This Former Nazi Is Also a 'Lifelong Republican,' Investigation Reveals

Daily Beast reports that Michael Karkoc, a Minnesota man wanted in Poland for leading an SS unit in 'liquidating' two Polish villages, is also a GOP donor

Heinrich Himmler, SS Reichsfuehrer-SS and head of the Gestapo, reviews troops of the Galician SS-Volunteer Infantry Division on June 3, 1944. Karkoc joined this division toward the end of the war.
Heinrich Himmler, SS Reichsfuehrer-SS and head of the Gestapo, reviews troops of the Galician SS-Volunteer Infantry Division on June 3, 1944. Karkoc joined this division toward the end of the war. AP

Michael Karkoc, an alleged former Nazi commander and current U.S. resident living in Minnesota, has contributed thousands of dollars to the Republican National Convention, the Daily Beast reported.

Polish war crime prosecutors say they are "100 percent" certain that Karkoc commanded an SS company responsible for "liquidating" two Polish villages, which resulted in the killing of 40 civilians. Poland requested Karkoc's extradition from the U.S. in July and is waiting on a decision.

Andiry Karkos, Karkoc's son, told the Daily Beast his father donations were made because he was a "lifelong Republican."

Michael Karkoc works in his yard in Minneapolis, May, 2014.
Richard Sennott/AP

“He has a picture of Ronald and Nancy Reagan in his bedroom,” Karkos told the Daily Beast.

In a 2013 exposé, the Associated Press reported that Karkoc lied to immigration officials upon his entry to the U.S. in 1949, claiming he was not enlisted in any military service during World War II. He became a naturalized citizen 10 years later. In federal campaign records, he listed his occupation as a carpenter.

After the exposé, Karkoc donated a total of $3,850 to the GOP in three separate contributions between September 2013 and May 2014. According to available records, these were his only contributions. The RNC did not respond for comment.

The junior Karkos says he assumed his father voted Republican in the 2016 election. When asked to explain why his father felt such an affinity for the Republican Party, Karkos told the Daily Beast that "Republicans oppose communists." He added that under Franklin Delano Roosevelt, "the White House was penetrated by Soviet agents of influence."

Karkos believes his father's donations has nothing to do with the accusations that he is a Nazi war criminal, which he called "lies and slanders."

"The Associated Press said in the third paragraph of their original scandalous story slandering my father that the records do not show that [he] had a direct role in war crimes." he added.

The AP report cited a Nazi payroll sheet signed by an SS officer that shower Karkoc collected his salary as a member of the Ukrainian Self Defense Legion. In Karkoc's memoir, he says he helped form the UDSL and that he remained a company commander until the end of the war.

The report also states that Karkoc and his unit were implicated in suppressing the Warsaw Uprising, an operation to liberate Warsaw from German control which ended with more than 150,000 civilians killed by Germany.

At 98, Karkoc lives in a nursing home in Minnesota. Polish prosecutors await his extradition, as "age is not a factor when it comes to bringing anyone to justice."