Photo Credit: Euronews (Deutsch) YouTube screenshot /
Oskar Gröning

( Oskar Gröning, 94, the “Auschwitz Bookkeeper,” has been sentenced to four years in prison for his part in the murder of 300,000 Hungarian Jews, having collected their luggage and valuables between May and July of 1944, in Auschwitz.

That’s one year for every 75,000 Jews.


According to Gröning’s indictment, between May and July 1944 a total of 137 trains carrying approximately 425,000 Jews from Hungary arrived in Auschwitz. At least 300,000 of them were sent straight to the gas chambers.

“Albeit belatedly, justice has been done,” said World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder.

Gröning told the court: “[Prosecutor] Mr. Nestler said that Auschwitz was a place where you could not simply take part. I agree with that. I sincerely regret that I did not recognize that earlier. I am truly sorry. Otherwise I have nothing to add to the defense counsel’s statement.”

Defense lawyer Hans Holtermann told the court that, as far as the law is concerned, Gröning did not facilitate mass murder.

Potatös Potatoes.

Lauder conceded that “Gröning was but a small cog in the Nazi death machine, but without the actions of people like him, the mass murder of millions of Jews and others would not have been possible. It was the right decision to put him on trial despite his old age, and it was right that he was handed a jail sentence. He may have to spend his final years in confinement, but that is a small punishment for the unspeakable crimes in which he was complicit.”

Eva Fahidi, 90, told the court it was not about sending an old man to jail for the rest of his life, but about getting a formal acknowledgment of the unspeakable pain the Nazis had inflicted on their Jewish victims. Fahidi lost 49 relatives.

Now Fahidi has received the acknowledgement, most appropriately through the sentencing of a bookkeeper: 300,000 victims on one column of the ledgers of justice, 4 years in jail on the other.

Lauder added: “There must never be impunity nor closure for those who were involved in mass murder and genocide, irrespective of their age, and we commend Germany for holding this trial. We urge authorities there – and in other European countries – not to relent in the quest to bring all of the perpetrators of the biggest crime in the history of mankind to justice.”

And take away their walkers.


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