Nazi Known As 'Bookkeeper Of Auschwitz' Dies Before Serving Time

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Defendant Oskar Groening waits for the verdict of his trial in 2015 at a court in Lueneburg, northern Germany.

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

Groening was pursued through the courts following a landmark case that allowed prosecution for aiding and abetting the Nazis.

"He helped the Nazi regime benefit economically, and supported the systematic killings", prosecutors said in 2014 about the charges leveled against him.

Oskar Groening, who died aged 96 on Friday in hospital, was sentenced to four years in prison for his role as an accessory to murder of 300,000 Jews in Auschwitz concentration camp. All of his appeals were rejected and he was due to begin a four-year prison term soon.

The start of Groening's prison sentence was delayed by legal action and ill health.

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Groening previously described some of the murders that he witnessed at Auschwitz.

Groening worked as an accountant at Auschwitz, sorting belongings and counting the money taken from those killed or used as slave labour, and shipping it back to his Nazi superiors in Berlin. "Groening 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". 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. As many as 1.5 million people were killed there during the Holocaust, according to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.

In an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel in 2005, Groening said he felt "nothing" when he saw Jews being taken to the gas chamber.

At his trial he said he was "morally guilty" for the work he carried out.

"No one should have taken part in Auschwitz", he said.

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