94-Year-Old Nazi Found Guilty For His Role In 300,000 Murders

Photo: Tobias Schwarz/AP Photo.
Oskar Gröning, currently a 94-year-old man but formerly a bookkeeper at Auschwitz during World War II, was just convicted of being an accessory to murder — 300,000 times over. He has been sentenced to four years in prison.

"Mr. Gröning was only a small cog in the Nazi death machine, but without the actions of people like him, the mass murder of millions of Jews and others would not have been possible," said Ronald Lauder, president of the Jewish World Congress, in a statement.

Gröning, known as the "Accountant of Auschwitz," was not directly involved with the executions of prisoners at the concentration camp during the Nazi Holocaust, but still a German court determined that by his managing the finances of the camp, Gröning was sufficiently involved to be found guilty. His specific duties were taking stock of anything of worth that was seized from prisoners brought to the camp.

The trial and sentencing is likely to be one of the last to bring Nazis to answer for their roles in WWII, since most involved have died of old age. But that isn't to say there aren't still living survivors affected by the verdict. Among those who testified at the trail was Angela Orosz-Richt, who was born in Auschwitz.

Though some have expressed a desire to see the court give a less harsh sentence to Gröning because of his age, the judge overseeing the case, Franz Kompisch, explained, "Even after 70 years, one can create justice, and one can find a verdict. There is a hope that the victims could find some peace and some reconciliation."
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