UPDATE: Commander of SS-Led Unit Living in Minnesota
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.
The neighbor says the man has lived quietly and always been friendly and considerate.
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.
Voting history obtained by AP shows he has seldom missed chances to cast a ballot in city and state elections. The records going back to 1993 show him voting in 14 general elections, though never a partisan primary.