- REUTERS/Reuters TV
Minnesota has become the residence of a top Nazi commander, who is believed to have been part of a team responsible for the burning of villages with women and children in World War II, according to reports.
According to a report by The Associated Press, Michael Karkoc, who is now 94, lied to American immigration officials to get into the United States just after World War II ended, and he has been living undetected in Minnesota since then.
Evidence is said to have emerged that Karkoc told U.S. immigration authorities in 1949 that he had not been part of the military service during the war, lying about his position in the Nazi army as a commanding officer. He is thought to have been a founding member of the SS-led Ukrainian Self Defense Legion and later as an officer in the SS Galician Division, according to AP.
His membership to those groups should have meant he was barred from entering the United States, however, he appears to have navigated his way into the country by concealing his past.
The Ukrainian company he commanded is believed to have been behind the massacre of civilians, including women and children. Karkoc was at the scene of those atrocities as a company leader, according to the evidence AP has uncovered.
German authorities have now expressed an interest at exploring whether there is enough evidence to bring a prosecution against the now-elderly man. If so, Karkoc can be charged with war crimes as he held "command responsibility."
According to AP, Karkoc has refused to speak publicly from his home in Minneapolis about the accusations, and has avoided giving an interview despite multiple requests. He has instead used his son as an intermediary so that he can avoid direct contact with the media.
Here is a video news report into the story: