'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' Oskar Groening dies at age of 96

'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' Oskar Groening dies at age of 96

'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' Oskar Groening dies at age of 96

Oskar Groening never saw the inside of a prison cell, despite being found guilty of being complicit in the deaths of 300,000 people.

Groening testified at his trial that he oversaw the collection of prisoners' belongings at Auschwitz and ensured valuables and cash were separated to be sent to Berlin - the actions that earned him the "Accountant of Auschwitz" label. Groening was nicknamed the "Bookkeeper of Auschwitz" based on counting the amount of the victims' money when they arrived at the concentration camp and sending the bank notes to Berlin.

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Groening insisted in a 2005 interview with Der Spiegel that he had been no more than a "cog in the gears". Groening then made a plea for clemency January 15.

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.

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

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This argument also led to Groening's conviction.

In 2016, former SS sergeant Reinhold Hanning was convicted on 170,000 counts of accessory to murder for serving as an Auschwitz guard.

"Without at least symbolic justice, these trials, as important as they are, lose an important part of their significance", said the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization that has worked to track down the world's remaining Nazis.

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"Their victims never had any appeals, nor did their tormentors have any mercy". This was one of the last Holocaust-related court trials. "Consequently these perpetrators don't deserve either".

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