(JTA) — A man suspected of being a Ukrainian Nazi with links to murders during the Warsaw Uprising has been living in Minnesota for over 50 years.
The Associated Press reported Friday that Michael Karkoc, 94, entered the United States in 1949 after lying to immigration authorities that he had performed no military service during World War II. Karkoc was seeking to conceal his role as an officer and founding member of the SS-led Ukrainian Self Defence Legion and later as an officer in the SS Galician Division.
Nazi SS files say he and his unit were involved in suppressing the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, in which the Nazis brutally suppressed a rebellion against the German occupation, AP reported. The 1944 uprising is distinct from the 1943 ghetto uprising in the same city, which was mostly Jewish.
AP said Karcok’s Nazi past was documented in records it obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request and that Karkoc now lives in a modest house in northeast Minneapolis. Even at his advanced age, he came to the door without help of a cane or a walker. He would not comment on his wartime service for Nazi Germany.
Statements from men in his unit and other documentation confirm the Ukrainian company he commanded massacred civilians in Ukraine, AP reported, and suggest that Karkoc was at the scene of these atrocities as the company leader.
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 expects 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.