Skip to main content

AP report: Soldier testified Minnesota man led Nazi massacre

  • Author:
  • Updated:

As part of a lengthy ongoing investigation, The Associated Press has unearthed testimony made by a soldier in 1968 that backs allegations that a 94-year-old Minneapolis man ordered a Nazi-led massacre in a Polish village during World War II.

The Associated Press in June reported that Michael Karkoc, who has led a quiet life in Minnesota for decades, was a top leader of a Nazi SS-led unit that has been accused of burning villages, and that he lied to U.S. immigration officials to gain entry into the United States. The retired carpenter is believed to have been living in Minnesota since 1949, and now lives in a northeast Minneapolis neighborhood.

The Associated Press has newly uncovered a file from the Ukrainian intelligence agency's archives, and documents state that a private under Karkoc's command testified in 1968 that Karkoc had ordered the 1944 attack on Chlaniow in Poland, in which women and children were slaughtered.

The original Associated Press investigation triggered official probes in Europe, and the AP reports that a German prosecutor on Monday said he would pursue murder charges against Karkoc.

Karkoc has refused comment. His family has denied that he was involved in any war crimes. His son Andrij Karkoc in a letter to the Star Tribune in July said the AP had "distorted history to publish sensational, false and inflammatory accusations against a defenseless 94-year-old."

The AP's reporting shocked Minneapolis residents, especially in Karkoc's neighborhood, the Star Tribune reported. The newspaper reported that Karkoc was considered a devoted family man, active in the church and a "pillar of the local Ukrainian community."

"How involved was he? Who was he? I have no idea," neighborhood resident Janine Munson told KARE 11. Sam Rafowitz, an 88-year-old Jewish resident of Minnetonka, who spent four years working in concentration camps, told WCCO, “I think they should put him on trial."

MPR News carried AP photos related to the case, including images of Karkoc's Petition for Naturalization and other documents. The Christian Science Monitor examined how Nazi hunters could have missed Karkoc, if the allegations are true.

Next Up

Gov. Tim Walz and Scott Jensen.

Walz, Jensen clash over 'extreme' abortion views

The two clashed over the topic on Tuesday, following the Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Screen Shot 2022-06-28 at 12.24.27 PM

Movie filming brings memorable day for MN teen with leukemia

Ayotzin Limon-Millard was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia last year.

Screen Shot 2022-06-28 at 1.25.30 PM

Police trying to ID 'Playboy bandit' and 'no-pants raider' suspect

Police are calling the unidentified man "the Playboy bandit" and the "no-pants raider."

storm, severe, shelf cloud

Twin Cities under severe thunderstorm watch Tuesday afternoon

Large hail and damaging winds are the main threats.

Screen Shot 2022-06-28 at 9.27.30 AM

Famous Dave's family brings new BBQ biz to the south metro

The newest Twin Cities location is the first to offer wine slushies on the menu.

storm, shelf cloud, severe weather

Large hail possible with strong storms in eastern MN, WI

Watch the forecast update with meteorologist Sven Sundgaard.

Tony Evers, Wisconsin governor

WI governor vows to protect anyone charged with abortion crimes

“You think it’s bad now? The four Republicans that are going after me, one of them we’re going to beat, they are going to make it worse," Evers said.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, June 28

The state will stop providing daily updates and move to weekly editions beginning Thursday, June 30.


Sports anchor Hobie Artigue announces FOX9 departure

Artigue has spent the past seven years covering Minnesota sports.

hennepin county medical center

Boy, 7, dies after being pulled from pool in south Minneapolis

The boy was pulled from a pool at a home in south Minneapolis.

Screen Shot 2022-06-28 at 8.32.18 AM

Nashville man leaving wedding shot in the face in Minneapolis

He was leaving a wedding when gunfire erupted near the Stone Arch Bridge Saturday night.


Abogados Café in St. Paul is the first law-themed coffee shop in America

The new business is Minnesota's first Latina-owned coffee shop.