Ninety-six year old Oskar Groening was convicted for his role in murder of 30,000 people in Auschwitz
Auschwitz, the location of the network of concentration and extermination camps established by Nazi Germany near a provincial town in Polish Galicia, was the site of the largest mass murder in recorded history.
Between 1942 and 1945, well over a million Jews, Gypsies, and Soviet POWs were murdered in the complex founded on the orders of SS Reichsfhurer Heinrich Himmler in 1940. Those who weren't annihilated with Zyklon-B in the Nazi's gas chambers died of starvation and disease.
Initially a small concentration camp where prisoners were subjected to inhumane conditions, Auschwitz gradually grew into a trinity of three central camps and 45 satellite camps.
Upon arrival at Auschwitz, the prisoners were subjected to a cruel selection process at the hands of the camp doctors. Those who did not pass the selection – mostly babies, children, and the elderly – were almost immediately murdered; those who made the cut were condemned to a life of slave labor under horrific conditions which almost always ended in a grim death.
Auschwitz is also notoriously known for the medical experiments carried out on inmates, particularly twins, by Dr. Joseph Mengel, AKA 'the Angel of Death.' Few survived the operations and dissections which were carried out without anesthesia.
Auschwitz II-Birkenau, the largest and most complex of the three central camps, was designated for the systematic annihilation of Jews. Ninety percent of the prisoners at Auschwitz were killed in the gas chambers of Birkenau; 90% of those killed were Jews.
By mid-summer 1944, as the Red Army closed in on Germany, the Nazi leadership began to evacuate and liquidate the Auschwitz camps. The mass extermination of Jews was stopped yet most of the few who survived were led on death marches to other camps or industrial centers for work. In January 1945, Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army, and the remaining 7,000 prisoners were released from the camp.
Today Auschwitz is synonymous with the Holocaust of Europe’s Jews and is a reminder of humanity’s most vile act. Despite the Nazis efforts, there are an abundance of testimonies and evidence pointing to the atrocities that the Germans perpetrated, and the former death camp complex serves as a museum which both commemorates the victims and serves as a site from which the future generations can learn about the atrocities that man kind is capable of.
Oskar Groening, known as the 'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz,' was sentenced to four years in prison in 2015 for being an accessory to murder at the Nazi death camp, but has not yet started his sentence due to a dispute about his health
96-year-old Former Auschwitz Guard Challenges Prison Sentence, Claiming It Violates His 'Right to Life'
Oskar Groening was convicted and sentenced in July 2015 to four years in jail for his role in the murder of 300,000 Hungarian Jews at the concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland
Kazimierz Piechowski and two fellow prisoners managed their escape by stealing weapons, uniforms and a vehicle belonging to their SS guards
A Polish news agency reported that the 17-year-old was detained for inscribing his name on one of the interior walls at the memorial site
96-year-old Oskar Groening was sentenced to four years in prison in 2015 for his role in the murder of 300,000 people at Auschwitz
Opinion Auschwitz Responds: We Have No 'Nationalist Bias' Pushing Us to Downplay Jews' Suffering in the Holocaust
We keep far away from political disputes: Our visitors are presented with the fate of all groups of Auschwitz victims – including, but not exclusively, Jews
The unidentified man is accused in Germany of having guarded prisoners in Lublin-Majdanek's death camp when he was 22
Case against former Auschwitz medic has been discontinued as the 96-year-old Nazi is suffering from dementia
Memorial site of Auschwitz-Birkenau also weighs in, tweeting, 'One of the hardest lessons for us today. Perpetrators were people'