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Former SS officer to stand trial for 300,000 counts of accessory murder

A German court has decided that there is enough evidence for a 93 year old former Nazi to stand trial for 300,000 separate counts of accessory to murder, over his involvement in the murder of Jews in Auschwitz.

A court in the city of Lüneburg ruled that former member of the Waffen-SS Oskar Groening, who worked as a guard in the Auschwitz concentration camp, will face trial for the killings, though a date is yet to be set.

Groening, who admits to being at the camp, says he was only involved in going through the luggage of those detained, searching for money and other valuables. Although Groening spent two years at the camp, the charges brought forward relate only from May 16 to July 11, 1944.

When Groening was first charged in September, the court had said in a statement,

“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 announcement comes after another German court had dropped charges against a former SS member, accused of participating in the massacre of hundreds of civilians in France.

See our earlier post: Massacre charges against former Nazi dropped (09 Dec 2014)