[JURIST] Oskar Groening, a former Nazi SS officer known as the “accountant of Auschwitz,” on Monday appealed the four-year jail sentence imposed on him [JURIST report] last week. Groening’s attorney has submitted an appeal in the German Federal Court of Justice [official website], arguing that the Luneburg court that convicted him incorrectly rejected [AP report] reducing the sentence because of delays in the proceedings. The defense argues that Groening was only recently brought to trial, even though his case has been known for decades. Groening’s advanced age and deteriorating health, coupled with the fact that any sentence awarded would start after his appeal is heard, make observers doubt that he will ever be incarcerated.
Groening was first charged [JURIST report] in September for assisting in the murder of over 300,000 people during his time as bookkeeper at Auschwitz by collecting money stolen from those being transferred to the concentration camp and transferring it to the SS’s economy and administration agency in Berlin. In February, the German court set an April trial date [JURIST report] to decide the charges of accessory to murder, and included many survivor’s and victim’s families as co-plaintiff’s. During the trial, Groening admitted [JURIST report] that he shared the burden of moral guilt for his role at Auschwitz, but left it to the judges to determine if his actions were sufficient to be convicted as an accessory to murder. Earlier this month, upon conclusion of the trial, prosecutors in Groening’s case sought a sentence of three and a half years [JURIST report] imprisonment on the charges, stating that while the number of victims were “nearly incomprehensible”, it was mitigated by Groening’s limited contribution to their deaths.