The Simon Wiesenthal Center on Friday called on the U.S. Justice Department to immediately open an investigation of 94 year-old Minnesota resident, Michael Karkoc, who is suspected of being a Ukrainian SS commandant who concealed his wartime record in order to enter the U.S. after WWII.
The unit he was an officer in, the SS Galician Division, were responsible for brutal atrocities against civilians.
In a letter to Eli Rosenbaum, Director, Strategy and Policy in the Human Rights and Special Prosecution Section of the Department of Justice, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Founder and Dean of the Wiesenthal Center, formally requested an immediate investigation.
“In view of the serious charges leveled against Michael Karkoc, namely that he was the commander of an SS-sponsored military unit involved in atrocities against men, women and children and that he lied about it to American authorities in 1949 to gain entry into the United States,” Hier write.
“As you very well know, some of the worst atrocities were committed in Eastern Europe by local Nazi collaborators,” he added. “The fact that Karkoc was, in addition, a member of the Galician SS should, in itself, be sufficient reason to begin an investigation. That he is 94 years old should have no bearing on the fact that he has never answered for the crimes he is suspected of committing,” he added.