Lawyer: Former SS man Oskar Gröning is dead

Lawyer: Former SS man Oskar Gröning is

Hanover (dpa) – Known as the “accountant of Auschwitz” former SS man Oskar Groening is said to be dead after writing his lawyer.

The 96-year-old had already died on Friday in a hospital, said spokesman for the Lower Saxony Ministry of Justice and the prosecutor Hanover on Monday evening. An independent confirmation was not available at first. Previously, the “mirror” reported about it. “I would not like to say anything about it, but I can not deny it,” said Gröning’s lawyer Hans Holtermann on request. A death certificate is not yet available, said the Ministry of Justice. Gröning had been sentenced in Lüneburg Auschwitz trial for murder in 300 000 cases. The district court imposed a prison sentence of four years in July 2015. The then 94-year-old had admitted, among other things, to have counted in the concentration and extermination camp money from the luggage of the deportees and forwarded. For decades, those involved in the Holocaust in Auschwitz had not been held responsible if, like Gröning Rad, they were in gear but had not killed themselves. The courts demanded the proof of a specific concrete involvement. The district court also ruled that managing the deportees’ funds and guarding their luggage was aiding and abetting. “This verdict has written legal history,” said then plaintiff attorney Thomas Walther.

The sentence of Lüneburg was the first conviction for aiding and abetting murder in a camp since the trial of former Sobibor overseer John Demjanjuk in 2011. But Demjanjuk died before the ruling became final. Walther represented around 50 co-plaintiffs in Lüneburg with a colleague, most of them survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Gröning confirmed in court her reports about the horror in the extermination camp. “It’s not about the punishment, it’s about the verdict, the opinion of the society,” said the survivor Eva Pusztai-Fahidi back then. Walther spoke of an almost healing effect of the process. In the case of Gröning, the Federal Court of Justice confirmed for the first time in September 2016, a high-court conviction, for aiding and abetting the mass murder in Auschwitz.
“The co-plaintiffs were always concerned with establishing the responsible guilty party for the deaths of their families in Auschwitz,” Walther emphasized on Monday evening. “Own dying and Gröning’s death do not change that.” The conviction of the Lueneburg jury, confirmed by the Federal Supreme Court, goes beyond the limits of life. ” The International Auschwitz Committee also paid tribute to the Lüneburg Judgment and its confirmation on Monday. This left the survivors with “a great satisfaction and a late expression of German search for legal justice and historical honesty towards their murdered families,” said Executive Vice President Christoph Heubner. Gröning was for her one of the very few members of the Auschwitz-SS, “who had set out to publicly tell the truth about Auschwitz and to confront himself and the German society with his memories. “Just this attitude, which nevertheless remained half-hearted in view of his personal responsibility and his decisions, makes it clear once again that the overwhelming majority of the SS perpetrators and accomplices of Auschwitz neither possessed a sense of injustice nor ever before a German court have to answer. ” The Simon Wiesenthal Center regretted that Groening was no longer in custody. That would have been symbolically important. After the legal process had been exhausted, Gröning finally petitioned a petition to Lower Saxony’s Justice Minister Barbara Havliza (CDU), a decision was pending. Holtermann had previously tried to prevent incarceration over several instances. Gröning was in the opinion of an expert not liable, he said – without success. A constitutional complaint in Karlsruhe was rejected at the end of December last year, inter alia, with reference to the seriousness of the acts. Gröning had been employed since autumn 1942 in the so-called prisoner money administration, because he had made a banking apprenticeship. In 1944 he moved to a front unit. After the war he lived with his wife and children in the Lüneburg Heath. It did not open until the mid-1980s. The British BBC told Gröning what he had seen and done in Auschwitz. He saw himself as a “cog in gear”. Journalists and co-plaintiffs described Gröning, born in Nienburg on the Weser on June 10, 1921, as someone who had been circling the question of his personal guilt for a long time without actually being able to approach it. “You were not allowed to participate in Auschwitz,” summarized the court in Lüneburg. Gröning had also repeated the sentence of a victim-lawyer in his closing remarks. He had not been able to ask the survivors for forgiveness in view of the dimension of the crimes committed in Auschwitz and elsewhere, according to a statement read by the defense two weeks before the verdict Grönings. She concluded with the sentence: “For forgiveness I can only ask my Lord God.” Report of the “mirror”
PM of the Federal Constitutional Court of 29 December 2017
Press release of the Federal Court of Justice of 28 November 2016
Statement by co-plaintiffs attorneys dated 28 November 2016
Press release of the Regional Court on the judgment of 15 July 2015
Statement of the co-plaintiffs lawyers on the judgment of 15 July 2015
Prosecution of the prosecutor Hanover
Homepage memorial Auschwitz-Birkenau
International Auschwitz Committee
Press release of the Simon Wiesenthal Center

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