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June 17, 2016 2:54 pm

Former Auschwitz Guard Convicted on 170,000 Counts of Accessory to Murder

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The entrance of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Former Auschwitz guard Reinhold Hanning was sentenced to five years in prison. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The entrance of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Former Auschwitz guard Reinhold Hanning was sentenced to five years in prison. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – A 94-year-old former Nazi SS guard has been sentenced to five years in German prison after being found guilty on more than 170,000 counts of accessory to murder for his role in the killing of 1.1 million Jews and others at the Auschwitz death camp during the Holocaust.

Reinhold Hanning’s five-year sentence is less severe than the maximum potential sentence he faced—15 years. His trial in a state court in Detmold, Germany, had lasted four months. He will remain free while appeals on his case are being heard.

During his trial in April, Hanning said, “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.”

Several Holocaust survivors had testified in Hanning’s trial, including 95-year-old Leon Schwarzbaum.

“So much fire came out of the chimneys—no smoke, just fire,” Schwarzbaum told the court, according to the Associated Press. “And that was burning people.”

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