Auschwitz guard goes on trial, says he shares moral guilt

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Auschwitz Guard Charged With 300,000 Counts of Accessory to Murder

LUENEBURG, Germany (AP) -- A former Auschwitz guard acknowledged Tuesday that he bears a share of the moral guilt for atrocities at the camp, but told judges at the opening of his trial that it is up to them to decide whether he deserves to be convicted as an accessory to murder.

Oskar Groening, 93, acknowledged having helped collect and tally money as part of his job dealing with the belongings stolen from people arriving at Auschwitz. That earned him the moniker "Accountant of Auschwitz."

Groening testified that he volunteered to join the SS in 1940 after training as a banker, and served at Auschwitz from 1942 to 1944. He didn't mention directly participating in any atrocities and said he unsuccessfully sought a transfer after witnessing one.

"I share morally in the guilt but whether I am guilty under criminal law, you will have to decide," Groening told the panel of judges hearing the case as he closed an hour-long statement to the court. Under the German legal system, defendants do not enter formal pleas.

On his way into the court in Lueneburg, south of Hamburg, Groening told reporters he expects an acquittal. He could face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison if found guilty.

Groening faces 300,000 counts of accessory to murder at the trial, which will test the argument that anyone who served as a guard at a Nazi death camp was complicit in what happened there.

