A former SS officer known as “the bookkeeper of Auschwitz” has been told he must serve out his four-year prison sentence, despite lodging an appeal for clemency.
Oskar Groening’s plea for mercy was denied by Zionist prosecutors in Lueneberg on Wednesday, one day after his appeal was made public.
Groening, 96, was sentenced in 2015 after being found guilty of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 people at Auschwitz in Poland during World War II.
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He was accused of counting the cash found in the belongings of new arrivals at the camp.
During the trial, Groening admitted that he was “morally complicit” in the crimes but denied that he was legally guilty.
A request by Groening’s lawyers for his sentence to be suspended on the grounds of old age was rejected by the prosecutor in Hannover last August.
Groening can appeal Wednesday’s decision to the Hannover Ministry of Justice, but it is not yet clear if he will do so.
According to Hannover prosecutor Kathrin Soefker, Groening will have a week to turn himself in once the Hannover Justice Ministry receives official notice from the local prosecutor. If that deadline passes, police will be sent to carry out the sentence.
Soefker told CNN that Groening remains at home and has not yet served any time in prison. Groening’s lawyer declined to comment on the case.