Suspected Commander of Nazi SS-led Unit Found Living in Minnesota

michael karkoc

Michael Karkoc, photographed in 1990, is suspected of leading a unit blamed for torching villages filled with women and children. Photo: Chris Polydoroff/AP

via The Guardian

AP investigation alleges Michael Karkoc lied about his role in the second world war when emigrating to the US in 1949

A commander of a Nazi SS-led unit accused of torching villages filled with women and children lied to American immigration officials to get into the US and has been living in Minnesota since shortly after the second world war, according to evidence uncovered by Associated Press.

Michael Karkoc, 94, told US authorities in 1949 that he had performed no military service during the war, concealing his work as an officer and founding member of the SS-led Ukrainian Self Defence Legion and later as an officer in the SS Galician Division, according to records obtained by AP through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The Galician Division and a Ukrainian nationalist organisation in which he served were both on a secret US government blacklist of organisations whose members were forbidden from entering the US at the time.

Though records do not show that Karkoc had a direct hand in war crimes, statements from men in his unit and other documentation confirm that the Ukrainian company he led massacred civilians, and suggest that Karkoc was at the scene of these atrocities as the company leader. SS files say he and his unit were also involved in the 1944 Warsaw uprising, in which the Nazis brutally suppressed a Polish rebellion against German occupation.

The US justice department has used lies about wartime service made in immigration papers to deport dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals. The evidence of Karkoc’s wartime activities uncovered by AP has prompted German authorities to express interest in exploring whether there is enough material to prosecute. In Germany, Nazis with “command responsibility” can be charged with war crimes even if their direct involvement in atrocities cannot be proven.

Karkoc, speaking from his home in Minneapolis, refused to discuss his wartime past, and repeated efforts to set up an interview, using his son as an intermediary, were unsuccessful.

Efraim Zuroff, the lead Nazi-hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, said that based on his decades of experience pursuing Nazi war criminals, he expected that the evidence showing Karkoc lied to American officials and that his unit carried out atrocities is strong enough for deportation and war-crimes prosecution in Germany or Poland.

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“In America this is a relatively easy case: If he was the commander of a unit that carried out atrocities, that’s a no brainer,” Zuroff said. “Even in Germany … if the guy was the commander of the unit, then even if they can’t show he personally pulled the trigger, he bears responsibility.”

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  • BuzzCoastin

    I could get worked up about this
    if Bush was in GITMO being waterboarded for his war crimes

    • echar

      Senior or JR Shrub?

      • BuzzCoastin

        they’re all the same CPU
        so any or all will do

        • echar

          How about both!

          • BuzzCoastin

            round them all up
            lock’em all in GITMO with a bunch of CIA interrogators
            and then give Fidel the base back

  • Ittabena

    No surprise really. Five will get ya ten that he is part what they used to call the ethnic division of the Republican Party. This division would be activated before each election cycle so that the the War Criminals living here in the US could get out the vote of the Germans and German Americans, in order to counter the effects of the largely Democratic voting American Jews. After each election the ethnic division would sort of fade away until the next cycle. At least that is how things worked until Richard Nixon took on the task of giving these folks a permanent home in the Republican Party. Nixon however, could not complete this task before he left office suddenly, so he passed it off to his buddy George Sr. who completed the job.

    I don’t think, without a little research, any of us can imagine the huge number of NAZI’s which were imported into this country through Operation Paperclip. But what is never mentioned is that the very few criminals that were tried for war crimes were all that were ever intended to stand trial. Simon Wiesenthal just wouldn’t quit and has forced legal action from time to time. No one is really looking for them, or anxious to prosecute. When something like this happens it is because someone has taken some initiative on his own.

    Now think about how the Republican Party has been acting lately. Is it possible we are seeing the fallout from the influence of Hitler’s Germany moving to America? And don’t forget that after the WWII South America was Rockefeller’s own little playground for decades.

    • echar

      That’s all very interesting.

    • The Well Dressed Man

      Pretty gonzo analysis but it just might hold water. With demographics going the way they are, do you think these cryptofascists would have a viable strategy to maintain a grip on the GOP without destroying it?

      • Ittabena

        I did read today that we actually tried 209,000 war criminals, the Russians, 17,000. Now this is not to say that all of these were convicted, that number was left out.

        I think this is one strategy of about a thousand. If you look at the research and work of Greg Palast and RFK Jr. you will know that voter fraud is another tool.

        But taking it a bit further, I think much of what we have read here lately has made me believe that the GOP and the Dems have themselves lost control of the system they sought to dominate, and are now serving at it’s mercy as well.

        I think today it is the bankers and the international corporations who have control of the globe and everyone else will do their bidding or no longer play the game at all.

        Dietrich Bonhoeffer once told his wife that “A dictatorship is like a snake. If you step on it’s tail, as you do, it will just bite you. You must strike at the head.”

        I think we have been monitoring the body and the tail of the snake when we should have been identifying the head. Fractional Reserve Banking is an ancient form of legalized theft. But we also have No Reserve Banking in the form of our Central Banks, including the Federal Reserve Bank, and that has taken the theft to a new level since money can be created out of thin air then this imaginary money can be used to leverage whole governments to their knees.

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