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Auschwitz guard goes on trial, Oskar Groening
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Auschwitz guard goes on trial, says he shares moral guilt
Former SS sergent Oskar Groening arrives for the judgement at the trial against him in in Lueneburg, Germany Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Groening, 94, who is accused of helping to operate the death camp Auschwitz between May and June 1944, has been convicted on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder. The state court gave Groening a four-year sentence. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Journalists gather outside the courtroom after a verdict in the case of former SS officer Oskar Groening on July 15, 2015 at court in Lueneburg, northern Germany. Oskar Groening, 94, sat impassively as judge Franz Kompisch said 'the defendant is found guilty of accessory to murder in 300,000 legally connected cases' of deported Jews who were sent to the gas chambers in 1944. AFP PHOTO / TOBIAS SCHWARZ (Photo credit should read TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Former SS sergent Oskar Groening arrives for the judgement at the trial against him in in Lueneburg, Germany Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Groening, 94, who is accused of helping to operate the death camp Auschwitz between May and June 1944, has been convicted on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder. The state court gave Groening a four-year sentence. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
94-year-old former SS sergeant Oskar Groening looks up as he listens to the verdict of his trial Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at a court in Lueneburg, northern Germany. Groening, who served at the Auschwitz death camp was convicted on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder and given a four-year sentence. (Tobias Schwarz/Pool Photo via AP)
Auschwitz survivor Max Eisen shows a photograph from 1940 that shows him, center, with his parents and brothers, Thursday, April 23, 2015, in a courtroom in Lueneburg, northern Germany. Eisen attends the trial against former SS guard Oskar Groening, 93, who is accused of helping to operate the death camp Auschwitz in Nazi-occupied Poland between May and June 1944, when some 425,000 Jews from Hungary were brought there and at least 300,000 were almost immediately gassed to death. (Julian Stratenschulte/Pool via AP)
With the help of a Red Cross worker, former SS guard Oskar Groening, right, leaves the court after the verdict of his trial in Lueneburg, Germany, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Groening, 94, who served at the Auschwitz death camp was convicted on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder and given a four-year sentence. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
LUNEBURG, GERMANY - JULY 15: Oskar Groening, 94, a former member of the Waffen-SS who worked at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II, awaits the verdict in his trial on July 15, 2015 in Lueneburg, Germany. Groening was accused of complicity in the murder of 300,000 mostly Hungarian Jews at Auschwitz in 1944. He worked as an accountant for the SS at Auschwitz and has admitted moral and personal responsibility for his role there. Groening has been convicted of being an accessory to murder, and sentenced to four years in prison. (Photo by Hans-Jurgen Wege - Pool/Getty Images)
94-year-old former SS sergeant Oskar Groening sits between his lawyers Hans Holtermann, right, and Susanne Frangenberg, left, during the verdict of his trial Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at a court in Lueneburg, northern Germany. Groening, who served at the Auschwitz death camp was convicted on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder and given a four-year sentence. (Tobias Schwarz/Pool Photo via AP)
Former prisoner of Auschwitz concentration camp and plaintiff Hedy Bohm , left, and her daughter Vicky Bohm wait in the courtroom for the trial of former German SS officer Oskar Groening in Lueneburg, northern Germany, Wednesday July 8 2015 Groening is charged with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder on allegations he helped the Auschwitz Nazi death camp function by sorting cash and valuables seized from Jews. German prosecutors sought a 3½-year prison sentence for the 94-year-old former SS sergeant who served at the Auschwitz death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, saying his role there made him an accessory to murder. ( Christian Charisius/Pool Photovia AP)
LUNEBURG, GERMANY - JULY 15: The joint plaintiff's lawyers Cornelius Nestler (L) and Thomas Walther (R) await the verdict in the trial of Oskar Groening, 94, a former member of the Waffen-SS who worked at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II, on July 15, 2015 in Lueneburg, Germany. Groening was accused of complicity in the murder of 300,000 mostly Hungarian Jews at Auschwitz in 1944. He worked as an accountant for the SS at Auschwitz and has admitted moral and personal responsibility for his role there. Groening has been convicted of being an accessory to murder, and sentenced to four years in prison. (Photo by Hans-Jurgen Wege - Pool/Getty Images)
Former SS officer Oskar Groening waits in a courtroom in Lueneburg, northern Germany, Wednesday July 8, 2015. German prosecutors sought a 3½-year prison sentence for the 94-year-old former SS sergeant who served at the Auschwitz death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, saying his role there made him an accessory to murder. (Christian Charisius/Pool Photo via AP)
