A frail 94-year-old, Oskar Groening was sentenced to four years in prison by a German court today for being a cog in the Holocaust machine in a landmark verdict.
ITV News Correspondent Duncan Golestani reports:
Dr Moshe Kantor, the president of the European Jewish Congress, which represents Jewish organisations in 40 countries said that he welcomed today’s verdict on Oskar Groening, "and the historic significance of the trial".
He also praised "the opportunity it provides for to educate a generation that is all too distant from the horrors of the Holocaust".
He added: "Although more than 70 years have passed since the liberation of the Nazi death camps, this trial reminds us that there is no statute of limitations for those responsible for Nazi horrors and of the real and present danger of intolerance and demonstrates the constant need to guard against anti-Semitism, racism and hate.”
Oskar Groening, 94, the infamous "bookkeeper of Auschwitz", has been found guilty today in Germany of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews.
However, he didn't actually kill anyone. Instead, the case hinged on whether people who were cogs in the Nazi machinery were guilty of crimes. Today, the German justice system decided that he was.
During his time at Auschwitz, Groening's job was to collect the belongings of people arriving at the camp by train.
Groening, who was 21 and by his own admission an enthusiastic Nazi when he started work at the camp in 1942, inspected people's luggage, removing and counting any bank notes that were inside and sending them on to SS offices in Berlin, where they helped to fund the Nazi war effort.
The charges against him related to the period between May and July 1944 when 137 trains carrying roughly 425,000 Jews from Hungary arrived in Auschwitz. At least 300,000 of them were sent straight to the gas chambers, the indictment says.
Oskar Groening, the so-called "Bookkeeper of Auschwitz" has been found guilty of being accessory to murder of 300,000 people.
A German court has sentenced the 94-year-old to four years in prison.
Groening did not kill anyone himself while working at the camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, but prosecutors argued that by sorting the bank notes from trainloads of arriving Jews he helped support the regime responsible for mass murder.
The frail 93-year-old man dubbed the 'bookkeeper of Auschwitz' arrived in court today to face the charge of accessory to murder of 300,000 people.
Oskar Groning says he didn't kill anyone but simply took money and belongings from those sent to their deaths.
He admits 'moral responsibility' but the court in Luneburg, Germany must now decide if his actions also constitute criminal responsibility.
ITV News correspondent Emma Murphy reports.
The former 'bookkeeper' of Auschwitz told a court of the killings he witnessed at the death camp as a 21-year-old SS Guard.Read the full story ›
Holocaust survivor Eva Mozes Kor has spoken of the "physical, mental and emotional" difficulties suffered by Oscar Groning, the 93-year-old Auschwitz bookkeeper whose trial starts today in Germany.
Ms Kor, who was held at the infamous camp herself as child, told press that she believed Groning was "doing his very best".
Young demonstrators have turned out at the trial of 93-year-old Oskar Groning, who is accused of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 victims at Auschwitz.
A former bookkeeper at the Nazi death camp Auschwitz has arrived at a court in Germany to stand trial.
Oskar Groning is accused of being an accessory in the murder of 300,000 people, despite not being involved in any killing at the notorious camp.