Reinhold Hanning, 94, Ex-Nazi SS Auschwitz Guard, Sentenced To Five Years In Prison

Amy Schaeffer - Author

Jun. 17 2016, Updated 11:01 a.m. ET

Most 94-year-olds do not have a sharp memory, and if they do, they enjoy reminiscing about past happy days and accomplishments in life. Most 94-year-olds are physically fragile. Statistically, most people are dead long before they reach 94. Usually, those over 90 are treated as a source of wisdom, of courage — they’ve seen nearly a century of hard times, good times, change, struggle, and triumph.

It’s no different for Reinhold Hanning, a 94-year-old former Nazi SS agent. In fact, he saw too much, knew too much, and participated in too much. His voice shook while he admitted to knowing about the murders of countless Jews during World War II in the infamous “worst of the worst” death camp, Auschwitz, and doing nothing to stop them. He said he has tremendous shame.

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