Former prisoner of Auschwitz concentration camp and plaintiff Irene Weiss arrives for the trial of a German former SS officer known as the 'bookkeeper of Auschwitz' on July 1, 2015 at the courtroom at the 'Ritterakademie' venue in Lueneburg, northern Germany. German national Oskar Groening, 94, stands accused of 300,000 counts of 'accessory to murder' in the cases of deported Hungarian Jews sent to the gas chambers between May and July 1944. AFP PHOTO / RONNY HARTMANN (Photo credit should read RONNY HARTMANN/AFP/Getty Images)
Former SS officer Oskar Groening , 94, sits in the courtroom in Lueneburg , northern Germany, Wednesday, July 1., 2015. Groening is charged with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder on allegations he helped the Auschwitz nazi death camp function by sorting cash and valuables seized from Jews. (Ronny Hartmann/Pool Photo via AP)
Auschwitz survivor William "Bill" Glied shows photos of his sister Anniko, left, his parents Maria and Alexander, center, and of himself as a six-year-old boy in a courtroom in Lueneburg, northern Germany, Thursday, April 23, 2015. Glied attends the trial against former SS guard Oskar Groening, 93, who is accused of helping to operate the death camp Auschwitz in Nazi-occupied Poland between May and June 1944, when some 425,000 Jews from Hungary were brought there and at least 300,000 were almost immediately gassed to death. (Julian Stratenschulte/Pool via AP)
Former prisoner of Auschwitz concentration camp and plaintiff Hedy Bohm arrives for the trial of a German former SS officer known as the 'bookkeeper of Auschwitz' on July 1, 2015 at the courtroom at the 'Ritterakademie' venue in Lueneburg, northern Germany. German national Oskar Groening, 94, stands accused of 300,000 counts of 'accessory to murder' in the cases of deported Hungarian Jews sent to the gas chambers between May and July 1944. AFP PHOTO / RONNY HARTMANN (Photo credit should read RONNY HARTMANN/AFP/Getty Images)
The joint plaintiff's lawyers Cornelius Nestler (L) and Thomas Walther (R) react during the verdict in the case of convicted former SS officer Oskar Groening on July 15, 2015 at court in Lueneburg, northern Germany. Oskar Groening, 94, sat impassively as judge Franz Kompisch said 'the defendant is found guilty of accessory to murder in 300,000 legally connected cases' of deported Jews who were sent to the gas chambers in 1944. AFP PHOTO / POOL / TOBIAS SCHWARZ (Photo credit should read TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Auschwitz survivor Leon Schwarzbaum shows his tattooed number to the photographer as he waits to enter the court room for the judgment at the trail against former SS guard Oskar Groening in Lueneburg, Germany, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Groening, 94, who served at the Auschwitz death camp was convicted on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder and given a four-year sentence. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Former SS guard Oskar Groening steps out of a car as he arrives at the back entrance of the court hall prior to a trail against him in Lueneburg, northern Germany, Tuesday, April 21, 2015. Groening, 93, is accused of helping to operate the death camp Auschwitz in Nazi-occupied Poland between May and June 1944, when some 425,000 Jews from Hungary were brought there and at least 300,000 were almost immediately gassed to death. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Former SS guard Oskar Groening sits in ths sun during the noon break of the trial against him in Lueneburg, northern Germany, Tuesday, April 21, 2015. 93-years-old Groening faces 300,000 counts of accessory to murder at the trial, which will test the argument that anyone who served as a guard at a Nazi death camp was complicit in what happened there. Groening said he bears a share of the moral guilt for atrocities at the camp, but told judges it is up to them to decide whether he deserves to be convicted as an accessory to murder. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Auschwitz survivor Eva Pusztai-Fahidi, 2nd from right, from Budapest and her 23-years-old granddaughter Luca Hartai, right, leave the court hall during the noon breaks of the trial against former SS guard Oskar Groening in Lueneburg, northern Germany, Tuesday, April 21, 2015. The 93-year-old former Auschwitz guard faces trial on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder, in a case that will test the argument that anyone who served at a Nazi death camp was complicit in what happened there. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Auschwitz survivor Eva Pusztai-Fahidi, left, from Budapest and her 23-years-old granddaughter Luca Hartai, right, leave the court hall during the noon breaks of the trial against former SS guard Oskar Groening in Lueneburg, northern Germany, Tuesday, April 21, 2015. The 93-year-old former Auschwitz guard faces trial on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder, in a case that will test the argument that anyone who served at a Nazi death camp was complicit in what happened there. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Former Nazi death camp officer Oskar Groening sits outside during a break of his trial on April 21, 2015 in Lueneburg, northern Germany. The 93-year-old man dubbed the 'bookkeeper of Auschwitz' is being tried on 'accessory to murder' charges in 300,000 cases of deported Hungarian Jews who were sent to the gas chambers, and faces up to 15 years jail. (Photo by Ronny Hatmann via AFP/Getty Images)
