Auschwitz

Auschwitz

A 93-year old former Auschwitz SS guard charged with participating in the mass murder of 300,000 people during the Holocaust is set to stand trial next year.

Oskar Groening, who was in charge of counting, collating and shipping back money and possessions of those murdered in the gas chambers, was this week ruled fit to stand trial in spring next year.

Groening has expressed sadness and remorse for his role in the camp, where he was stationed between September 1942 and October 1944, and where 1.2 million people are believed to have been killed.

“One night in January 1943 I saw for the first time how the Jews were actually gassed,” he has said. “These cries I have ringing in my ears to this very day. This guilt will never leave me. I can only plead for forgiveness.”

The trial will take place in the north German city of Lueneburg, after prosecutors from Hanover prepared the indictment.

The charges relate to a two-month period in 1944, when 137 trains arrived carrying 425,000 people, mostly from Hungary.

At least 300,000 of them were murdered immediately.