The Associated Press is reporting today that a top commander of a Nazi SS-led unit accused of burning villages filled with women and children, lied to American immigration officials to get into the United States and has been living in a modest house in northeast Minneapolis, in an area with a significant Ukrainian population, since shortly after World War II. According to AP, Michael Karkoc, 94, told American authorities in 1949 that he had performed no military service during World War II, concealing his work as an officer and founding member of the SS-led Ukrainian Self Defense Legion and later as an officer in the SS Galician Division. The division that Karkoc reportedly commanded, was responsible for “liquidating” the inhabitants of the village of Chlaniow. The group has also been tied to a massacre in Pidhaitsi, on the outskirts of Lutsk, in which 21 people were killed. Additional crimes are still being investigated.
When the Associated Press attempted to question the man, he responded, “I don’t think I can explain” and offered no more comments.
German authorities have begun an investigation in an attempt to determine if enough evidence can be gathered to prosecute Karkoc.