93-Year-Old Former Auschwitz Guard Charged

BERLIN (AP) -

A 93-year-old man has been charged with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder for serving as an SS guard at the Nazis’ Auschwitz death camp, prosecutors said Monday.

Oskar Groening is accused of helping operate the death camp in occupied Poland between May and June 1944, when some 425,000 Jews from Hungary were brought there and at least 300,000 almost immediately gassed to death.

In his job dealing with the belongings stolen from camp victims, prosecutors said among, other things, that he was charged with helping collect and tally money that was found.

“He helped the Nazi regime benefit economically, and supported the systematic killings,” state prosecutors in the city of Hannover said in a statement.

Groening’s attorney, Hans Holtermann, declined to comment on the charges.

Groening himself has openly talked about his time as a guard and said while he witnessed horrific atrocities, he didn’t commit any crimes himself.

Groening, who lives in the Hannover area, is one of some 30 former Auschwitz guards who federal investigators recommended last year that state prosecutors pursue charges against under a new precedent in German law.

Groening is the fourth case investigated by Hannover — two have been shelved because the suspects have been deemed unfit for trial, and one was closed when the suspect died.