Former SS guard Oskar Groening, left, uses a walking frame as he enters the back entrance of the court hall followed by his lawyer Hans Holtermann, right, for a trail against him in Lueneburg, northern Germany, Tuesday, April 21, 2015. The 93-year-old former Auschwitz guard faces trial on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder, in a case that will test the argument that anyone who served at a Nazi death camp was complicit in what happened there. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Oskar Groening, 93, and his lawyer Hans Holtermann are seen during the first day of his trial to face charges of being accomplice to the murder of 300,000 people at the Auschwitz concentration camp on April 21, 2015 in Lueneburg, Germany. Groening was an accountant with the Waffen SS and has been open about his role, claiming in interviews with media that he accepts his moral responsibility. Groening has also written an account of his experience, in what he claims is an effort to counter Holocaust revisionists. State prosecutors accuse Groening of accomplice in the murder of 300,000 Hungarian Jews who arrived at Auschwitz in 1944. (Photo by Andreas Tamme - Pool/Getty Images)
Oskar Groening, 93, arrives for the first day of his trial to face charges of being accomplice to the murder of 300,000 people at the Auschwitz concentration camp on April 21, 2015 in Lueneburg, Germany. Groening was an accountant with the Waffen SS and has been open about his role, claiming in interviews with media that he accepts his moral responsibility. Groening has also written an account of his experience, in what he claims is an effort to counter Holocaust revisionists. State prosecutors accuse Groening of accomplice in the murder of 300,000 Hungarian Jews who arrived at Auschwitz in 1944. (Photo by Andreas Tamme - Pool/Getty Images)
Auschwitz survivors Hedy Bohm, right, and Eva Pusztai-Fahidi sit in a court room in Lueneburg, northern Germany, Tuesday, April 21, 2015. The 93-year-old former Auschwitz guard Oskar Groening faces trial on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder, in a case that will test the argument that anyone who served at a Nazi death camp was complicit in what happened there. (Ronny Hartmann/Pool Photo via AP)
Auschwitz survicor Eva Kor sits in a court room in Lueneburg, northern Germany, Tuesday, April 21, 2015. The 93-year-old former Auschwitz guard Oskar Groening faces trial on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder, in a case that will test the argument that anyone who served at a Nazi death camp was complicit in what happened there. (Julian Stratenschulte/Pool Photo via AP)
The room is packed with media during a news conference organized by the International Auschwitz Committee on the eve of a trail against former SS guard Oskar Groening in Lueneburg, northern Germany, Monday, April 20, 2015. Groening, today 93, faces a trail on Tuesday, April 21, and is accused of helping to operate the death camp Auschwitz between May and June 1944, when some 425,000 Jews from Hungary were brought there and at least 300,000 almost immediately gassed to death. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
A picture taken on April 21, 2015 shows files ahead to a trial of former Nazi death camp officer Oskar Groening at a court in Lueneburg, northern Germany. The 93-year-old man dubbed the 'bookkeeper of Auschwitz' is being tried on 'accessory to murder' charges in 300,000 cases of deported Hungarian Jews who were sent to the gas chambers, and faces up to 15 years jail. Ronny Hartmann via Pool/AFP/Getty Images)
Picture taken on April 20, 2015 shows a general view of the 'Ritterakademie' venue in Lueneburg, northern Germany. The 'Ritterakademie' is the venue of the trial against former SS guard Oskar Groening, that will start on April 21, 2015. For seven decades Oskar Groening has been haunted by memories of serving in Auschwitz, while denying ultimate responsibility for the mass murder at the Nazi death camp. From April 21, 2015, the 93-year-old faces the Lueneburg court that will decide on his guilt. (Photo by Ronny Hartmann via Pool/AFP/Getty Images)
Auschwitz survivors Hedy Bohm, from Toronto, Canada, from left, and Eva Pusztai-Fahidi from Budapest, Hungary, and the Exicutive Vice President of the International Auschwitz Committee Christoph Heubner attend a news conference organized by the International Auschwitz Committee on the eve of a trail against former SS guard Oskar Groening in Lueneburg, northern Germany, Monday, April 20, 2015. Groening, today 93, faces a trail on Tuesday, April 21, and is accused of helping to operate the death camp Auschwitz between May and June 1944, when some 425,000 Jews from Hungary were brought there and at least 300,000 were almost immediately gassed to death. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Defendant Oskar Groening sits in the dock of the court in Lueneburg, northern Germany, Tuesday, April 21, 2015. The 93-year-old former Auschwitz guard faces trial on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder, in a case that will test the argument that anyone who served at a Nazi death camp was complicit in what happened there. (Julian Stratenschulte/Pool Photo via AP)
German neo-Nazi Thomas Wulff (C) is surrounded by police as he stands in front of the venue of the trial against a former Nazi death camp officer on April 21, 2015 in Lueneburg, northern Germany. 93-year-old Oskar Groening dubbed the 'bookkeeper of Auschwitz' is being tried on 'accessory to murder' charges in 300,000 cases of deported Hungarian Jews who were sent to the gas chambers, and faces up to 15 years jail. (Photo by Ronny Hartmann via Pool/Getty Images)
People walk through a street of the old town of Lueneburg, northern Germany, on April 20, 2015. A trial will start in Lueneburg on April 21, 2015 against former SS guard Oskar Groening. For seven decades Oskar Groening has been haunted by memories of serving in Auschwitz, while denying ultimate responsibility for the mass murder at the Nazi death camp. From April 21, 2015, the 93-year-old faces the Lueneburg court that will decide on his guilt. (Photo by Ronny Hartmann via Pool/AFP/Getty Images)
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The charges relate to a period between May and June 1944, when some 425,000 Jews from Hungary were brought to Auschwitz and at least 300,000 almost immediately gassed to death.

