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Oskar Gröning: ‘Bookkeeper of Auschwitz’ dies at 96

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The former Nazi guard said he felt "moral guilt" for his actions at Auschwitz – but never served a day of his sentence

A former Nazi SS guard who was known as the "Bookkeeper of Auschwitz" has died aged 96, German media report.

In 2015 Oskar Gröning was sentenced to four years' imprisonment, but never began his prison sentence due to a series of appeals.

He died in a hospital on Friday, according to Spiegel Online.

The pensioner was convicted of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews at the camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

His job at Auschwitz was to itemise money and valuables taken from new arrivals, who were then killed or subjected to slave labour.

Though a court doctor found that he was fit for prison with appropriate medical supervision, his jail term was repeatedly delayed by ill-health and requests for clemency.

  • Convicted Auschwitz guard asks for mercy
  • Profile: Oskar Gröning, 'bookkeeper of Auschwitz'
  • Auschwitz inmate's notes from hell finally revealed

The former Nazi officer began work at Auschwitz at the age of 21. During his trial, he said he had witnessed mass killings, but denied any direct role in the genocide.

Addressing the judges, he said: "I ask for forgiveness. I share morally in the guilt – but whether I am guilty under criminal law, you will have to decide."

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Media captionAuschwitz: Drone footage from Nazi concentration camp

He was convicted although there was no evidence linking him to specific killings.

Presiding Judge Franz Kompisch said Gröning was part of the "machinery of death" that helped the camp function smoothly.

Gröning's trial was considered a landmark case for Germany, where many former SS officers have walked free because there was no evidence linking them to individual deaths.

German broadcaster DW says Gröning will probably prove the last Nazi war criminal to have faced trial.

Fewer than 50 of the estimated 6,500 Auschwitz guards who survived the war were ever convicted.

Dr Efraim Zuroff, chief Nazi-hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center – a Holocaust research group – said Gröning's death was "unfortunate, at least on a symbolic level".

"Without at least symbolic justice, these trials – as important as they are – lose an important part of their significance," he said.

"Their victims never had any appeals, nor did their tormentors have any mercy. Consequently these perpetrators don't deserve either."

  • Convicted SS guard Hanning dies before prison
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  • The Holocaust: Who are the missing million?

From bank clerk to Nazi

Gröning was born in 1921 in Lower Saxony in Germany, and his mother died when he was four.

His father was a proud nationalist, angry about the way Germany was treated under the peace settlement signed after World War One. That resentment increased when his textile business went bankrupt in 1929.

Gröning joined the Hitler Youth, and at 17 began training as a bank clerk. When war broke out, he wanted to follow in his grandfathers' footsteps and join an "elite" German army unit.

He signed up to the Waffen SS and arrived in Auschwitz in 1942.

Image copyright AFP/Business-Powers.com
Image caption It is estimated that 1.1 million people, most of them European Jews, died at Auschwitz

When the war was over, Gröning slipped into a quiet life in Lüneburg Heath, Lower Saxony, where he worked in a glass-making factory.

Decades later, when he heard people denying the Holocaust had ever happened, he was moved to break his silence. He was one of very few former concentration camp guards to do so.

"I saw the gas chambers. I saw the crematoria," he told the BBC in the 2005 documentary Auschwitz: the Nazis and the "Final Solution".

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Ella Mai Sizzles With Red-Hot Debut BET Awards Performance Of ‘Boo’d Up’

Ella Mai graced the BET Awards stage for the very first time for an incredible performance of her hit ‘Boo’d Up.’ The singer proved why she’s one of the biggest rising artists in the industry!

Ella Mai made quite the impression during her first-ever BET Awards performance at the 2018 show. The singer hit the stage towards the end of the ceremony to sing her hit “Boo’d Up.” Ella was calm, cool, and collected during the performance. She made the performance look absolutely effortless. Nicki Minaj, Janelle Monae, and more graced the stage during the show for fierce performance, and Ella held her own when it was her turn. Slay, girl, slay! After that performance, it’s clear we’re going to be seeing a whole lot more of the British singer in the months and years to come. Ella revealed on the BET Awards red carpet that this was her very first awards show! What a way to kick off her first awards ceremony!

Just two days before the BET Awards, Ella took the stage at BET Experience in Los Angeles. She brought out Ty Dolla $ign to perform their epic collab “She Don’t” and then performed her hit song, “Boo’d Up.” At the concert, she told fans, “I grew up watching BET my whole life, so it’s crazy to be here,” according to Billboard.

Boo'd Up For The Win! #BETAwards https://t.co/jPI1XQw075

— #BETAwards (@BETAwards) June 25, 2018

Ella is only 23 years old, but she’s already making quite the name for herself. She released her first EP, Time, in Feb. 2016, followed by Change and Ready. She toured with Kehlani on the SweetSexySavage World Tour. Ella most recently dropped the music video for “Boo’d Up” in April 2018. The song hit number six on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, making Ella one of the hottest artists to watch. “Boo’d Up” recently went platinum! Congrats, girl!

