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'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' Oskar Groening dies at age of 96
13 March 2018, 10:47 | Erica Roy
A Red Cross worker helps former SS guard Oskar Groening right leaves the court after the verdict of his trial
A former Nazi SS guard dubbed the "Bookkeeper of Auschwitz" has died aged 96 almost three years after his conviction for being an accessory to murder, German media said Monday.
German prosecutor Kathrin Soefker said he died in hospital on Friday.
A German court convicted Groening in 2015 as an accessory to murder and sentenced him to four years in prison.
Groening admitted he was morally guilty for the work he carried out at Auschwitz, which included sending bank notes he found in Jews' luggage to SS offices in Berlin, where they helped to fund the Nazi war effort.
He was also on several occasions assigned to "ramp duty", processing deportees as they arrived by rail in cattle cars at the Nazi German death camp in occupied Poland.
He acknowledged "moral guilt" and said he was "very sorry" for his actions.
"If you are convinced that the destruction of Judaism is necessary, then it no longer matters how the killing takes place", he said, describing his feelings as a young SS officer.
"I know that. I sincerely regret not having lived up to this realisation earlier and more consistently". A federal appeals court had rejected his appeal a year ago.
The former Nazi was convicted in 2015 for his role in the Holocaust.
A court doctor had decided that Groening was able to serve his sentence, providing he was given appropriate nursing and medical care.
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 a year ago after he was deemed no longer fit to stand trial due to dementia, according to Reuters.
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Groening insisted in a 2005 interview with Der Spiegel that he had been no more than a "cog in the gears".
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