Michael Karkoc's Petition for Naturalization 370.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
WASHINGTON – Documents from a Soviet-era investigation uncovered by the Associated Press have led to the discovery that a 94-year-old German Nazi, who allegedly directed the liquidation of Jewish towns, has been living in rural Minnesota for over 60 years.
Emigrating to the US in 1949, Michael Karkoc – accused of being an SS leader in Ukraine and Poland throughout World War II – lied to officials about his role in the war.
He is said to have had a hand in the suppression of the Warsaw Uprising, AP reported, and to have directed the “liquidation of all residents” of the Polish town of Chlaniow, southeast of Lublin, in 1944.
Karkoc published a memoir in Ukraine in 1995 that told only part of the story of his role with the Self Defense Legion, a volunteer group of Ukrainians, Slovaks and Czechs during the war that had the support of the SS.
AP was tipped off about the existence of the book by a British pharmacist who was researching the group and was seeking help.
Both Poland and Germany are expected to seek prosecution of Karkoc. But from extradition forward, the international legal process can take several years, making it unlikely the 94-year-old will ever experience deportation, much less sentencing or prison.
That won’t stop them from trying, officials say.
“Polish prosecutors will help American investigators, there’s no doubt,” ABC News quoted a Polish Embassy official as saying.
“Help will be provided to take steps to examine the evidence. Based on the evidence, a decision on extradition will be made.”