM Ina Says:

I have repeatedly stated that he would not serve this sentence. Germany goes through the motions, but almost nobody does the time.

8

 Mar 14, 2018 at 11:21 AM TruthIsIt Says:

He will go to hell where all anti-Semites reside with millions of Jews stepping on his souls !

9

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