A German prosecutor is seeking legal charges against a Minnesota resident that might have been involved in the murder of dozens of adults and children in World War II.
Thomas Will is deputy head of the special prosecutor’s office in Germany. Will alleges Michael Karkoc, a 94-year-old retired carpenter currently living in Minneapolis, ordered an attack on a Polish village in 1944.
Karkoc was a commander of the Ukrainian Self Defense Legion, which was led by the SS, a fact he omitted upon entering the US in 1949.
Last summer, the Associated Press conducted an investigation into Karkoc’s past, determining the pensioner’s connection with the Polish massacre could not be proven.
However, the AP now asserts a newly uncovered file from the Ukrainian intelligence agency includes 1968 testimony from Ivan Sharko, a private under Karkoc’s command, alleging Karkoc did indeed order the attack.
“We have determined the requirements for murder charges are there,” said a statement from Will’s federal office.
While Will’s office cannot formally file charges, the prosecutor said he intends to ask the German Federal Criminal Court to assign the case to a state official. Any newly appointed counselor to the case would then determine whether Germany has jurisdiction to charge Karkoc.
There is currently a large-scale push across Europe to locate and try fledgling Nazi criminals before they die out and legal trials become moot.