German Court Rules Oskar Groening, ‘Bookkeeper of Auschwitz,’ Must Go to Jail

BERLIN (Reuters) Germany’s constitutional court has ruled that a 96-year-old German must go to jail over his role in mass murders committed at the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz during World War Two, refusing to overturn a lower court ruling.

Oskar Groening, known as the “bookkeeper of Auschwitz” for his job counting cash taken from the camp’s victims, was sentenced to four years’ jail in 2015, but wrangling over his health and age have delayed the start of his sentence.

The constitutional court rejected the argument by Groening’s lawyers that imprisonment at his advanced age would violate his right to life, adding that the gravity of his crimes meant there was a particular need for him to be seen to be punished.

“The plaintiff has been found guilty of being accessory to murder in 300,000 related cases, meaning there is a particular importance to carrying out the sentence the state has demanded,” the judges wrote, upholding the Celle regional court’s ruling.

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  • Robin Egg

    This is difficult. I agree 100 percent that he needs to be brought to justice for his participation in war crimes. I applaud Germany for seeing this through, which is surprising. Stop the wrangling over health and age. There was no mercy shown to the Jews at that time for any reason. Just allow him to begin the sentence and let God take care of the rest.

    • DrIndica

      Jail? I hope there is a working oven at that prison.

    • YoikesAndAway

      I find it quite ironic that the same “defense” used by those who commit genocide, such as age, infirmity, where never a consideration for their victims. Their pleas for mercy under whatever context they can find, was never given to their victims. It brings new meaning to “those who live by the sword, will die by the sword” where “sword” can be interchanged to mean what ever means/rational used to murder. I wonder if any of these criminals, those who commit atrocities, are ever chastised with the mere logic of what they did to those such as they find themselves today.

  • james blue

    I watched this guy on the BBC documentary about the history of Auschwitz. He seemed a normal person “confessing to minor sins”, In his calm voice there seemed no emotion and when asked specifically about regrets and empathy he calmly and honestly basically showed none. The only time he showed emotion was when he spoke of his anger at family bringing up what he did at the dining table once.

    The only time there seemed to be anything close to trying to make amends was when he said he is speaking out to counter those who would deny it happened.