Nazi death camp bookkeeper jailed

A 94-YEAR-OLD man who was a former SS officer at Auschwitz death camp has been jailed for four years.
Oskar Groening, was found guilty by a German court of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews.
At the three month trial Groening, who later became known as the Bookkeeper of Auschwitz, accepted moral responsibility, but denied having committed any crime as he was never directly responsible for any of the killings.
But on hearing that Groening was essential to the running of the camp, Judge Franz Kompisch decided he was guilty of ‘being an accessory to murder in 300,000 legally connected cases of Jews sent to the gas chambers’ and handed down the jail sentence.
Groening’s job at the largest and most notorious of the death camps was to sort and count money from those killed or used as slave labour and have it sent back to Berlin.
The judge said Groening had been willing to take a safe desk job as part of the machinery to kill on an industrial scale, and thus could be held responsible.
For his part Groening said he had been so horrified by the camp that he had requested a transfer to the front line three times, a request finally granted after two years.
The trial was extended as the court could only sit for three hours a day due to Groening’s ill health.

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