96-year-old German "accountant of Auschwitz" dies before imprisonment

Oskar Groening never saw the inside of a prison cell despite being found guilty of being complicit in the deaths

The office is awaiting an official death certificate, Soefker said.

Oskar Groening, a former Nazi guard known as the so-called "Bookkeeper of Auschwitz" due to be sentenced for his war crimes, has died, his lawyer announced Monday.

The lawyer, Hans Holtermann, didn't immediately respond to a request for confirmation.

"The essential, nearly frightening, point about Oskar Groening is that he is one of the least exceptional human beings you are ever likely to meet", said author Laurence Rees, who interviewed Groening in 2005.

Groening, a former SS sergeant, was convicted in July 2015 of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews.

The entrance to the infamous Auschwitz prison camp.

He was accused of counting the cash found in the belongings of new arrivals at the camp and sending it to Nazi headquarters in Berlin.

Groening had yet to begin his four-year jail term for being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 of the Polish concentration camp's roughly 1 million victims.

Oskar Groening at his trial.

Germany's constitutional court ruled in late December that he must serve out his sentence, rejecting defenders' argument that imprisonment at such an advanced age would violate his "right to life". Groening then made a plea for clemency January 15. Demjanjuk, who always denied serving at the Sobibor camp, died before his appeal could be heard. On his first day on the ramp where Jewish prisoners exited the trains, he saw an SS colleague grab a crying baby and slam its head against a truck until it was quiet. He was in hospital when he died and had yet to begin his sentence.

In 2016, Reinhold Hanning, a former SS guard at Auschwitz, was convicted of having assisted in the deaths of 170,000 people and sentenced to five years in prison.



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