93-Year-Old Auschwitz Guard Charged With 300,000 Counts of Accessory to Murder

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A 93-year-old man who had served as a guard at the Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp has been charged with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder, prosecutors said Monday.

Prosecutors accused Oskar Groening of working at the death camp between May and June 1944, where about 425,000 Jews from Hungary were held and about 300,000 were gassed to death. Groening is charged with helping collect and tally money found in the belongings stolen from camp victims.

"He helped the Nazi regime benefit economically, and supported the systematic killings," state prosecutors said in a statement.

Groening has said he did not commit any crimes, but did witness killings. In an interview with Der Spiegel magazine in 2005, he spoke of one such atrocity involving a crying baby. "I saw another SS soldier grab the baby by the legs," he said then. "He smashed the baby's head against the iron side of a truck until it was silent.

Groening is one of about 30 former Auschwitz guards federal investigators recommended last year to state prosecutors. His is the fourth case investigated in Hannover, where he lives.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.