MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An Associated Press investigation revealed Friday that a resident of Northeast Minneapolis was once a commander for a Nazi-led unit during World War II.
According to the AP, 94-year-old Michael Karkoc entered the U.S. by lying to American authorities. The AP obtained records through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Associated Press reporter David Rising talked with WCCO Radio from Berlin, Germany Friday morning. Rising identified Korkoc as a company leader in the Ukranian military that committed war crimes in association with the German SS in eastern Europe.
Rising said his investigations had been going on for a number of months. He has specifically been tracking the prosecution of Nazi war criminals for about a decade.
Karkoc came to the U.S. in 1949.
“When he was in a displaced persons camp in Germany at the end of the war, he was questioned by American officials. And he was asked specifically if he’d performed any military service before World War II or during World War II, and he said no,” Rising explained.
Rising explained that Karkoc published his memoirs in 1995, published in the Ukrainian language. In the memoirs, he explained that he had a leadership role in the SS-led Ukrainian Self Defense Legion.
“This is a unit that he actually helped found, in conjunction with the Nazi SS, ostensibly to fight against the Soviet Union,” Rising said. “His unit was involved in attacks on anti-partisan movements in Poland and the Ukraine, and also in reprisal attacks on Polish villages and Ukrainian villages as well.”
Rising said there’s no way to prosecute someone in America for Nazi war crimes, however there have been dozens of cases where alleged Nazi war criminals have been denaturalized and deported. However, the alleged case against Karkoc is still in question.
“We didn’t come up with anything that links him specifically to a specific massacre,” Rising said. “We do know, from the documentation, that he was a lieutenant in command of a company that carried out several massacres. … In his memoirs, he puts himself at the scene of those events at those times, although he doesn’t talk about the massacres obviously in his own book.”
Rising said German prosecutors have indicated interest in receiving more information about the case.