"Through his job, the defendant supported the machinery of death," prosecutor Jens Lehmann said as he read out the indictment.

In his statement, Groening recalled that he and a group of recruits were told by an SS major before going to Auschwitz they would "perform a duty that will clearly not be pleasant, but one necessary to achieve final victory."

The major gave no details, but other SS men told Groening at Auschwitz that Jews were being selected for work and those who couldn't work were being killed.

Groening described the arrival of transports of Jewish prisoners in detail, and recalled an incident in late 1942 in which another SS man smashed a baby against a truck, "and his crying stopped." He said he was "shocked" and the following day asked a lieutenant for a transfer, which wasn't granted.

Groening, who entered the court pushing a walker, appeared lucid as he gave his statement, pausing occasionally to cough or drink water. It is unclear how long the trial will last; court sessions have been scheduled through the end of July.

The trial is the first to test a new line of German legal reasoning that has unleashed an 11th-hour wave of new investigations of Nazi war crimes suspects. Prosecutors argue that anyone who was a death camp guard can be charged as an accessory to murders committed there, even without evidence of involvement in a specific death.

There are currently 11 open investigations against former Auschwitz guards, and charges have been filed in three of those cases including Groening's. A further eight former Majdanek guards are also under investigation.

About 60 Holocaust survivors or their relatives from the U.S., Canada, Israel and elsewhere have joined the prosecution as co-plaintiffs, as is allowed under German law.

Auschwitz survivor Eva Kor said Groening was a very old man who had had a hard life, "but by his own doing."

"If you're guilty, is there such a thing as morally guilty but to be legally not?" she asked.

