96-year-old 'bookkeeper of Auschwitz' imprisoned over mass murders
Germany's constitutional court has ruled that 96-year-old Oskar Groening must be jailed over his role in the mass murders caused in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War-II. Groening counted cash confiscated from the Nazi camp's victims, earning him the nickname "bookkeeper of Auschwitz." In 2015, he was sentenced to four-years in prison. He sentence was delayed due to his ailing health.
The unexplainable horrors of Auschwitz
An estimated 1.1 million people died at Auschwitz, the site of the largest mass murder in a single location in history. It housed five chambers where the lethal Zyklon B was used to murder men, women, and children as part of the Nazi's genocidal "Final Solution." Only a few hundred out of the over 7,000 personnel who served at Auschwitz ever faced prosecution.
Groening 'guilty of being accessory to murder of 300,000' people
An argument made by Groening's lawyers that his imprisonment at his advanced age would violate his right to life was rejected by the constitutional court. "The plaintiff has been found guilty of being accessory to murder in 300,000 related cases, meaning there is a particular importance to carrying out the sentence the state has demanded," the court ruled.
Groening has accepted moral guilt over his actions
Groening came to attention in 2005 after he gave interviews detailing his work at Auschwitz in a bid to convince Holocaust deniers that the genocide did take place. His court battle in 2015 is among the last major Holocaust trials. Prosecutors argued that while Groening didn't kill anyone personally, he was responsible for the genocide. He has accepted being morally guilty over his actions.