He worked as an accountant at Auschwitz, sorting and counting the money taken from those killed or used as slave labour, and shipping it back to his Nazi superiors in Berlin. He was also on several occasions assigned to process deportees as they arrived at the Nazi German death camp in occupied Poland.
Gröning was found guilty in July 2015 of being an accessory to the murders of 300,000 people at the camp and sentenced to four years in prison. Germany’s constitutional court ruled in late December that he must serve out his sentence, rejecting his defenders’ argument that imprisonment at such an advanced age would violate his “right to life”.
A court doctor determined that he was able to serve his sentence on condition that he was given appropriate nursing and medical care, but he was never jailed. As of the time of his death at a German hospital on Friday, according to the weekly Der Spiegel, there had been no response to a formal “request for mercy” filed in January in a last-ditch bid to avoid jail.