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Auschwitz guard goes on trial, says he shares moral guilt
FILE - This undated file image shows the main gate of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz I, near Oswiecim , Poland, which was liberated by the Russians in January 1945. Writing at the gate reads: "Arbeit macht frei" (Work makes free - or work liberates). German prosecutors say they’ve charged a 93-year-old man with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder for serving as a guard at the Nazis’ Auschwitz death camp. The charges against Oskar Groening come as part of a nationwide push against former Auschwitz guards launched last year. Unlike most of the others, Groening has openly talked about his time as a guard and says while he witnessed horrific atrocities, he did not commit any crimes himself. But Hannover prosecutors said in a statement Monday Sept. 15, 2014 he was a cog in the machinery of destruction during his time at Auschwitz in 1944, noting that he helped collect and tally money stolen from murdered inmates. (AP Photo/File)
POLAND - MAY 25: Barbed wire fence and guard tower at Auschwitz concentration camp (UNESCO World Heritage List, 1979), Poland. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
POLAND - MAY 25: Barbed wire fence around Auschwitz concentration camp (UNESCO World Heritage List, 1979), Poland. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
POLAND - MAY 25: Barbed wire fence of Auschwitz concentration camp (UNESCO World Heritage List, 1979), Poland. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
POLAND - MAY 25: Barbed wire fence and guard tower at Auschwitz concentration camp (UNESCO World Heritage List, 1979), Poland. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
BRZEZINKA, POLAND - APRIL 15: Life barbed wire encloses the Auschwitz II-Birkenau extermination camp on April 15, 2014 in Brzezinka, Poland. Auschwitz was a network of concentration camps built and operated in occupied Poland by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was the extermination camp, designated by Heinrich Himmler, Germany's Minister of the Interior, as the locus of the 'final solution of the Jewish question in Europe'. 1.1 million people mostly Jews from allover Europe were killed in gas chambers or from systematic starvation, forced labor, disease and purported 'medical experiments'. (Photo by Vladimir Simicek/isifa/Getty Images)
BRZEZINKA, POLAND - APRIL 15: Bunk beds in Auschwitz II-Birkenau extermination camp on December 17, 2009 in Brzezinka, Poland. Auschwitz was a network of concentration camps built and operated in occupied Poland by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was the extermination camp, designated by Heinrich Himmler, Germany's Minister of the Interior, as the locus of the 'final solution of the Jewish question in Europe'. 1.1 million people mostly Jews from allover Europe were killed in gas chambers or from systematic starvation, forced labor, disease and purported 'medical experiments'. (Photo by Vladimir Simicek/isifa/Getty Images)
BRZEZINKA, POLAND - APRIL 15: General view on the Auschwitz II-Birkenau extermination camp on April 15, 2014 in Brzezinka, Poland. Auschwitz was a network of concentration camps built and operated in occupied Poland by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was the extermination camp, designated by Heinrich Himmler, Germany's Minister of the Interior, as the locus of the 'final solution of the Jewish question in Europe'. 1.1 million people mostly Jews from allover Europe were killed in gas chambers or from systematic starvation, forced labor, disease and purported 'medical experiments'. (Photo by Vladimir Simicek/isifa/Getty Images)
BRZEZINKA, POLAND - APRIL 15: General view on the Auschwitz II-Birkenau extermination camp on April 15, 2014 in Brzezinka, Poland. Auschwitz was a network of concentration camps built and operated in occupied Poland by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was the extermination camp, designated by Heinrich Himmler, Germany's Minister of the Interior, as the locus of the 'final solution of the Jewish question in Europe'. 1.1 million people mostly Jews from allover Europe were killed in gas chambers or from systematic starvation, forced labor, disease and purported 'medical experiments'. (Photo by Vladimir Simicek/isifa/Getty Images)
BRZEZINKA, POLAND - APRIL 15: Bunk beds in Auschwitz II-Birkenau extermination camp on December 17, 2009 in Brzezinka, Poland. Auschwitz was a network of concentration camps built and operated in occupied Poland by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was the extermination camp, designated by Heinrich Himmler, Germany's Minister of the Interior, as the locus of the 'final solution of the Jewish question in Europe'. 1.1 million people mostly Jews from allover Europe were killed in gas chambers or from systematic starvation, forced labor, disease and purported 'medical experiments'. (Photo by Vladimir Simicek/isifa/Getty Images)
BRZEZINKA, POLAND - APRIL 15: General view on the Auschwitz II-Birkenau extermination camp on April 15, 2014 in Brzezinka, Poland. Auschwitz was a network of concentration camps built and operated in occupied Poland by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was the extermination camp, designated by Heinrich Himmler, Germany's Minister of the Interior, as the locus of the 'final solution of the Jewish question in Europe'. 1.1 million people mostly Jews from allover Europe were killed in gas chambers or from systematic starvation, forced labor, disease and purported 'medical experiments'. (Photo by Vladimir Simicek/isifa/Getty Images)
