News, Culture & Society

96-year-old ‘Bookkeeper of Auschwitz’ fit enough for jail

A German court has ruled that a Nazi SS guard known as the ‘Bookkeeper of Auschwitz’, now 96, is fit to serve his four-year prison sentence.

It ruled that Oskar Groening, who was found guilty in July 2015 of being an accessory to the murders of 300,000 people at the Nazi death camp, is not too old to do time.

The court in Celle, northern Germany, explained: ‘Based on expert opinion, the superior regional court finds that the convicted individual is fit to serve the term despite his advanced age.’

 

The court in Celle, northern Germany, explained: ‘Based on expert opinion, the superior regional court finds that the convicted individual is fit to serve the term despite his advanced age.’ Pictured: Groening in 2015 during his trial 

His testimony about the wholesale slaughter of innocents in the camp was considered historically important in refuting the claims of Holocaust deniers. Pictured: Groening in his SS uniform

His testimony about the wholesale slaughter of innocents in the camp was considered historically important in refuting the claims of Holocaust deniers. Pictured: Groening in his SS uniform

An application to spare former concentration camp guard Oskar Groening from prison has been rejected by German authorities 

An application to spare former concentration camp guard Oskar Groening from prison has been rejected by German authorities 

Groening (pictured in 2015 after his conviction) worked as an accountant at Auschwitz, sorting and counting the money taken from those killed or used as slave labour, and shipping it back to his Nazi superiors in Berlin

Former Nazi death camp officer Oskar Groening waits at court for the opening of his trial on April 21, 2015

Groening (pictured left in 2015 after his conviction and right during his trial) worked as an accountant at Auschwitz, sorting and counting the money taken from those killed or used as slave labour, and shipping it back to his Nazi superiors in Berlin

He was previously ruled fit to serve his time but the case has been subject to legal wrangling and appeals.

Incarcerating Groening would not violate his fundamental rights, the court said, arguing that ‘appropriate precautionary measures’ could be taken to meet any special needs arising from his old age.

Groening has been living at home despite his conviction, and given his age, it has until now been unclear if he would actually be jailed.

Making the case for his imprisonment, German prosecutors have said that a court doctor has determined that Groening is able to serve his sentence, on condition he is given appropriate nursing and medical care while in detention.

Groening worked as an accountant at Auschwitz, sorting and counting the money taken from those killed or used as slave labour, and shipping it back to his Nazi superiors in Berlin.

More than one million European Jews died between 1940 and 1945 at Auschwitz before it was liberated by Soviet forces.  

Groening never denied being at the camp and admitted to the world it was an extermination camp where inmates were not expected to survive.

But he has not served a day behind bars.

Because of his advanced age, authorities have previously been reluctant to enforce the jail sentence imposed in 2015 for his role in the murders of 300,000 Jews at the Nazi’s extermination centre in occupied Poland.

In August, the public prosecutor of Hanover rejected his legal pleas for a further delay, saying: ‘We rejected the request of the defence for a reprieve. We believe he should serve his jail sentence.’

Incarcerating Groening (pictured in 2015) would not violate his fundamental rights, the court said, arguing that 'appropriate precautionary measures' could be taken to meet any special needs arising from his old age

Incarcerating Groening (pictured in 2015) would not violate his fundamental rights, the court said, arguing that ‘appropriate precautionary measures’ could be taken to meet any special needs arising from his old age

Because of his advanced age, authorities have previously been reluctant to enforce the jail sentence imposed in 2015 for his role in the murders of 300,000 Jews at the Nazi's extermination centre in occupied Poland. Pictured: The former SS officer in 2015

Because of his advanced age, authorities have previously been reluctant to enforce the jail sentence imposed in 2015 for his role in the murders of 300,000 Jews at the Nazi’s extermination centre in occupied Poland. Pictured: The former SS officer in 2015

More than one million European Jews died between 1940 and 1945 at Auschwitz (pictured) before it was liberated by Soviet forces

More than one million European Jews died between 1940 and 1945 at Auschwitz (pictured) before it was liberated by Soviet forces

Media reports then said the requisite medical and nursing care that Groening will require in jail has to be finalised before he is taken to a prison to serve his term which will amount to less than two years with good behaviour.

But his lawyers soon mounted a legal appeal, arguing that he was unfit to spend time behind bars.

He was sentenced to four years in prison in July 2015 by the State Court in Lüneburg for aiding mass murder.

His testimony about the wholesale slaughter of innocents in the camp was considered historically important in refuting the claims of Holocaust deniers who persist in the lie that the murder of six million Jews never happened.



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Do you like it? Share with your friends!


Comments are closed.