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Waffle House Hero & Others Honored At BET Awards With Humanitarian Honors By John Legend

Something incredible happened at the 2018 BET Awards: not one, but SIX people won the coveted Humanitarian Hero Award! Find out more about the incredible people honored this year.

This has been a year full of hate, prejudice, mass shootings, and indescribable horrors faced by citizens and migrants alike. But it the middle of that, we’ve seen the good people, the heroes, come forward to do something above and beyond for their community. At the 2018 BET Awards, six of those people were honored with the Humanitarian Award because of that! Maybe even better? John Legend praised them and handed them their trophies! This is how BET determined who should receive the honor, per a statement from the network:
“This year, the Network will recognize six individuals who have done extraordinary things in some of the most disheartening of situations. The intention is to remind everyone that you don’t have to be a celebrity to give back and support others in need; we all have the opportunity to make a difference for the betterment of humankind…The bravery and strength of the highlighted 2018 honorees is truly exceptional,” said the network.

The BET Awards Humanitarian Heroes are: James Shaw Jr., also known as the Waffle House Hero. He disarmed a man who went on a shooting spree in the restaurant, saving countless lives and getting injured in the process. Naomi Wadler is just 11 years old. She gave a rousing speech at the March For Our Lives asking people to save kids like her from gun violence. Justin Blackman was the only student to leave his high school on National Student Walk Out Day.

Then, there was Anthony Borges, who survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and saved his classmates, as well. This bonafide superhero threw his body in the line of fire and was shot five times. Mamoudou Gassama recently went viral when pedestrians caught him scaling the side of a high-rise in France to save the a 4-year-old dangling from a balcony. He made it up there in record time and the toddler was totally unharmed. No wonder people are comparing him to Spider-Man! And Shaun King — a remarkable journalist who’s dedicated his life to untold stories in the black community.

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Janelle Monáe Brings Defines Black Girl Magic At BETs With ‘Django Jane’ Performance

That’s just the way she makes us feel! Janelle Monáe just gave an amazing performance at the BET Awards!

Janelle Monáe absolutely just slayed the BET Awards stage! With her empowering performance of “Django Jane,” Janelle was the definition of black girl magic! Surrounded by dancers clad in red and black track suits, and Janelle in her own checkered look and a hat, the crew danced all together as she rapped her latest single. Then, they ended with the statement “Let the vagina have a monologue,” before going into her anthem “I Like That.” She had whole audience singing and clapping along, she and her dancers sat on the stairs and bounced along to the beat. Janelle is seriously SO talented.

The singer had us feeling so much pride during her red carpet walk, when she wore a Nicolas Jebran gown! The dress paired a crystallized corset with a rainbow tulle skirt that was perfect to celebrate today’s pride parades! Janelle recently dropped her alter ego Cindi Mayweather, a heroic android who she often referred to when commenting on political and cultural issues, and who even had her own signature color palette. Janelle discussed her alter-ego in the visuals for her concept album Dirty Computer, which features the hit “PYNK.” She recently revealed to Rolling Stone that she created Cindi out of a place of insecurity. “It had to do with the fear of being judged,” she told the outlet. “All I saw was that I was supposed to look a certain way coming into this industry, and I felt like I [didn’t] look like a stereotypical black female artist.” While she has stripped herself of her android alter-ego, she admitted to RS, “What if people don’t think I’m as interesting as Cindi Mayweather? I created her, so I got to make her be whatever I wanted her to be. I didn’t have to talk about the Janelle Monáe who was in therapy. It’s Cindi Mayweather. She is who I aspire to be.”

Well, we think the work this CoverGirl model, CEO of her own label, Oscar-nominated actress and top-charting singer is doing… speaks for itself!

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Meek Mill Honors XXXTentacion At BET Awards By Wearing A Hoodie With Slain Rapper’s Face

While performing at the BET Awards, Meek Mill honored the slain rapper by wearing a hoodie bearing XXXTentacion’s image. Jamie Foxx also mourned, saying that black men dying in the street is unacceptable.

Less than a week after XXXTentacion was gunned down, Meek Mill, 31, made sure to honor the slain 20-year-old rapper at the BET Awards. Meek, who made his first post-prison award show appearance during the June 24 broad, debuted a new song detailing the struggles of black people in America — specifically how black men and women are disproportionately imprisoned. That alone would make Meek’s performance noteworthy, but as he rapped about the struggles, fans saw that he wore a hoodie bearing XXXtentacion’s face. Without saying a word, Meek paid tribute to the young rapper, whose life was cut short.

Later in the show, host Jamie Foxx also weighed in on XXXTentacion’s death after he was featured in In Memoriam segment, saying that people shouldn’t get desensitized to the fact that a 20-year-old black man was gunned down. “We don’t even trip anymore. We don’t even adjust our satellite just a bit…If you can in your music, if you can in your entertainment, sneak a message in there…We all have to figure out a way to not get used to [this],” Jamie said, after telling the audience that “no matter where you start, you have an opportunity to change.”

