Ex-Auschwitz guard Oskar Groening charged with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder

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MAINZ, Germany — Prosecutors announced that 93-year-old Oskar Groening has been charged with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder while serving as an SS guard at the Auschwitz death camp during World War II.

Groening is alleged to have hlped operate the death camp in Poland in May and June 1944, when about 425,000 Jews from Hungary were brought there and at least 300,000 almost immediately were gassed to death.

“He helped the Nazi regime benefit economically, and supported the systematic killings,” state prosecutors in the city of Hannover said in a statement.

Groening’s attorney, Hans Holtermann, declined to comment on the charges.

Groening is one of about 30 former guards at the camp who federal investigators recommended last year that state prosecutors pursue charges against under a new precedent in German law.