A top commander of a Nazi SS unit has been secretly living in Minnesota since shortly after World War II, The Associated Press revealed on Friday.
According to records obtained by an AP Freedom of Information Act request, Michael Karkoc lied about his service in the SS-led Ukrainian Self Defense Legion and the SS Galician Division in order to gain entry into the United States after the war.
The AP reported that statements from men in his units indicated that Karkoc was at the scene of atrocities, including massacres and the burning of villages filled with women and children.
Efraim Zuroff, who works as the lead Nazi hunter at Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, told AP that there may be enough evidence to have Karkoc deported and prosecuted.
“In America this is a relatively easy case: If he was the commander of a unit that carried out atrocities, that’s a no brainer,” Zuroff explained. “Even in Germany… if the guy was the commander of the unit, then even if they can’t show he personally pulled the trigger, he bears responsibility.”
AP reporters who visited Karkoc’s home were told to “get off the property.”
Watch this video from The Associated Press, broadcast June 14, 2013.