Convicted 'Accountant of Auschwitz' Reported Dead at 96

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Oskar Groening, defendant and former Nazi SS officer dubbed the "bookkeeper of Auschwitz" leaves the court after the announcement of his verdict in Lueneburg, Germany, July 15, 2015.

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.

According to German magazine, Der Spiegel, he was sentenced to four years for being an accessory to the murder of millions of Jews.

It feels unfair that he died in a hospital bed at the old age of 96. His responsibilities included counting and sorting the money taken from prisoners, and he was in charge of the personal property of arriving prisoners. Groening himself did not kill murder any people at Auschwitz. He had yet to begin his sentence.

During the trial, Groening asked for forgiveness while acknowledging that only the courts could decide when it came to criminal guilt.

Oskar Groening
REUTERS GUILTY Former SS officer Oskar Groening leaving court after being sentenced

After WWII, Groening worked in a glass-making factory in Lower Saxony, reported BBC.

Groening's trial, noted the Guardian in 2015, went "to the heart of the question of whether people who were small cogs in the Nazi machinery, but did not actively participate in the killing of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust, were guilty of crimes".

Second, that despite Groening being "just" a bookmaker at Auschwitz, his role as an enabler of genocide was rightly recognised as enough to convict him for his part in the Holocaust.

"Their victims never had any appeals, nor did their tormentors have any mercy, consequently these perpetrators don't deserve either", the group said in a statement.

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