Germany Auschwitz TrialA 94-year-old former SS sergeant who served in Auschwitz says he helped the death camp function in his role sorting cash and valuables seized from Jews.

In a statement read by his lawyer, Oskar Groening told the Lueneburg state court that his blind obedience to the Nazi system meant that he never rebelled against the killings at the camp in German-occupied Poland.

He said: “I can only ask my God for forgiveness.”

Pleas are not entered in the German system. But as his trial on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder opened in April, Mr Groening said he felt a moral guilt for what he had done.

He faces a possible three to 15 years in prison if convicted.