Auschwitz guard charged with 300,000 murders


A 93-year-old man has been charged with 300,000 counts of murder and is expected to be the oldest Nazi concentration camp guard to face trial.

Oskar Gröning worked at Auschwitz during the Holocaust. He denies being involved in the murder of Jews.

He claims his role was to check luggage as victims arrived at the camp.

Prosecutors in Hannover said he was in good health and a decision would now be taken on whether he should stand trial.

The Public Attorney's Office said: "Through his activities, he provided the Nazi regime with economic advantage and supported systematic killings."

Mr Gröning has previously spoken to the BBC and German newspapers about his role during the Shoah.

He said he had witnessed an SS guard murder a baby, but denied being an accomplice in murders. The pensioner claims he was a bookkeeper who kept tally of money seized from victims.

"Accomplice would almost be too much for me," he told Der Spiegel in 2005. "I would describe my role as a 'small cog in the gears'. If you can describe that as guilt, then I am guilty, but not voluntarily." He was cleared at a war crimes tribunal in 1948 and went on to work in a glass factory.

Authorities in Germany are currently pursuing the cases of 30 living former Auschwitz guards.

Their efforts follow the 2011 conviction of John Demjanjuk, who was discovered living in the US but was found guilty of Nazi war crimes.

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