Death camp guard found guilty

For­mer Auschwitz guard, 94, gets four years as ac­ces­sory to 300,000 mur­ders

Cape Breton Post - - WORLD -

Oskar Groen­ing con­fessed dur­ing his trial to feel­ing “moral guilt” for serv­ing as an SS sergeant at Auschwitz. On Wed­nes­day, a court ruled that he was guilty of be­ing an ac­ces­sory to the mur­der of 300,000 Jews and sen­tenced him to four years in prison.

The 94-year-old, who tes­ti­fied that he over­saw the col­lec­tion of pris­on­ers’ be­long­ings and en­sured valu­ables and cash were sep­a­rated to be sent to Ber­lin, lis­tened ex­pres­sion­lessly to the ver­dict af­ter a 2 1/2-month trial that could set a le­gal land­mark. The ver­dict, and pre­sid­ing Judge Franz Kom­p­isch’s thor­ough and im­pas­sioned de­tail­ing of the Lueneb­urg state court’s rul­ing, re­newed hope of more 11th-hour pros­e­cu­tions of for­mer mem­bers of the SS who served at death camps — no mat­ter their age.

“This ver­dict was crit­i­cal, be­cause this is the first case brought where the pros­e­cu­tion charged a per­son who wasn’t in­volved in the phys­i­cal side of mass mur­der,” said the Si­mon Wiesen­thal Cen­ter’s head Nazi hunter, Efraim Zuroff.

“This paves the way for ad­di­tional tri­als of in­di­vid­u­als who did not lit­er­ally pull the trig­ger but who were part of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Fi­nal So­lu­tion.”

The moral is that “no mat­ter how old you are, you will have to face jus­tice,” said An­gela OroszRicht, a co-plain­tiff at the trial Orosz-Richt, who was born at Auschwitz and lives in Mon­treal.

AP PHOTO

94-year-old for­mer SS sergeant Oskar Groen­ing ges­tures as he lis­tens to the ver­dict of his trial Wed­nes­day.

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