Friday 28 July 2017

Auschwitz guard charged over 300,000 murders

Death camp guard Oskar Gröning will go on trial tomorrow, charged with complicity in the murder of 300,000 Auschwitz prisoners
Death camp guard Oskar Gröning will go on trial tomorrow, charged with complicity in the murder of 300,000 Auschwitz prisoners

Tony Paterson

He watched his fellow SS men kill children with their bare hands and saw Jews being herded into the gas chambers of Auschwitz, but former death camp guard Oskar Gröning has always denied ultimate responsibility for the genocide committed during the Nazi Holocaust.

The 93-year-old "bookkeeper of Auschwitz" will go on trial tomorrow in the German town of Lüneburg, charged with complicity in the murder of 300,000 Auschwitz prisoners. His case could set a key legal precedent for other Holocaust convictions.

Unlike most war crime suspects, Gröning, now a frail, white-haired widower, has declared he is ready to speak about the horrors of Auschwitz, where he was a guard from 1942 to 1944. "I have never found inner peace," he said a decade ago.

He is one of a handful of former Nazi death camp guards the German justice authorities are struggling to put on trial before they die.

In Auschwitz, he claims he was given the job of sorting out money and valuables stolen from Jews before they were gassed, and denies a role in the actual murders of inmates. (© Independent News Service)

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