A Minnesota Nazi commander who has been implicated in the massacre of women and children and the “liquidation” of entire communities has been discovered living in Minneapolis and may now face deportation, The Associated Press reported via CBSNews on June 14.
The former top commander of a Nazi SS unit was discovered living in Minneapolis after an AP investigation.
The so-called Minnesota Nazi, Michael Karkoc, who is now 94, fled to the United States in 1949 and was granted entry by lying, even though the SS Galician Division and a Ukrainian nationalist organization he served in were both on a secret American government blacklist of organizations whose members were forbidden from entering the United States at the time.
Karkoc had told American authorities that he had performed no military service during World War II and he was allowed to move to the United States.
In fact, Karkoc was an officer and founding member of the SS-led Ukrainian Self Defense Legion and later was an officer in the SS Galician Division.
According to the AP, records show that Karkoc didn’t directly commit war crimes during the Nazi regime. But the Ukrainian company he commanded did massacre civilians, and Karkoc was at the scene of these atrocities as the company leader, records show. Nazi 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.
Now living in Minnesota, the former Nazi could be deported to Germany for his role in the war crimes. German prosecutors are required to open an investigation if there is enough “initial suspicion” of possible involvement in war crimes.
Polish prosecutors announced Friday after the release of the AP investigation that they will investigate the Minnesota Nazi and provide “every possible assistance” to the U.S. Department of Justice, which has used lies in immigration papers to deport dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals, the Huffington Post reported.
But it’s unlikely that Karkoc would be tried in his native Ukraine because men in his position are largely seen as national heroes who fought for the country against the Soviet Union, the AP said.
Despite his lies to American authorities, it wasn’t a secret that the Minnesota Nazi had a role in war crimes. Amazingly, Karkoc actually published a memoir about his experiences. The book, published in a Ukrainian-language, is even available at the U.S. Library of Congress and the British Library.