A Canadian survivor of a Nazi death camp says the detailed confession from a former bookkeeper will make it more difficult for Holocaust deniers to spread their version of Second World War events.
Oskar Groening, the former bookkeeper, was sentenced last week in a German court to four years in prison after he was found guilty of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews at Auschwitz.
During the trial, Mr. Groenig admitted to feeling "moral guilt" for his role.
"The fact that he was found guilty was, to me, a very satisfactory outcome," said Bill Glied, the Canadian survivor of Auschwitz who testified in Germany at the trial of Mr. Groening.
"Holocaust deniers will no longer be able to deny it after all, as a Nazi SS officer has said that what has happened is true – which is proof enough that the Holocaust actually existed."
Mr. Glied was 13 when he arrived in at the camp in May, 1944, with his family. He was the only one who survived.
At least 1.1 million prisoners died at Auschwitz in German-occupied Poland, around 90 per cent of them Jewish.
"So, as far as the jail sentence, I couldn't care less and I still don't care. The important part is that he was found guilty," said Mr. Glied, who works with March of the Living, a group dedicated to remembering those who perished, while also paying tribute to those who survived and making sure the events of more than 70 years ago are not forgotten.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center's head Nazi hunter, Efraim Zuroff, also praised the verdict.
"This verdict was critical, because this is the first case brought where the prosecution charged a person who wasn't involved in the physical side of mass murder," he said in an interview last week with The Associated Press.
Evidence presented at the trial indicated Mr. Groening, now 94, was part of the "machinery of death." He was called "the accountant of Auschwitz" by presiding Judge Franz Kompisch.
Mr. Groening's defence team filed an appeal of the court ruling Monday on the basis of the time it took for his case to go to trial.
He remains out of jail until the appeal is heard.
Evidence presented at the trial indicated he was the "bookkeeper" who also performed "ramp duty" at Auschwitz.
The bookkeeper was the person who kept track of the money and valuables taken from the Jews and others on their arrival. Ramp duty meant he had a role in determining the fate of the prisoners, including whether they were sent to the gas chamber.
"[The trial] will be valuable for the future of Holocaust education (because) a court in Germany has heard testimony from an SS sergeant admitting to what went on at Auschwitz," agreed Alana Saxe, director of Toronto's March of the Living. "This testimony quashes any denial of the Holocaust."
With files from The Associated Press