‘Bookkeeper of Auschwitz’ Groening loses prison appeal

The German Constitutional Court denied an appeal by former prison guard Oskar Groening on Friday. It said that Groening, 96, must serve out his four-year prison term after conviction on accessory to murder. File Photo by Andrzej Grygiel/EPA

Dec. 29 (UPI) — Oskar Groening, a World War II concentration camp guard convicted in 2015, must serve his four-year prison sentence, Germany’s highest court ruled Friday.

The Constitutional Court rejected the appeal that Groening, 96, is too old and unhealthy to serve time in prison.

Although Groening was never charged with any deaths at the Auschwitz death camp during the war, he was convicted as an accessory to the murder of 300,000 people. Prior to Groening’s trial, many Nazi leaders avoided prison because they were not linked to specific incidents of murder.

Groening was known as the “Bookkeeper of Auschwitz,” collecting and counting money and valuables of Nazi victims. During the trial he expressed regret and spoke openly of his experiences during the war.

An estimated 6 million people, mostly Jews, died in Nazi concentration camps. About 1.1 million are believed to have died at the Auschwitz facility, which was captured and liberated by Soviet Union forces in January 1945, three months before the war in Europe ended.


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