University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


A Nazi in our Midst?

A Nazi in our Midst?

A Nazi in our midst? Pursuit of justice must persistArticle by Alejandro Baer June 17, 2013
Star Tribune

If he is connected with war crimes, he must be held accountable.

Until Friday, 94-year-old Michael Karkoc was only an immigrant living the quiet and peaceful life of a retiree in northeast Minneapolis. He was known as a loving father and grandfather, a longtime member of the Ukrainian immigrant community, a citizen who attended church regularly, always friendly and considerate toward his neighbors.

But soon Karkoc will be subject to the full force of the law, suspected of the worst imaginable of crimes. Karkoc is alleged to have been a top commander of a Nazi SS-led unit accused of burning villages filled with women and children. It seems that the evidence is strong enough for him to face deportation and to be prosecuted for war crimes in Germany or Poland.

How could this man immigrate to the United States after the war and live a normal life in Minnesota for six decades? According to an extensive investigation by the Associated Press, Karkoc fooled the American authorities in 1949, concealing his role as an officer and founding member of the infamous Ukrainian Self Defense Legion.

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