XXXTentaction, born Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, was shot and killed on June 18 outside Riva Motorsport in Deerfield Beach, Florida. He was leaving the motorcycle dealership in his BMW when allegedly, two men approached him and “demanded property.” After a struggle, Onfroy was shot in the neck. He was rushed to the hospital, but it was too late. He was pronounced dead at 5:30 PM ET, less than two hours after the alleged incident. Authorities arrested Dedrick D. Williams, 22, and charged him with murder. There are reportedly warrants out for three more suspects involved in Onfroy’s murder.

Shortly after the news of his death broke, tributes from XXXtentacion’s fellow hip-hop stars came pouring in. “rest in peace,” Kanye West tweeted, while including a picture of Onfroy. “I never told you how much you inspired me when you were here thank you for existing.” “This got me f*cked up,” J. Cole tweeted. “RIP X. Enormous talent and limitless potential and a strong desire to be a better person. God bless his family, friends and fans.” R.I.P @xxxtentacion,” Jidenna tweeted. “No one can be so self-righteous that they are happy when a youth dies. The young still have the capability to reform. God bless the kids. #xxxtentacion.”

Ok but this xxxtentacion hoodie Meek Mill has on… HE WON TONIGHT! #BETAwards pic.twitter.com/UFy0Q4PuGo

— Ya fav 🌹 (@amourmaddii) June 25, 2018

“No matter where you start you have an opportunity to change” — Jamie Foxx on @xxxtentacion #BETAwards

— Gerrick D. Kennedy (@GerrickKennedy) June 25, 2018

Jidenna caught flak for his support, as he seemed to be uplifting XXXTentacion, a rapper who once said he almost killed a cellmate at a juvenile detention center because he was “looking at me” and XXX “thought he was gay,” according to the Daily Beast. In addition to the homophobia, XXXTentacion has been accused of domestic violence. In 2016, he was arrested with aggravated assault and battery and false imprisonment of his then pregnant girlfriend, Geneva Ayala. In October 2016, he allegedly assaulted Geneva for fifteen minutes straight, according to a Miami New Times report about his violent history. He allegedly punched, slapped, elbowed, strangled, and head-butted Geneva in a jealous rage. When she begged onlookers to take her to the hospital, XXXTentaction allegedly forbade it and held her against her will for two days. She escaped on Oct. 8, 2016 and he was arrested shortly afterward. XXXTentacion was awaiting trial over these charges at the time of his death.

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Jamie Foxx Gets Trolled Online As BET’s ‘Most Cringeworthy Host Ever’ — Tweets

The internet is in the midst of a Jamie Foxx roast after his ‘questionable’ and ‘cringeworthy’ hosting gig at the BET Awards on June 24! Check out the fiery responses from fans who think he should ‘stick to singing’!

Jamie Foxx, 50, may not be getting any calls about hosting gigs after his performance at the 2018 BET Awards on June 24! He put his comedic skills to the test when he attempted to pull off multiple skits, including the remake of Black Panther Black Panther 2.5. Foxx spoofed the film, poking fun at his “ugly as f–k” appearance as “Wa Wanda.” But, he definitely came up short. “What is wrong with Jamie foxx and these horrible skits? #BETawards disrespecting Black Panther like this,” one angry Twitter user wrote.

Another non-fan went off on this rant: “THIS WAS THE WORRRSSSTTT #BETAwards EVERR!! JAMIE FOXX IS AWKWARD AND A DULL HOST!! THE CROWD WAS DEAD AS HELL! NO ONE LOOKED ENTERTAINED ON THAT CROWD!!!” The singer even went off-script by bringing certain stars up on stage without any prior knowledge. Between pulling Donald Glover on-stage to do some “This is America” and then having Michael B. Jordan do his infamous Black Panther ending-film line, Foxx just made things plain awkward.

However, Foxx definitely redeemed himself when he took the stage to kick off Anita Baker’s tribute where he performed a few of her greatest hits. “Jamie Foxx the singer>>>> Jamie Foxx the host,” one fan tweeted. And, there were more tweets about his amazing performance that attempted to shadow the hate tweets.

THIS WAS THE WORRRSSSTTT #BETAwards EVERR!! JAMIE FOXX IS AWKWARD AND A DULL HOST!! THE CROWD WAS DEAD AS HELL! NO ONE LOOKED ENTERTAINED ON THAT CROWD!!! THE PRE-SHOW WAS PURE GHETTO AS HELL!! THANK GOD NICKI MINAJ WAS THERE BCUZ EVERYONE WAS DRY LIKE REMY PUSSY!!#NICKIMINAJXBET pic.twitter.com/Ti43bAJG1c

— rabbigracias (@rabbigracias) June 25, 2018

Bruh, @IAmJamieFoxx brought Wanda to Wakanda 😂 Crying real tears rn. #BETAwards pic.twitter.com/imvyLsCHGH

— #BETAwards (@BETAwards) June 25, 2018

Foxx wasn’t the only viral meme of the night. Yolanda Adams, 56, went viral during Migos’ performance at the BET Awards. The internet completely lost it when BET cameras caught Yolanda rapping “Stir Fry” from her seat. “I’m weak at Yolanda Adams knowing the words to stir fry,” one fan wrote in disbelief. “My fav part so far is Yolanda Adams getting it to Migos!” another fan tweeted.

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