Germany indicts 93-year-old Auschwitz guard
The Associated Press reported yesterday that prosecutors in Germany have indicted 93-year-old Oskar Gröning for participating in as many as 300 000 murders in the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz. Gröning worked as an SS member there and decided to speak out against Holocaust denial several years ago.
"He aided the Nazi regime with its economic profits and thereby supported its systematic killing," the German State Prosecutor in Stuttgart said. Gröning was tasked with maintaining the inventory of property confiscated from prisoners at Auschwitz.
The Associated Press reports that the indictment concerns May and June 1944, when as many as 425 000 Jewish people arrived at Auschwitz from Hungary, 300 000 of whom were immediately massacred in the gas chambers. Several years ago, Gröning got into a political conversation with another member of a stamp-collecting club who recommended he read a pamphlet entitled "The Auschwitz Lie" by the now-deceased Holocaust denier Thies Christophersen.
According to Der Spiegel, Gröning wrote to Christophersen that he had "seen everything: the gas chambers, the cremations, the process of selection." He then decided to speak openly about his work there.
Among other things Christophersen has described many of the atrocities he witnessed in the concentration camp. However, he insists that he never committed any crimes himself.
Gröning is one of 30 former alleged Auschwitz guards whose prosecutions were recommended last September by federal prosecutors tasked with solving Nazi crimes. Gröning's case is the fourth for prosecutors in Hannover; two of those cases have been shelved by the prosecutor due to the suspects' poor health and a third ended when the suspect died.
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