Tags: oskar groening | trial | auschwitz | murder

Oskar Groening Trial: Nazi Guard to Be Charged With Accessory to Murder

By    |   Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 01:15 PM

Oskar Groening, 93, will stand trial next spring for his role in maintaining the Auschwitz concentration camp in occupied Poland during World War II.

According to the London Evening Standard, Groening claims he was only a guard at the camp where more than 1 million Jewish people were killed between September 1942 and October 1944, and did not commit any atrocities himself.

The Lueneburg state court said there was enough evidence to charge him with being an accessory to the murder of 300,000.

Prosecutors say that Groening was part of the team that received 137 trains, mostly from Hungary, filled with 425,000 people. Roughly 300,000 were murdered immediately upon arrival, and prosecutors said Groening was in charge of counting their money and possessions. His orders were to then ship the personal assets back to the Reich, where it would be used for the war effort.

"They had diamonds and gold worth millions and it was my duty to make sure all of it got to Berlin," he said previously.

"The accused knew that, as part of the selection process, those not chosen for work and told they were going to the showers were really going to the gas chambers where they would be put to death in an agonizing manner," the court said in September, The Daily Express U.K. reported.

In his own account for the court, Groening said he once "saw another SS soldier grab the baby by the legs . . . He smashed the baby's head against the iron side of a truck until it was silent."

"Down the years I have heard the cries of the dead in my dreams and in every waking moment. I will never be free of them . . . This guilt will never leave me. I can only plead for forgiveness and pray for atonement."

Groening was one of a "dirty dozen" the court was hearing cases against, however all the others were dropped due to the age, infirmity, or lack of clear evidence against the men.

A total of 49 Holocaust survivors and victims' families are expected to join the case against Groening this spring.

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Oskar Groening, 93, will stand trial next spring for his role in maintaining the Auschwitz concentration camp in occupied Poland during World War II.
oskar groening, trial, auschwitz, murder
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2014-15-16
Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 01:15 PM
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