Oskar Groening, 'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz,' dies at 96

Convicted Nazi guard dubbed the 'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' dies aged 96

96-year-old German "accountant of Auschwitz" dies before imprisonment

The former German SS man Oskar Groening, known as the "accountant of Auschwitz", is said to be dead before his four-year prison term ever started, the German media, Spiegel Online, reported on Monday, quoting a spokesman for the public prosecutors' office in Hannover.

Oskar Groening was among the last former Nazis to face trial for their roles in World War II, more than 70 years after the conflict, thanks to a landmark case allowing prosecution for aiding and abetting the German killing machine.

At least 1 million people were killed at Auschwitz concerntration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

About six million Jewish people died in Nazi concentration camps during the war.

More than 40 years later, he decided to make his activities at Auschwitz public.

But in the mid 1980s he finally came forward to say he had seen the mass killings in response to claims by Holocaust deniers.

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At the trial, Groening admitted only to gathering money and valuables found in the luggage of the death camp victims and turning the property over to his superior officers.

"The essential, nearly frightening, point about Oskar Groening is that he is one of the least exceptional human beings you are ever likely to meet", said author Laurence Rees, who interviewed Groening in 2005. Groening then made a plea for clemency January 15.

In 2016, former SS sergeant Reinhold Hanning was convicted on 170,000 counts of accessory to murder for serving as an Auschwitz guard.

This argument also led to Groening's conviction.

"Their victims never had any appeals, nor did their tormentors have any mercy, consequently these perpetrators don't deserve either", the group said in a statement.

The trial of Hubert Zafke - then 95 and accused of being an accessory to at least 3,681 murders at the same camp - also began in 2016, but ended in September previous year after he was deemed no longer fit to stand trial due to dementia, according to Reuters.

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