[JURIST] The German Federal Court of Justice [official website, in German] has upheld the conviction [judgment, in German; press release, in German] of former Nazi SS Officer Oskar Groening, for his role in the deaths of over 300,000 people during the Holocaust, according to court documents made public Monday. Groening, known as the “bookkeeper of Auschwitz,” was given a four-year jail sentence for his role at Auschwitz last year, which he said he would appeal [JURIST reports]. While Groening himself did not physically kill any of the people, some felt that his charges should have been more serious. However, the decision was praised [Reuters].
In September 2014 German authorities imprisoned Groening, who was charged [JURIST report] as an accessory to the murder of 300,000 people. German courts have recently seen an increase of war crime charges against former members of the Nazi party. In September the Neubrandenburg state court in Germany started the trial of a 95-year-old former SS medic [JURIST report] who served at the Auschwitz camp. Also in September a court in Kiel, Germany, ruled that a 92-year-old woman charged with Nazi crimes is unfit to stand trial [JURIST report]. Prior to 2011, German prosecutors often chose not to charge individuals they regarded as “cogs” in, rather than active members of, the Nazi war machine. The 2011 conviction [JURIST report] of former Nazi guard John Demjanjuk may have emboldened German prosecutors to pursue cases against all those who materially helped Nazi Germany function.