'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' Dies Without Ever Serving Sentence

At least 1 million people were killed at Auschwitz concerntration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland

Reinhold Hanning, a former Auschwitz concentration camp guard sentenced in 2016 to five years in prison as an accessory to the murder of more than 170,000 people, died last year without serving a day behind bars.

Oskar Groening died March 9th, 2018, prior to starting his four-year prison sentence for his role as acting as an accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews at German concentration camp Auschwitz, the Daily Mail reported.

Groening testified at his trial that he oversaw the collection of prisoners' belongings at Auschwitz and ensured valuables and cash were separated to be sent to Berlin - the actions that earned him the "Accountant of Auschwitz" label.

There were several occasions when he was assigned to "ramp duty", which involved processing new arrivals.

Of the camp's 6,500 SS personnel who survived the war, fewer than 50 were convicted. At his trial, he said he witnessed individual atrocities, but did not acknowledge participating in any crimes.

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The legal basis for prosecuting former Nazis changed in 2011 with Germany's landmark conviction of former death camp guard John Demjanjuk.

In 2011, former OH autoworker John Demjanjuk became the first person convicted in Germany exclusively for serving as a death camp guard without evidence of being involved in a specific killing.

German prosecutors deemed Groening to be fit enough to go to prison as long as there was appropriate medical care.

Germany's constitutional court rejected an argument in late December that imprisonment at such an advanced age would violate his "right to life".

As of the time of his death at a German hospital on Friday, according to the weekly Der Spiegel, there had been no response to a formal "request for mercy" filed in January in a last-ditch bid to avoid jail.

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