Oskar Gröning, the Auschwitz Bookkeeper, to begin prison term at 96

Oskar Gröning, who was found guilty in July 2015 of aiding and abetting the murder of 300,000 people in the Nazi extermination camp, will soon begin serving his prison sentence after he was deemed healthy enough to serve his term despite his 96 years of age.
Oskar Gröning during his 2015 trial Photo Credit: Andreas Tamme/ Channel 2 News

Oskar Gröning, a 96-year-old former Nazi SS officer who worked in Auschwitz, will finally be going to jail. The accountant of the Auschwitz extermination camp during World War II was charged two years ago for facilitating the murder of 300,000 people and was sentenced to four years in prison. His final appeal to Germany’s highest court was rejected, and today (Wednesday) it was decided that he will soon begin serving his prison term.

Gröning has been living at home these past few months despite his conviction because it was not clear whether he would be jailed because of his advanced age. The court physician has now ruled that Gröning is capable of serving his sentence, provided that he is given appropriate care and medical treatment during his imprisonment.

According to the Celle state court, though Gröning did not personally kill any of the victims while working in Auchwitz, he had aided and abetted the murders that took place there; by collecting the money and valuables of those who were transported to the camp, he was an accomplice to the murders by helping the Nazi regime responsible for the mass genocide.

From the beginning of the trial in 2015, Gröning admitted his moral guilt but said that it should be up to the court to decide whether he should be deemed legally guilty. Gröning expressed remorse during the proceedings and said that he could only ask God to forgive him, because he had no right to ask forgiveness from the victims of the Holocaust.



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