Printed on: November 19, 2013

U.S. man linked to Nazi killings


BERLIN (AP) -- A retired Minnesota carpenter, shown in a June investigation to be a former commander in a Nazi SS-led unit, ordered his men to attack a Polish village that was razed to the ground, according to testimony newly uncovered by The Associated Press. The account of the massacre that killed dozens of women and children contradicts statements by the man's family that he was never at the scene of the 1944 bloodshed.

The June story prompted official investigations in both Poland and Germany. On Monday, the prosecutor leading Germany's probe revealed to the AP that he has decided to recommend that state prosecutors pursue murder charges against 94-year-old Michael Karkoc.

Thomas Will, the deputy head of the special prosecutors' office that investigates Nazi crimes, said he had made his decision even before seeing the new testimony that Karkoc ordered his unit to attack the Polish village of Chlaniow.

A newly unearthed investigative file originally from the Ukrainian intelligence agency's archive reveals that a private under Karkoc's command testified in 1968 that Karkoc ordered the assault on Chlaniow in retaliation for the slaying of an SS major.