Convicted Nazi guard dubbed the 'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' dies aged 96

Convicted Nazi guard dubbed the 'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' dies aged 96

A former Nazi death camp guard dubbed the "Bookkeeper of Auschwitz" has died before he could begin serving his four-year sentence, a lawyer told German prosecutors.

German prosecutor Kathrin Soefker said he died in hospital on Friday.

He was found guilty in July 2015 of being an accessory to the murders of 300,000 people at the camp, and sentenced to four years in prison.

The Lueneburg court concluded that although there was no evidence of involvement in a specific killing, Groening knew that Jews were being slaughtered at the German death camp and supported the killings through his actions. He did not take part in killings but counted money taken from victims.

More than 40 years later, he decided to make his activities at Auschwitz public.

This admission opened him up to public attention and scrutiny - and ultimately prosecution.

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Groening admitted he was morally guilty based on assisting in the murder of Jewish people at Auschwitz. His latest appeal was denied in January.

His case followed the conviction of former concentration camp guard John Demjanjuk, who was sentenced because he had served at the Sobibor camp in occupied Poland - rather than for crimes he was known to have committed.

The former Nazi was convicted in 2015 for his role in the Holocaust.

The trial of Hubert Zafke - then 95 and accused of being an accessory to at least 3,681 murders at the same camp - also began in 2016, but ended in September past year after he was deemed no longer fit to stand trial due to dementia, according to Reuters.

Efraim Zuroff, the head Nazi hunter for the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, said it was unfortunate that Groening's conviction did not result in "at least symbolic justice" for the victims of Auschwitz. "Consequently these perpetrators don't deserve either".

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