“Accountant of Auschwitz” sentenced to four-year term

A 94-YEAR-OLD former SS guard, dubbed the “Accountant of Auschwitz”, was sentenced to four years in jail today on 300,000 counts of accessory at the infamous death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

At his trial in Lueneburg, near Hamburg, which opened in April, Oskar Groening testified that he bore a share of the moral guilt for the atrocities committed at the camp.

Prosecutors alleged that Oskar Gröning served at Auschwitz between May and June 1944, when some 425,000 Hungarian Jews were transported to the concentration camp with at least 300,000 murdered in the gas chambers.

Gröning was accused of helping collect and tally money stolen from inmates who were killed.

In reaching their verdict, judges were more punitive than the 3 1/2-year sentence being sought by prosecutors. Gröning’s defence team lobbied for his acquital, stressing he had not facilitated mass murder.

The case against Gröning came to light last year when a number of former SS members’ homes were raided by German authorities. He was the only one deemed fit enough to stand trial.


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