Northeast Nazi Michael Karkoc ordered murder of Polish civilians, testimony indicates

Categories: Minneapolis
mplsNazi2.jpg
Pioneer Press file photo
Karkoc was a Nazi commander before moving to Minneapolis, remarrying (his previous wife died in 1948), and having four more kids.
Michael Karkoc, the 94-year-old Nazi commander who has been living quietly in northeast Minneapolis since 1949, ordered the murder of Polish civilians in 1944, according to testimony recently unearthed by the Associated Press.

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The testimony in question was given to Soviet authorities in 1968 by Private Ivan Sharko, a Ukrainian who served under Karkoc's command.

Here's an excerpt of Sharko's account of what happened in Chlaniow, Poland:
"The command was given by one of the commanders to cordon off the village and prepare for battle. The commander of our company, Wolf [a.k.a. Karkoc], also gave the command to cordon off the village and check all the houses, and to find and punish the partisans."...

"The legionaries surrounded the homes, set fire to them with matches, or with incendiary bullets, and they shot anyone who was found in the homes or anywhere in the streets. Most of the houses were burned as a result of this action. How many people were killed in all, I don't know. I personally saw three corpses of peaceful inhabitants who had been killed."
The AP reports that officials in the German special prosecutors' office that investigates Nazi crimes have recommended murder changes be brought against Karkoc, though they made their recommendation even before the AP unearthed Sharko's testimony from the Ukrainian intelligence agency's archive.

Karkoc's son, however, continues to deny his father had any involvement in war crimes or the killing of civilians.

Reached for comment by the AP last Friday, Karkoc's son, Andriy Karkos, said, "Until and unless the Associated Press can provide their alleged evidence and their witness, we will not respond to your defamatory and slanderous allegation." (Sharko died in the 1980s.)

The U.S. Department of Justice won't comment on whether they're investigating Karkoc or will assist in any possible attempt to extradite him to Europe to face charges, the AP reports.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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66 comments
RelatedtoKarkoc
RelatedtoKarkoc

He once told me personally regarding circumcision, "that's how we could tell if they were jews"

Phillip Dresbach
Phillip Dresbach

The American tank battalions and soldiers fighting in Iraq also display a picture of Rommel in there Bradley... but I think you've gotten the wrong idea of me, and I'm sorry if I've made you upset with my post the last day or two.. and after reading my initial post my comment with the whole war hero thing mite have been a little bold. But I feel that know one truly knows if this man is guilty or not, every eye witness had longed expired... but non the less I do apologize if you are pissed at me for my first couple post. I didn't mean anything by it.. and when I wrote to you figures I ment that you were liberal... probably should have clarified.. the whole picture of Rommel thing, I just think he's a brilliant military strategist, and I do for the record believe what the nazi did was terrible and wrong! More than anything I'm glad we can discuss these issues, because what they did people can't forget... Sorry I made you sit and read all this hah, but I hope no hard feelings and I want to know if I sent you a.friend request would you accept?

Adam David Marx
Adam David Marx

OK, wasn't aware that I hadn't formed my own opinion. Why do you think that he should be honored as a war hero. By the way that's an interesting picture of Rommel on your profile. Now that I mention it, it kind of feels like I just answered my own question.

Phillip Dresbach
Phillip Dresbach

All I'm saying is you people are blindly following a news program and taking there word for fact, and want this man to pay for crimes that no one alive knows that for sure took place.. so for you people to blindly follow these assumptions, is no better then the people of Germany following hitler in the 30's!! THE LAST THING I'LL ASK/SAY IS FOR YOU TO LOOK AT ALL THE INFORMATION AND TO COME UP WITH YOUR OWN OPINION, NOT SOME NEWS STATION WITH HIDDEN UNDERTONES...

Doug Mulville
Doug Mulville

a freakin Nazi that you view as a HERO? Are you out of your mind? This jackyl lied to get in this country, he admitted leading his unit. That really is all we need to know. I don't give a damn about everything else. Let him live out the months he has left in shame, in a jail cell.

Ran Dazzle
Ran Dazzle

hes 94..convict him but let him live out his last few years in peace

Kristin Marie
Kristin Marie

Congrats to this countries open door policy.....works wonders for people trying to live another life in hiding. Funny how it went this many years without coming out. You think with govt officials doing their job from the point he came into this country, to getting a social security number, to drivers license, maybe purchasing a home, filing taxes....just maybe something would have flagged many years ago. But, I did forget, some govt officials can't handle the tasks of their rightfully responsible positions.

Kent Erickson
Kent Erickson

As far as I know he wasn't provided with financial aid for college like many illegals today are not milking the government for welfare and etc.

Kent Erickson
Kent Erickson

If they deport all the illegals Obama wants to grant citizenship then I will go along with deporting him.

Alirox
Alirox

The 14th Waffen-SS Div. is not composed of the good guys, folx.

Jason Koffman
Jason Koffman

Also, he is essentially in this country illegally and lied when entering.

Kent Erickson
Kent Erickson

Some sort of evidence he ordered the murders or participated, bullets from his gun found at the scene, written instructions that ordered the murders, and etc.

