Convicted 'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' dies aged 96

Convicted 'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' dies aged 96

According to German magazine, Der Spiegel, he was sentenced to four years for being an accessory to the murder of millions of Jews.

Oskar Groening, defendant and former Nazi SS officer dubbed the "bookkeeper of Auschwitz", is pictured in the courtroom during his trial in Lueneburg, Germany, July 15, 2015.

Groening's lawyer, Hans Holterman, told German public broadcaster NDR, that the former Nazi died last week.

Groening's role at Auschwitz rose to prominence when he gave interviews in 2005 about his work at the camp.

Prison authorities have yet to provide Groening's death certificate.

Groening testified at his trial that he oversaw the collection of prisoners' belongings at Auschwitz and ensured valuables and cash were separated to be sent to Berlin - the actions that earned him the "Accountant of Auschwitz" label.

The former SS guard, who was due to serve four years in prison, had admitted "moral guilt" and said he was "very sorry".

Groening lost an appeal in December, and in January, German prosecutors denied his clemency request. He asked for forgiveness and spoke openly of his experiences at the death camp, saying his testimony would stand in opposition to Holocaust deniers.

In 2011, former OH autoworker John Demjanjuk became the first person convicted in Germany exclusively for serving as a death camp guard without evidence of being involved in a specific killing.

The "Bookkeeper of Auschwitz" has died aged 96 before beginning a prison sentence for his involvement in the killing hundreds of thousands of Jews.

Hanning apologized for his wartime service, telling Holocaust survivors that "it disturbs me deeply" to have been a part of the Nazis' genocidal machinery.