Connect with us


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."

Media playback is unsupported on your device
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
  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz – and his secret love
  • 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/Getty Images
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".

Continue Reading


Pioneering US ballet dancer Arthur Mitchell dies at 84

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mitchell was the first black ballet dancer to achieve international stardom

Arthur Mitchell, one of the first black ballet dancers, has died in New York City at the age of 84.

The pioneering African-American dancer rose from a childhood in Harlem to perform leading roles under renowned choreographer George Balanchine.

He was one of the most popular dancers with the New York City ballet in the 50s and 60s and was the first black dancer to gain international stardom.

Mitchell said his greatest achievement was bringing black people into ballet.

In 1969 he co-founded the Dance Theatre of Harlem, which was the first major classical ballet company in America to prioritise black dancers.

  • Why don't they make shoes for black ballet dancers?
  • Video: Ballet hoping to help heal Charleston's wounds

His earlier pairing with the white prima ballerina Diana Adams in 1957 caused a major stir in a country which was, at the time, riven by segregation.

In an interview earlier this year Mitchell, who lived in Manhattan, spoke of the early hostile reactions he had received from audiences before his talent ultimately won them over, leading to regular standing ovations.

"I danced myself into their hearts," he said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mitchell (R) introduces his dancers for a performance at the White House in 2006

However he also pointed out that there was still just a tiny number of African-American ballerinas, commenting: "There's still work to be done."

Mitchell's niece, Juli Mills-Ross, said his death had been caused by complications leading to heart failure.

The current director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Anna Glass, hailed Mitchell as a true visionary.

The theatre later paid tribute to the popular dancer in a tweet, saying that his legacy would live on.

Image Copyright @DTHballet @DTHballet Report
Twitter post by @DTHballet: It’s with the deepest sadness we share the news that our founding artistic director, the great, Arthur Mitchell has passed away. His legacy of passion, power, and perfection will live on through each and every person he’s touched in his lifetime. We love you and we honor you! Image Copyright @DTHballet @DTHballet Report

Continue Reading


‘America’s Got Talent’ Finale Recap: [SPOILER] Wins Season 13

View Gallery View Gallery 19 Photos.

A winner has been crowned. ‘America’s Got Talent’ announced its season 13 champion on the Sept. 19 episode. Who won ‘AGT’ season 13? Find out now!

After weeks and weeks of performances, only 10 finalists have made it this far. Courtney Hadwin, Shin Lim, Michael Ketterer, Vicki Barbolak, Samuel J. Comroe, Glennis Grace, Daniel Emmet, Brian King Joseph,Zurcaroh, Zurcaroh, and Duo Transcend are all still in the running to become the America’s Got Talent season 13 winner. The Sept. 19 finale will feature special performances and guests.

Legendary rock band KISS opens the show with an incredible performance. Now that’s how you kick off a finale! The band performed an electric rendition of their hit “Detroit Rock City” on the AGT stage. The next performance is from none other than Glennis Grace and Bebe Rexha! The fierce ladies team up for an amazing rendition of Bebe’s song with Florida Georgia Line, “Meant To Be.” The show takes a little segue by allowing Mel B to try her hand at jokes, and it is pretty funny.

Courtney hits the stage with The Struts to perform a fiery rendition of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart.” Daniel then sings a gorgeous song with opera legend Placido Domingo. Comedian Vicki and David Spade team up for a hilarious comedy session together. Yes, she totally brings up his hit movie Joe Dirt!

Earlier in the season, Simon asked country legend Garth Brooks to write Michael a song. Garth didn’t disappoint. He bestows Michael with an amazing song that’s perfect for the finale. Michael’s voice and performance are breathtaking. Garth must be so proud! Simon Cowell, who gave Michael his Golden Buzzer, tells Michael that he is “amazing.” That’s high praise from Simon! Shin Lim takes the stage to wow us with some more major, and he’s accompanied by Tyra Banks and American Ninja Warrior’s Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila.

Brian and Lindsey Stirling unite with their violins and give us the duet we’ve been waiting for. During their performance, Duo Transcend wows us with more acrobatic movies. Suddenly, the members of Zurcaroh are on stage and leave our jaws on the floor with their powerful moves.

