Man Charged as Accessory to 300K Auschwitz Murders

Oskar Groening, 93, was a guard at the death camp
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2014 3:59 PM CDT
Man Charged as Accessory to 300K Auschwitz Murders
This undated file image shows the main gate of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz I, near Oswiecim, Poland, which was liberated by the Russians in January 1945.   (AP Photo/File)

Oskar Groening is accused of helping to run Auschwitz as an SS guard between May and June 1944, and prosecutors today laid out the charges against him: 300,000 counts of accessory to murder. The AP reports that 425,000 Jews from Hungary were brought to the death camp during that period, and at least 300,000 were summarily gassed. The 93-year-old dealt with belongings stolen from camp victims, and prosecutors said among other things he was charged with collecting and tallying money that was found: Groening "helped the Nazi regime benefit economically, and supported the systematic killings."

Groening, who lives in the Hannover area, is among 30 ex-Auschwitz guards identified by federal investigators last year as potential targets for prosecution based on a new precedent in German law (more on that here). Groening is the fourth case investigated by Hannover, and perhaps the most promising: One of the suspects died, and two others were deemed unfit for trial. Groening's lawyer says his client is in good health; the former guard has denied committing any crimes, though he said he witnessed them. (More Nazi stories.)

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