Oskar Gröning was born in 1921 in Germany. In 1940, he joined the SS, a military organisation under the Nazi Party, as a volunteer.
In October 1942, Gröning was reassigned from his role in the paymaster’s office to a role in “Inmate Money Administration” at Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Known as the “bookkeeper of Auschwitz”, Gröning’s duties included confiscating money and other valuables from prisoners before sending these items to the main administrative office of the SS headquarters in Berlin, Germany.
It is, however, alleged that in addition to this confiscation of materials, Gröning further destroyed other belongings of prisoners so that new arrivals would not see them. Through these actions, it is alleged that Gröning enabled the Nazi regime to gain economically and carry out further atrocities.
Moreover, it is alleged that Gröning, through his additional duties guarding the possessions of recent arrivals, was aware that many of the arrivals were murdered almost immediately upon arrival if deemed unfit to work. It is thus further alleged that through this acquiescence of events that occurred at Auschwitz, Gröning was complicit in the genocide.
On 15 September 2014, for his role working for the Nazi regime, Gröning was charged with 300’000 counts of accessory to murder by the federal prosecution in Hanover, Germany.