Now it’s time to narrow it down to the top 5 finalists. Zurcaroh, Brian King Joseph, Shin Lim, Samuel J. Comroe, and Michael Ketterer are still in the running, which means Duo Transcend, Glennis Grace, Daniel Emmet, Vicki Barbolak, and Courtney Hadwin are out. Michael is eliminated next, finishing in fifth place. When Tyra calls his name out, everyone is absolutely stunned. He’s always been a frontrunner! Simon is noticeably bummed, but he’s vowed to “continue” their relationship after AGT ends.

It’s down to Samuel J. Comroe, Brian King Joseph, Zurcaroh, and Shin Lim. Samuel comes in fourth place, while Brian comes in third place. Zurcaroh and Shin Lim are your final two! So, who wins? SHIN LIM!

Continue Reading


‘AGT’: Michael Ketterer Eliminated In 5th Place & Viewers Are Totally Baffled

Despite being a fan favorite all season long, Michael Ketterer was shockingly eliminated in 5th place during the ‘AGT’ finale — and viewers could NOT believe it.

Michael Ketterer was a favorite to win season 13 of America’s Got Talent, so fans were left completely shook when Tyra Banks announced he came in FIFTH place during the finale on Sept. 19! Even Michael himself looked stunned when Tyra said his name, and the crowd collectively began booooing when they came to terms with what was happening. Michael has wowed viewers week after week with his emotional and powerful singing performances, and he killed it during part one of the finale on Sept. 18.

“Wait. Hold up. If you’re telling me America voted Michael freaking Ketterer 5th then I’m telling you that something is wrong,” one person wrote on Twitter. “And you need to check again bc wtf no he’s your winner.” Yep, not only did fans think that Michael would make it higher than 5th place…but most were convinced that he was the frontrunner to WIN!! “Michael Ketterer got robbed!” another fan added. The consensus overall was definitely confusion and anger over this vote!

Michael was Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer pick during the AGT auditions, and later on in the season, Simon did the singer another solid — he urged Garth Brooks to write a song for him! Garth listened, and penned a track that Michael sang earlier in the episode.

Literally walked out of the living room and stopped watching AGT when they announced Michael Ketterer as 5th place. He should have WON.

— bease (@mbease_) September 20, 2018

Really, Michael Ketterer off AGT, he will prevail, he stands for a much holier cause and that is truly success on earth!

— Shari Cruz (@ShariCruz) September 20, 2018

This elimination clearly isn’t the end for Michael’s journey, though. Garth has already invited him to perform at his Notre Dame show in front of nearly 100,000 fans next month. Plus, with Simon’s support, the possibilities are endless for this rising star!

Continue Reading


Storm Ali: Clean-up begins after severe winds lash UK

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionA woman died when the caravan she was in was blown off a cliff, a cruise ship broke free of its moorings and a man was killed by a falling tree

A huge clean-up operation is under way after Storm Ali battered parts of the UK with winds of up to 100mph.

Two people died, thousands of homes were without power and lorries overturned during the severe winds.

In Scotland, efforts are continuing through the night to clear railway lines and in Northern Ireland engineers are working to restore energy supplies.

A yellow warning for wind for parts of England and Wales is in force from 18:00 BST on Thursday.

The Met Office said gusts of up to 65mph were possible in some places, as strong winds were likely to develop cross parts of Wales and south west England during Thursday evening.

A yellow warning for rain is in place until 22:00 for northern England and Wales.

Ali is the UK's first named storm of the season.

  • Ali, Idris, Lily: Why do storms have names?
  • A history of UK named storms
  • Scotland cleans up after storm

Train operators including ScotRail, LNER and Virgin Trains have warned of possible disruption on Thursday morning in the aftermath of Storm Ali.

Virgin Trains said delays, alterations and cancellations on services from Edinburgh and Glasgow to London Euston were expected because of damage to overhead lines.

LNER said "multiple trees" had been blown onto the railway, resulting in disruption for trains travelling in north east England and into Scotland.

