Posted at: 06/14/2013 6:04 AM
Updated at: 06/14/2013 1:50 PM
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The news that the former commander of a Nazi SS-led military unit has been living in Minneapolis for decades is an especially startling revelation for people who lived through Nazi persecution.
Many such people still live in Minnesota, where 94-year-old Michael Karkoc has lived a quiet life in the decades since he served in the Ukrainian Self-Defense Legion. An AP investigation found that Karkoc lied about his military background when immigrating to the United States.
88-year-old Sam Rafowitz of Minnetonka was 15 when he was taken from his native Warsaw and spent four years in concentration camps. Rafowitz said he believes Karkoc should be put on trial for lying alone. Rafowitz says he hasn't forgotten the misery of his imprisonment despite it being some 70 years ago.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The neighbor of a former commander of a Nazi SS-led unit living in Minnesota says the man has lived quietly and always been friendly and considerate.
An Associated Press investigation found that Michael Karkoc served as a top commander in the Ukrainian Self-Defense Legion during World War II. The unit is accused of wartime atrocities. The investigation showed Karkoc told American authorities that he performed no military service during the war.
No one answered the door at Karkoc's northeast Minneapolis house on Friday morning.
Gordon Gnasdoskey, who lives next door, says he's known the 94-year-old Karkoc casually for many years and is shocked to learn of his past. Gnasdoskey, the grandson of a Ukrainian immigrant, says their neighborhood has many Slavic, Ukranian and Polish immigrants and their descendants.
BERLIN (AP) - An Associated Press investigation has found that a commander of a Nazi SS-led unit accused of atrocities has been living in Minnesota since shortly after World War II.
Records obtained by the AP through a Freedom of Information Act request show that Michael Karkoc lied to American authorities to get into the country.
Eyewitness accounts confirm the Ukrainian company he commanded burned down villages filled with women and children, and suggest that Karkoc was at the scene as company leader. No records show he had a direct hand in atrocities.
The U.S. Department of Justice has used lies in immigration papers to deport dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals.
Karkoc refused to discuss his wartime past at his home in Minneapolis.