Convicted Nazi guard dubbed the 'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' dies aged 96

Convicted Nazi guard dubbed the 'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' dies aged 96

Convicted Nazi guard dubbed the 'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' dies aged 96

A Nazi serviceman dubbed the "Bookkeeper of Auschwitz" for his role as an accountant at the death camp has died without ever serving out the sentence he received upon being convicted as an accessory to 300,000 murders.

At Groening's original trial in Lueneburg, Germany, Judge Franz Kompisch said Groening was part of the "machinery of death" at the Nazi camp in Auschwitz, Poland, and also stole money from victims, although no evidence was presented that tied him directly to any deaths.

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

A court doctor determined that he was able to serve his sentence on condition he was given appropriate nursing and medical care but he was never jailed.

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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".

German news magazine Der Spiegel said there had been no formal response at the time of Groening's death.

He said he was "very sorry" for his actions.

"The essential, nearly frightening, point about Oskar Groening is that he is one of the least exceptional human beings you are ever likely to meet", said author Laurence Rees, who interviewed Groening in 2005.

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Groening was pursued through the courts following a landmark case that allowed prosecution for aiding and abetting the Nazis.

"I know that. I sincerely regret not having lived up to this realisation earlier and more consistently".

In 2011, former OH autoworker John Demjanjuk became the first person convicted in Germany exclusively for serving as a death camp guard without evidence of being involved in a specific killing.

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