'Accountant of Auschwitz' reportedly dies in hospital

'Accountant of Auschwitz' reportedly dies in hospital

His responsibilities included counting and sorting the money taken from prisoners, and he was in charge of the personal property of arriving prisoners.

He had been expected to enter prison at the end of January, but the continued wrangling over the state of his health kept him from beginning to serve his sentence.

Groening was convicted in Lueneburg in 2015 as an accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews.

It feels unfair that he died in a hospital bed at the old age of 96.

Groening's defense lawyers pleaded for clemency, given his advanced age, but prosecutors in Hanover a year ago deemed him "fit for prison".

A Red Cross worker helps former SS guard Oskar Groening, right, leaves the court after the verdict of his trial. Decades later, he made a decision to speak publicly about his experiences during the war - becoming one of a very small number of Nazi personnel to do so.

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"The screams became louder and more desperate but after a short time they became quieter again", Groening said. I saw the crematoria. "I would like you to believe that these atrocities happened because I was there".

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.

In 2016, former SS sergeant Reinhold Hanning was convicted on 170,000 counts of accessory to murder for serving as an Auschwitz guard.

His court battle was viewed a landmark as it was one of the last major cases surrounding the Holocaust.

Efraim Zuroff, the head Nazi hunter for the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, said it was unfortunate that Groening's conviction did not result in "at least symbolic justice" for the victims of Auschwitz. "Consequently these perpetrators don't deserve either".

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