The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

November 18, 2013

Soldier: Minneapolis man ordered Nazi-led attack

Roster confirms man in Karkoc's unit

(Continued)

According to the document, Sharko described how nobody was spared in the ferocious onslaught on Chlanow.

"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," Sharko said. "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 learned of the file's existence after its initial report and subsequently tracked down and reviewed its contents.

Other eyewitness accounts, both from villagers and members of Karkoc's unit, corroborate the testimony that the company set buildings on fire and gunned down more than 40 men, women and children. Michael Karkoc continues to live quietly in Minneapolis as he has for decades.

Karkoc's son and family spokesman, Andriy Karkos, has denied his 94-year-old father's involvement in the Chlaniow incident or any other possible war crime.

Karkos, who spells his surname differently from his father, refused to comment on the Sharko testimony when reached by phone: "Until and unless The Associated Press can provide their alleged evidence and their witness, we will not respond to your defamatory and slanderous allegation," he said Friday. Sharko died in the 1980s.

In July, weeks after Karkoc's commanding role in the SS-led Legion was revealed, Karkos questioned the statements from men in his father's unit and comments in his father's memoir suggesting he was at the scene. He was cited by the Minneapolis Star Tribune as saying his father told him he was not in Chlaniow when the killings took place, and wrote in a letter to the same newspaper that his father was no war criminal.

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