Auschwitz Bookkeeper Oskar Gröning sentenced to 4 years

Oskar Gröning in uniform as an SS-Rottenführer.

Oskar Gröning in uniform as an SS-Rottenführer.

94 year old Oskar Gröning, a former Auschwitz death camp guard, has been convicted by a German court for his role in the killing of 300,000 Jewish people and was sentenced to four years in jail. The German court concluded he was an accessory in the killings.

Oskar Gröning, born in 1921, joined the SS in 1940 and held the rank of “SS-Unterscharführer” during the war and while stationed in Konzentrationslager Auschwitz his responsibilities included counting and sorting the money taken from prisoners, and he was in charge of the effects prisoners had arrived with. On occasions he witnessed the procedures of mass-killing in the camp. On 10 June 1945 he was captured by British soldiers after his unit surrendered to the Allies. He was interned into a Prisoner-of-War camp and worked as a forced labourer. He later returned to Germany.

In September 2014 he was charged by German prosecutors with murder accessory for his role in the killing of 300,000 Jewish people. The trial began in April 2015 and was held in Lüneburg, Germany. Today, 15 July 2015, he was found guilty and sentenced to four years in prison.

Oskar Gröning is known as the “bookkeeper of Auschwitz” and has admitted moral guilt earlier today: “For me there’s no question that I share moral guilt.”, “I ask for forgiveness. I share morally in the guilt but whether I am guilty under criminal law, you will have to decide. Judge Franz Kompisch, said Groening had willingly taken a “safe desk job in a machinery designed entirely for the killing of humans” – a system that was “inhumane and all but unbearable for the human psyche”.

Oskar Gröning during World War II (left) and how he looks today (right).

Oskar Gröning during World War II (left) and how he looks today (right).

Gröning had publicly discussed his role at Auschwitz, making him unusual among former guards. He said he was speaking out in order to silence those who deny the Holocaust (Endlösung) took place.


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Argunners Magazine is an independent online historian and collector's magazine, dedicated to the militaria and history of both Axis and Allied powers during the World War 1 & 2. Argunners is a central resource offering the latest militaria and war history news, journals, articles and press releases related to these themes.


  1. prosecutors argued that by sorting banknotes taken from the trainloads of arriving Jews he helped support a regime responsible for mass murder.//Quote
    Where does that leave the American soldiers who guarded the German POW camps on the banks of the
    Rhine in 1945 where untold 1,000s of prisoners died of starvation and illness and neglect.
    Those guys were only fighting for their country as common soldiers(Germany).
    History gets distorted in the victors favour.
    BTW i`m British 72 years old.

    I love the site.

  2. That he made it through the war without being captured by the Red Army was a stroke of good luck. He then lived a relatively normal life for 70 years. The old boy must have had a guilty conscience that caught up with him.

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