German prosecutors say 'bookkeeper of Auschwitz' fit for prison

Found guilty in court in 2015, Oskar Groening is yet to be sent to prison.

By REUTERS
August 2, 2017 17:29
1 minute read.
Oskar Groening

Oskar Groening. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For a symbolic $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Don't show it again

BERLIN - A medical examination showed a 96-year-old German known as the "bookkeeper of Auschwitz" was fit to start serving his prison sentence, German prosecutors said on Wednesday, but his lawyer said a court should decide whether he was well enough.

Oskar Groening was sentenced to four years in prison in 2015 for his role in the murder of 300,000 people at the Nazi death camp Auschwitz in what was seen as one of the last major Holocaust trials.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


He has not yet begun serving his sentence because his lawyer appealed the verdict - though the Federal Supreme Court in November upheld the 2015 ruling - and it has since taken time for the files to be transferred back, said Kathrin Soefker, a spokeswoman for prosecutors in Hanover.

Prosecutors have rejected Groening's request for a reprieve after a medical assessment determined he was fit for detention, she said.

"After getting an official medical opinion we assume Mr. Groening is able to go to prison," Soefker said.

"A 96-year-old has physical constraints but if he can get appropriate medical and nursing care in a prison or correctional facility, he is fit for prison," she added.

But Groening's lawyer, Hans Holtermann, told Reuters he did not think Groening can survive imprisonment.



"We will apply for a decision to be made by the court," Holtermann said.

"We think a sensible assessment (of Groening's health) should have been carried out and that has not happened yet," he said.

Groening, who is physically frail, has said he was an enthusiastic Nazi when he was sent to work at Auschwitz in 1942, at the age of 21.

In 2015 prosecutors argued that although Groening did not kill anyone himself while working at Auschwitz, in Nazi-occupied Poland, he helped support the regime responsible for mass murder by sorting bank notes seized from trainloads of arriving Jews.

Many Germans want to draw a line under the Holocaust and instead focus on the country's post-war democratic identity..


Related Content

A ZIM cargo ship.
June 25, 2018
Who are the few Israelis that could benefit from Trump’s trade war?

By MAX SCHINDLER