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Convicted 'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' dies aged 96

13 March 2018, 10:47 | Taylor George

AP Oskar Groening never saw the inside of a prison cell despite being found guilty of being complicit in the deaths of 300,000 people

Oskar Groening never saw the inside of a prison cell despite being found guilty of being complicit in the deaths

In 2015 he became one of the last people to be convicted over Nazi Germany's slaughter of millions during World War II.

Groening's lawyer, Hans Holterman, told German public broadcaster NDR, that the former Nazi died last week.

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

Prison authorities have yet to provide Groening's death certificate.

The 96-year-old former "Bookkeeper of Auschwitz" died before starting his jail sentence for participation in the Holocast, according to a Sunday report. He did not take part in killings but counted money taken from victims.

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.

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He had another operation that September after falling and damaging a vertebra, an injury that sidelined him until May 2013. The more than three-month-long investigation involved interviews with more than 70 individuals, according to the Met.

But while he admitted witnessing individual atrocities, he did not acknowledge participating in any crimes.

Oskar Groening as a young man in an SS uniform.

At least 1 million people were killed at Auschwitz concerntration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

Germany's constitutional court ruled in late December that he must serve out his sentence, rejecting defenders' argument that imprisonment at such an advanced age would violate his "right to life".

Groening's role at Auschwitz rose to prominence when he gave interviews in 2005 about his work at the camp. He, too, died before he could begin serving his five-year-sentence.

Zuroff pointed out that two other Nazi war criminals - John Demjanjuk, who was convicted in 2011, and Reinhold Hanning, who was convicted in 2016 - also died while awaiting decisions on their appeals.



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