Convicted 'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' dies aged 96

Cheryl Sanders
March 13, 2018

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

A former Nazi SS guard dubbed the "Bookkeeper of Auschwitz" has died aged 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.

He was sentenced to four years for his role as an accessory to the murder of 300,000 people at the Auschwitz concentration camp.


The man known as the "bookkeeper of Auschwitz" has died at the age of 96.

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He was accused of counting the cash found in the belongings of new arrivals at the camp and sending it to Nazi headquarters in Berlin.

It was unclear when Groening would have begun his prison sentence.

Groening, a former Nazi SS officer, did not kill anyone himself while working at the camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, but the lower court ruled he helped support those responsible for mass murder through various actions, including by sorting bank notes seized from trainloads of arriving Jews.


"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. He said he witnessed individual atrocities, but did not acknowledge participating in any crimes. Groening then made a plea for clemency January 15.

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.

He died in a hospital on Friday, according to Spiegel Online.

The trial of Hubert Zafke - then 95 and accused of being an accessory to at least 3,681 murders at the same camp - also began in 2016, but ended in September previous year after he was deemed no longer fit to stand trial due to dementia, according to Reuters.


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