Convicted 'Accountant of Auschwitz' reported dead at 96

Convicted 'Accountant of Auschwitz' reported dead at 96

The legal doctrine under which Nazis can be tried in Germany began to evolve with the conviction in 2011 of another convicted Nazi war criminal, John Demjanjuk, as an accessory to the murder of 28,000 Jews in the Sobibor death camp in Poland.

A former Nazi SS guard dubbed the "Bookkeeper of Auschwitz" has died at the age of 96, almost three years after his conviction for being an accessory to murder, German media said Monday.

Groening passed away in hospital, and prison authorities are yet to receive a death certificate.

The "Bookkeeper of Auschwitz" has died aged 96 before beginning a prison sentence for his involvement in the killing hundreds of thousands of Jews.

He did not kill anyone himself, but counted cash taken from victims' before they were murdered and sent it to SS offices in Berlin to help support the war effort.

Oskar Groening had previously been sentenced for his role in some 300,000 murders during the Holocaust. At his trial, he said he witnessed individual atrocities, but did not acknowledge participating in any crimes.

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Oskar Groening at his trial. A federal court rejected Groening's appeal in November.

In an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel in 2005, Groening said he felt "nothing" when he saw Jews being taken to the gas chamber.

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.

His first plea for clemency was denied by German prosecutors a day after it was made public, but he never served the sentence due to a raft of further appeals. He, too, died before he could begin serving his five-year-sentence.

German prosecutors say they have been notified that a former guard dubbed the "accountant of Auschwitz" has died.

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