Reid Diebel
Reid Diebel

That's not what I'm saying. If he was younger and worth the whole court process then by all means charge him.

Adam David Marx
Adam David Marx

Again, what sort of physical evidence do you consider adequate?

Kent Erickson
Kent Erickson

If he's guilty then he deserves to pay, but I am just not convinced he is.

Kent Erickson
Kent Erickson

That same logic about the ducks has put lots of innocent people in jail. It's a dangerous thought process to have.

Adam David Marx
Adam David Marx

Again, what kind of physical evidence are you looking for?

Adam David Marx
Adam David Marx

A roofing company isn't the same thing as an SS Division. If someone doesn't admit to a crime, then they aren't guilty? He doesn't contest commanding the unit. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

Kent Erickson
Kent Erickson

So there's no proof that his orders were to kill them?

Adam David Marx
Adam David Marx

They were sent in and the residents died; but, then again, spontaneous combustion and multiple misfirings of personal weapons is also a possibility.

Reid Diebel
Reid Diebel

Some of you folks really think wasting time on this dude isn't wasting time. He's 94.. I'm sure by the time he's charged to whatever, he'll be dead. So why care.

Kent Erickson
Kent Erickson

Did he say in the memoir that he ordered his soldiers to commit the crimes? If he didn't then he isn't guilty. To say he is would be like saying my boss at work is guilty also if I go out and commit a crime. Insane logic.

Adam David Marx
Adam David Marx

So, what kid of physical evidence could be provided? If I was in the defense box I'd be kicking myself for having written a book about how I was the commander of the unit at the time that they are known to have committed war crimes...

Kent Erickson
Kent Erickson

Put yourself in the defense box for a second. Would you think it would be a fair trial to convict you based off of only circumstantial evidence? Anybody can accuse anybody of a crime, and the police and prosecution can manufacture circumstantial evidence to try and put you away, that is why I need physical evidence.

Kent Erickson
Kent Erickson

I don't watch CSI but I don't see anything wrong with demanding physical evidence or some sort of video evidence and etc to convict someone. Hurricane Carter, Ryan Ferguson, Ron Williamson (who the book The Innocent Man is based off of, a great Grisham book that will make you appealed by our legal system), and etc were all wrongly convicted based on eyewitness testimony and circumstantial *evidence*. If you can even call that evidence.

Jason Koffman
Jason Koffman

So what type of physical evidence could prove this case true for you? The evidence so far includes documents and testimony, including Karkoc's own testimony.

Kent Erickson
Kent Erickson

I always side on the I need physical evidence to convict. Too many innocent people have been locked away for crimes they didn't commit based on hearsay evidence like this case (Ryan Ferguson being the most recent example). Also false witness testimony. Eyewitness testimony has been proven to be completely unreliable.

Kent Erickson
Kent Erickson

I agree with his son, since his accuser is dead they can't produce any witnesses to this or any evidence. All talk by the AP. in most criminal cases evidence (including witnesses) need to be brought forth not just talked about like the AP is doing. That is also the problem with a trial...since his accuser is dead Mr. Karkov will not be able to confront his accuser, doesn't seem like a fair trial to me.

Jason Koffman
Jason Koffman

So when you read a history book it's true, but when you do your own extensive research it's false? Let him have his day in court and be found innocent then. I know if I was accused of such atrocities I'd want to clear my record.

Kent Erickson
Kent Erickson

Jason...and everything you read is the truth no question about it? I'm not saying he is not guilty just nothing I've read proves to me he is guilty. Ever heard of believe none of what you hear and half of what you read?

Jason Koffman
Jason Koffman

You can read extensive coverage and history of this story elsewhere, if you are actually interested.

Kent Erickson
Kent Erickson

I agree Phillip except for the hero part. I have always thought of City Pages as more like TMZ or the Enquirer rather than a serious news organization. I only like CP to get their advice on deals across the metro and for their fluff pieces which are entertaining I admit. But trying to cover a real story they prove their incompetence.

Mariann Pavlich
Mariann Pavlich

This man may have murdered or ordered the murder of innocent women and children and you think hes a war hero?! If he is found guilty then do to him what he did to the children in Poland.

Jason Koffman
Jason Koffman

Phillip, I spent the better part of 2 days reading about this when the story broke in June. He is an admitted criminal and has broken several laws, though has not been brought to justice. Also, you might want to learn to write before accusing others of not reading.

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

We get it, you think that you have it all figured out. You distrust the media therefore you're some kind if deep thinker. Guess what? You're not original or clever or smart. You're just a sheep of a different color, still following. Congratulations, you're an idiot.

yoopie93
yoopie93

@Ran Dazzle   How about no?  His age doesn't excuse his atrocious actions.  Why is that so hard for people to understand?

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@Kent Erickson Could you be a bigger clown?   You are the perfect example of the bigot clowns that have made Republicans a complete laughingstock.   Keep sticking up for the Nazi buddy.  Makes you look really sane.  

Onan
Onan

@Kent Erickson  - Or an eyewitness testimony? Oh, wait...

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