This week, a court in the northern German city of Lueneburg announced that 93-year old former Auschwitz guard Oskar Groening, who in September was charged with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder, will be put on trial in the coming year.
The charges are related to a specific two-month period at the end of the war, between May and July 1944, when an estimated 137 trains arrived at the camp carrying 425,000 people, nearly 300,000 of whom were killed almost immediately upon arrival. Groening was a guard at the camp from 1942 through 1944.
Prosecutors say that in addition to facilitating the systematic killing at the concentration camp, Groening helped the Nazi regime benefit financially by organizing stolen property from victims.
Groening has spoken about his time as a guard at the camp, although he has maintained that he didn’t commit any crimes. In September, the court said Groening was well aware of his role in these murders: “The accused knew that, as part of the selection process, those not chosen for work and told they were going to the showers were really going to the gas chambers where they would be put to death in an agonizing manner.”