MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The family of a 94-year-old Minneapolis man is disputing a report that he commanded a Nazi SS-led unit in World War II and lied about his wartime past in order to become a U.S. citizen.
The Associated Press reported Friday that Michael Karkoc was a top commander in the Ukrainian Self-Defense Legion, citing Karkoc’s own memoir among other evidence.
Wartime records don’t show that Karkoc had a direct hand in war crimes, though records indicate he lied about his past when immigrating to the U.S.
Late Friday, Karkoc’s son, Andriy Karkos, read a statement accusing AP of defaming Karkoc. He pointed to the portion of the AP story that said records don’t show Karkoc had a direct hand in war crimes.
“That’s the god’s honest truth,” said Karkos, who uses a different spelling for his last name. “My father was never a Nazi.”
He said the family wouldn’t comment further until it has obtained its own documents and reviewed witnesses and sources.
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