BRZEZINKA, POLAND - APRIL 15: General view on the Auschwitz II-Birkenau extermination camp on April 15, 2014 in Brzezinka, Poland. Auschwitz was a network of concentration camps built and operated in occupied Poland by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was the extermination camp, designated by Heinrich Himmler, Germany's Minister of the Interior, as the locus of the 'final solution of the Jewish question in Europe'. 1.1 million people mostly Jews from allover Europe were killed in gas chambers or from systematic starvation, forced labor, disease and purported 'medical experiments'. (Photo by Vladimir Simicek/isifa/Getty Images)
BRZEZINKA, POLAND - APRIL 15: Barbed wire encloses the Auschwitz II-Birkenau extermination camp on April 15, 2014 in Brzezinka, Poland. Auschwitz was a network of concentration camps built and operated in occupied Poland by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was the extermination camp, designated by Heinrich Himmler, Germany's Minister of the Interior, as the locus of the 'final solution of the Jewish question in Europe'. 1.1 million people mostly Jews from allover Europe were killed in gas chambers or from systematic starvation, forced labor, disease and purported 'medical experiments'. (Photo by Vladimir Simicek/isifa/Getty Images)
BRZEZINKA, POLAND - APRIL 15: General view on the Auschwitz II-Birkenau extermination camp on April 15, 2014 in Brzezinka, Poland. Auschwitz was a network of concentration camps built and operated in occupied Poland by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was the extermination camp, designated by Heinrich Himmler, Germany's Minister of the Interior, as the locus of the 'final solution of the Jewish question in Europe'. 1.1 million people mostly Jews from allover Europe were killed in gas chambers or from systematic starvation, forced labor, disease and purported 'medical experiments'. (Photo by Vladimir Simicek/isifa/Getty Images)
BRZEZINKA, POLAND - APRIL 15: General view on the Auschwitz II-Birkenau extermination camp on April 15, 2014 in Brzezinka, Poland. Auschwitz was a network of concentration camps built and operated in occupied Poland by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was the extermination camp, designated by Heinrich Himmler, Germany's Minister of the Interior, as the locus of the 'final solution of the Jewish question in Europe'. 1.1 million people mostly Jews from allover Europe were killed in gas chambers or from systematic starvation, forced labor, disease and purported 'medical experiments'. (Photo by Vladimir Simicek/isifa/Getty Images)
BRZEZINKA, POLAND - APRIL 15: General view on the Auschwitz II-Birkenau extermination camp on April 15, 2014 in Brzezinka, Poland. Auschwitz was a network of concentration camps built and operated in occupied Poland by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was the extermination camp, designated by Heinrich Himmler, Germany's Minister of the Interior, as the locus of the 'final solution of the Jewish question in Europe'. 1.1 million people mostly Jews from allover Europe were killed in gas chambers or from systematic starvation, forced labor, disease and purported 'medical experiments'. (Photo by Vladimir Simicek/isifa/Getty Images)
BRZEZINKA, POLAND - APRIL 15: Bunk beds in Auschwitz II-Birkenau extermination camp on December 17, 2009 in Brzezinka, Poland. Auschwitz was a network of concentration camps built and operated in occupied Poland by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was the extermination camp, designated by Heinrich Himmler, Germany's Minister of the Interior, as the locus of the 'final solution of the Jewish question in Europe'. 1.1 million people mostly Jews from allover Europe were killed in gas chambers or from systematic starvation, forced labor, disease and purported 'medical experiments'. (Photo by Vladimir Simicek/isifa/Getty Images)
BRZEZINKA, POLAND - APRIL 15: Bunk beds in Auschwitz II-Birkenau extermination camp on December 17, 2009 in Brzezinka, Poland. Auschwitz was a network of concentration camps built and operated in occupied Poland by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was the extermination camp, designated by Heinrich Himmler, Germany's Minister of the Interior, as the locus of the 'final solution of the Jewish question in Europe'. 1.1 million people mostly Jews from allover Europe were killed in gas chambers or from systematic starvation, forced labor, disease and purported 'medical experiments'. (Photo by Vladimir Simicek/isifa/Getty Images)
BRZEZINKA, POLAND - APRIL 15: Life barbed wire encloses the Auschwitz II-Birkenau extermination camp on April 15, 2014 in Brzezinka, Poland. Auschwitz was a network of concentration camps built and operated in occupied Poland by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was the extermination camp, designated by Heinrich Himmler, Germany's Minister of the Interior, as the locus of the 'final solution of the Jewish question in Europe'. 1.1 million people mostly Jews from allover Europe were killed in gas chambers or from systematic starvation, forced labor, disease and purported 'medical experiments'. (Photo by Vladimir Simicek/isifa/Getty Images)
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