NIE Networks in Northern Ireland said its engineers were working through the night to restore energy supplies.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Fallen trees like this one in Belfast caused disruption

On Wednesday, a woman died after the caravan she was in was blown off a cliff in the Irish Republic.

It is understood the woman who was killed in County Galway was a tourist in her 50s who had been staying at a campsite in Claddaghduff.

A man in his 20s was killed and another in his 40s was injured, after a tree fell on them at the gates of Slieve Gullion Forest Park, near Newry, County Armagh.

The men were working on behalf of Northern Ireland Water.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption People in Blackpool brave the winds

One person was injured after being blown over by high winds outside the new V&A Dundee museum, which was later closed.

Five hundred cruise passengers and crew were stranded in Greenock after severe weather broke their ship's mooring lines. Tugs were called in to assist the Nautica.

A 102mph gust was recorded on the Tay Road Bridge between Dundee and Fife at 15:00.

Have you been affected by Storm Ali? Share your pictures, video and experiences by emailing

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

  • WhatsApp: +447555 173285
  • Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay
  • Send pictures/video to
  • Upload your pictures/video here
  • Send an SMS or MMS to 61124 or +44 7624 800 100
  • Please read our terms and conditions and privacy policy

Or use the form below

Your contact details Name (optional) Your E-mail address (required) Town & Country (optional) Your telephone number (optional) Comments (required)

If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.

Terms and conditions

The BBC's Privacy Policy

Continue Reading


Anwar Hadid & Kendall Jenner: His Romantic Plans To Take Relationship To Next Level In Italy

Anwar Hadid has a plan to woo Kendall Jenner during Milan Fashion Week, HollywoodLife has EXCLUSIVELY learned. Read what’s on the romancing agenda of Gigi’s brother, here!

Anwar Hadid, 19, touched down in Milan on Sept. 19. But he’s looking forward to more than Milan Fashion Week, which runs from Sept. 19 to 25. Kendall Jenner, 22 — whom he reportedly made out with on Sept. 5 — is also in town! And she’s already made lunch plans with Anwar’s sisters Gigi, 23, and Bella, 21, as she was photographed grabbing a bite with the models in Milan on the same day Anwar arrived. He better step up his game if he wants to see Kendall, who’s already walked at Alberta Ferretti’s runway show today! Good thing Anwar has a plan, we’ve learned. “Anwar is extra excited about being in Milan for Fashion Week because he’s going to be seeing Kendall while he’s there, he’s really looking forward to it,” a friend of Anwar’s EXCLUSIVELY shares with HollywoodLife. “They’ll both be busy with work, but he’s very hopeful that they’ll get some one on one time together.”

And by “one on one time together,” Anwar means he wants to play tour guide for Kendall. Hey, get your mind out of the gutter! “Anwar knows Milan well and is planning to take Kendall to all his favorite spots,” the model’s friend continues. “Right now things between them are still super casual, but he’s hoping that he’ll be able to romance her in Italy and take things to the next level.” The two models may be in the casual stage, but they’re certainly not short on passion! Kendall was photographed in Anwar’s lap and snogging at a CFDA Awards after-party in New York on June 4. They reportedly followed that make out session with another, as they were “furiously locking lips” at Cipriani Downtown in SoHo on Sept. 5, according to Page Six. And they’ve had plenty of more hangouts together, dining at Nobu on Sept. 2, celebrating Labor Day together on Sept. 3, and kicking back at Cipriani Downtown, again, on Sept. 8. But don’t count these as dates. Anwar’s sisters tagged along on all these outings!

“He’s not going to put any pressure or expectations on her though, he knows the best move when it comes to Kendall is to let her take the lead,” Anwar’s friend continues. Good call! Kendall doesn’t like the situation to get out of hand, which is why she broke up with NBA player Ben Simmons, 22. “Kendall is the one that pumped the breaks on things with her and Ben and it all comes down to her being afraid of getting hurt, or worse, him breaking her heart,” a source close to Kendall EXCLUSIVELY shared with us on Sept. 6. “She started to really like him and that brought up a lot of fears for her.”

Continue Reading