Oskar Groeing, known as the “Accountant of Auschwitz,” is set to stand trial on Tuesday, April 21 for 300,000 counts of accessory to murder during the Holocaust, and dozens of Holocaust survivors and their relatives from around the world are expected to appear in the courtroom.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Groening, 93, worked at the death camp from May to June 1944. During these two months, 425,000 Hungarian Jews were forcibly transported by 137 trains to the camp, where 300,000 were later killed.
While Oskar admits to working at Aushwitz, he denies actively participating in the killings. His job as an “inmate money” administrator was to keep track of the money that was confiscated from the prisoners. He was also assigned to ramp duty where he seized the prisoners belongings as they made their way off of the cattle cars.
— David Nelson (@DavidNelsonNews) April 20, 2015
“Accomplice would almost be too much for me… 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. Legally speaking, I am innocent,” Oskar said.
Efraim Zuroff, the head Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said that even the lowest guards were necessary in carrying out Hitler’s plot on annihilating the Jews.
“The system that the Nazis put in place in order to annihilate the Jewish people and the others they classified as enemies was made up of all sorts of people who fulfilled all sorts of tasks. Obviously Oskar Groening is not as guilty as (SS head) Heinrich Himmler… but he contributed his talents to helping the system carry out mass murder.”
Groening has been interviewed on more than one occasion and previously said that he vividly remembers the heinous crimes that were committed by the Nazis.
“A child who was lying there was simply pulled by the legs and chucked into a truck to be driven away,” he told the BBC in an interview 10 years ago. “And when it screamed like a sick chicken, they then bashed it against the edge of the truck so it would shut up.”
While Groening’s attorney Hans Holtermann has urged him to not give any interviews, it is believed that he will be making a statement during the trial.
According to NBC News, “a total of 63 Holocaust survivors or their relatives from the United States, Canada, Israel and elsewhere have joined the prosecution as co-plaintiffs in the closely-watched trial. Around 30 are expected in court in Lueneburg.”
“Many of the survivors, who are co-plaintiffs in the trial, are stepping on German soil for the first time since the end of Nazi regime,” Christoph Heubner, the executive vice president of the International Auschwitz Committee, told the news site.
[Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images]