Last June, at the age of 94, Reinhold Hanning was wheeled by his lawyers into a German courtroom where he was found guilty of 170,000 counts of accessory to murder for his role as a guard at Auschwitz. As we reported at the time, among his responsibilities were choosing which prisoners would work hard labor or be sent to the gas chambers. He maintained, however, that he was not assigned to the gas chambers section, according to NPR. As Tablet’s Jesse Bernstein wrote last year, “the court also heard substantial evidence that Hanning was aware of forced starvation and mass shootings, if not an active participant himself.”
At the time, according to the BBC, Reinhold had said: “”I want to say that it disturbs me deeply that I was part of such a criminal organization. I am ashamed that I saw injustice and never did anything about it and I apologize for my actions. I am very, very sorry.”
For his crimes—the judge called him a “willing and efficient henchman“; and there are a number of others still to be tried—he was sentenced to five years in prison for accessory to murder in to deaths of 170,000 people, many of them Hungarian Jews. Reinhold had appealed the judgement. He recently died, and his lawyer confirmed this on Tuesday, May 30. He never stepped foot in a jail.