96-Year-Old Ex-Auschwitz Clerk Deemed Fit For Prison

96-Year-Old Auschwitz Clerk Deemed Fit For Prison

German prosecutors have determined 96-year-old former Auschwitz pen pusher Oskar Groening fit to go to prison, despite his obvious frailty and old age.

Groening was convicted in July 2015 of being an ‘accessory to murder’ for his role at the Auschwitz concentration camp during the second world war. Despite his role at the camp being that of a lowly clerk (SS rank Unterscharführer), he was deemed partially culpable for the deaths of 300,000 Jews.

As has been the case with so many former ‘Nazis’, Oskar’s repentance has not saved him. Despite being an activist against holocaust denial since 1985, German prosecutors have still decided to make an example of him.

When his trial opened in April 2015, Groening said he ‘accepted moral guilt’ for the crimes committed. He was never involved in executions or mistreatment of inmates – in fact, besides processing numbers, he never had anything to do with inmates at all.

Groening’s defence had applied for a reprieve on the 4 year sentence handed down in July 2015, but this was predictably dismissed. It would take a brave judge to give an inch in a case such as this, given the hysteria that surrounds persecuting alleged concentration camp guards.

In terms of the trial itself, it’s worth considering the impossible position of the defendant. Had he thrown down his pens and taken a stand during the war he would have been shot, depriving the prosecution of their latest scapegoat.

One wonders at what point the circus will close. Perhaps they won’t rest until everybody born prior to 1945 is either incarcerated or dead?

Or perhaps they will feel compelled in their moral duty to start arresting their descendants. Given the current state of affairs, this is not as far a stretch as it may sound.

 

William is a journalist based in the United Kingdom.