German Court Upholds Former Auschwitz Guard's Conviction | NBC Connecticut
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

German Court Upholds Former Auschwitz Guard's Conviction

Oskar Groening was convicted in July 2015 of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews and sentenced by a court in Lueneburg to four years in prison

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Tobias Schwarz/Pool Photo via AP
    In this July 15, 2015, photo, 94-year-old former SS sergeant Oskar Groening looks up as he listens to the verdict of his trial at a court in Lueneburg, northern Germany. Groening, who served at the Auschwitz death camp was convicted on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder and given a four-year sentence.

    A German federal court has upheld the conviction for being an accessory to murder of a 95-year-old former SS sergeant who served at the Auschwitz death camp, his lawyer said Monday. 

    Oskar Groening was convicted in July 2015 of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews and sentenced by a court in Lueneburg to four years in prison. Groening testified at his trial that he oversaw the collection of prisoners' belongings and ensured valuables and cash were separated to be sent to Berlin. 

    UK Police: 'Fatalities' at Grande concert

    [NATL] UK Police: 'Fatalities' at Grande concert

    British police on Monday said an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena left at least 19 people dead and 50 wounded.

    (Published 35 minutes ago)

    Groening appealed, but defense lawyer Hans Holtermann told news agency dpa that the Federal Court of Justice has now upheld the verdict. The court had no immediate comment. 

    The decision sets an important precedent for prosecutors' efforts to pursue others who allegedly served at death camps. 

    It's the first time an appeals court has ruled on a conviction obtained under the logic that simply serving at a death camp, and thus helping it operate, was enough to convict someone as an accessory to the murders committed there even if there was no evidence of involvement in a specific killing. 

    At the original trial in Lueneburg, presiding Judge Franz Kompisch said Groening was part of the "machinery of death," helping the camp function and also collecting money stolen from the victims to help the Nazi cause. 

    WATCH: Pippa Middleton Post-Wedding Kiss

    [NATL] WATCH: Pippa Middleton Post-Wedding Kiss

    Pippa Middleton and James Matthews kiss after their wedding at St Mark's Church in Englefield, England, on Saturday, May 20, 2017. Middleton, the sister of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, married hedge fund manager James Matthews in a ceremony Saturday. Her niece and nephew, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, were in the wedding party, along with sister Kate and princes Harry and William.

    (Published Saturday, May 20, 2017)

    In 2011, former Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk became the first person convicted in Germany solely for serving as a death camp guard without evidence of being involved in a specific killing. Demjanjuk, who always denied serving at the Sobibor camp, died before his appeal could be heard.