|BERLIN — A 96-year-old former Auschwitz death camp guard who was convicted as an accessory to murder is fit
to go to prison, German prosecutors said Wednesday. His lawyer said he will contest their decision.
Oskar Groening was convicted in July 2015 of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews and sentenced to four
years in prison. In November, a federal court rejected his appeal.
Groening has remained free pending the appeal and a decision on his fitness for prison. On Wednesday, Kathrin Soefker, a
spokeswoman for prosecutors in Hannover, told the news agency dpa they have rejected a defense application for a reprieve
on serving the sentence.
Railway tracks lead to the infamous 'Death Gate' at the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. A network of
concentration camps built and operated in occupied Poland by Nazi Germany during the Second World War, Auschwitz I
and the nearby Auschwitz II-Birkenau extermination camp were where an estimated 1.1 million people, mostly Jews from
across Europe, were killed. In 2015, 70 years after the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet soldiers, survivors of one of the
darkest chapters in history recounted their ordeals. Their stories follow:
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She said a doctor considers Groening fit to go to prison so long as there is appropriate medical care. There has been no
formal summons yet for him to start serving his sentence.
Groening's lawyer, Hans Holtermann, said he would ask a court in Lueneburg to review the decision. If it deems Groening fit
to serve time, he added, an appeal to a higher court would be possible.
Holtermann said he doesn't consider Groening fit to go to prison, and said the doctor hadn't physically examined his client.