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‘Book keeper of Auschwitz’ convicted by German Court

A 94 year old man has been convicted for his role in the extermination of 300,000 people in a Nazi Concentration Camp.

Reuters has described the trial as one of the last big Holocaust trials.

Mr Groening remains free until the court decides how much of his four year sentence he will need to serve.

Groening did not kill anyone whilst working at the death camp, but by sorting belongings seized from Jews who were being transported to the camp, prosecutors argued that he tangibly helped to support the system that orchestrated the genocide of millions of innocent people.

The core question explored in the case was whether people who did not directly kill Jews, but assisted in the running of mechanisms that did, could be convicted of a crime.

Before the trail had commenced, Groening had admitted a moral guilt in the matter, and said that it was up to the courts to see whether he was legally guilty.  Groening said that he had been an enthusiastic Nazi, when he had started to at Auschwitz, at the age of 21.

According to Reuters, Judge Franz Kompisch commented that “Mr Groening is not a monster,” also adding that Mr Groening had taken an easier option by avoiding fighting on the front, and “chose the safe desk job.”

The conviction has been welcomed by Jewish groups.

See more on Reuters.