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Nazi Ghosts of the OUN/B Haunt Soccer in the Ukraine

Hein­rich Himm­ler inspect­ing troops of the 14th Waf­fen SS Divi­sion (Gali­cia)

COMMENT: Before delv­ing into “Aus­ter­i­ty Equals Fas­cism, Part II” it may be use­ful to high­light an instruc­tive arti­cle from the german-foreign-policy.com newslet­ter, which feeds along the bot­tom of the front page of this web­site.

The com­pe­ti­tion for the Euro­pean foot­ball (soc­cer) cham­pi­onship, lead­ing up to the World Cup, is under­way in the Ukraine. The loca­tion for this event has aggra­vat­ed ten­sions between Poland and the Ukraine over the mas­sacres of Pol­ish nation­als com­mit­ted dur­ing the Sec­ond World War by the OUN/B, a Ukrain­ian fas­cist orga­ni­za­tion that allied with the Third Reich.

Sup­ply­ing per­son­nel to the Ein­satz­grup­pen (mobil death squads) and the 14th Waf­fen SS Divi­sion (Gali­cian), the OUN/B has etched a bloody name into his­to­ry run­ning from the peri­od between the World Wars, through World War II and the covert oper­a­tions of the Cold War and its after­math.

In par­tic­u­lar, the orga­ni­za­tion has been deeply involved with covert oper­a­tions and fig­ures into the inves­ti­ga­tion into the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy, as well as the de-sta­bi­liza­tion of the Sovi­et Union dur­ing the cli­mac­tic phase of the Cold War. With a pro­found pres­ence in the GOP’s Eth­nic divi­sion, as well as the con­tem­po­rary Ukrain­ian polit­i­cal infra­struc­ture, the OUN/B is any­thing but an his­tor­i­cal rel­ic.

It is in the con­text of the OUN’s pro­mo­tion of cer­e­monies and awards that cel­e­brate and dis­tort the orga­ni­za­tion’s fas­cist past that the Pol­ish protest of OUN-relat­ed activ­i­ties is to be exam­ined. 

The Ukraine is con­sid­er­ing declar­ing July 11 to be a com­mem­o­ra­tion of OUN/B mil­i­tary actions against Pol­ish cit­i­zens dur­ing the war, which result­ed in the deaths of thou­sands of Poles! 

In the past we have not­ed that Yka­te­ri­na Chu­machenko, head of the OUN/B’s lead­ing front orga­ni­za­tion in the U.S. and Ronald Rea­gan’s Deputy Direc­tor of Pub­lic Liai­son, went on to mar­ry Vik­tor Yuschenko and become First Lady of the Ukraine after the “Orange Rev­o­lu­tion.”

With the Yuschenko regime in pow­er, OUN/B founder Stephan Ban­dera was named a hero of the Ukraine. As we see below, Roman Shukhevych  was also grant­ed that hon­or. Shukhevych lead the OUN/B‑staffed Ein­satz­gruppe “Nightin­gale” in its liq­ui­da­tion of the Lvov Ghet­to! (Lvov has also been known as Lem­berg and Lodz at var­i­ous times in its recent his­to­ry.)

Roman Shukhevych: “Hero of the Ukraine”

(Worth not­ing in pass­ing is the fact that the SS leader of the Nightin­gale group in its liq­ui­da­tion of the Lvov Ghet­to was Theodor Ober­lan­der, who became a West Ger­man Min­is­ter, in charge of the “expellees”–vertriebene groups. Forced to resign after his role in the Lvov mas­sacre became pub­lic, Ober­lan­der was deeply involved with recruit­ing Mus­lim com­bat­ants who had fought for the Third Reich on behalf of the Fed­er­al Repub­lic’s intel­li­gence ser­vices, as we saw in FTR #721.)

Ober­lan­der also joined Gen­er­al Charles Willough­by’s Inter­na­tion­al Com­mit­tee for the Defense of Chris­t­ian Cul­ture, an inter­na­tion­al fas­cist intel­li­gence net­work that includ­ed Nel­son Bunker Hunt of the ultra right-wing Hunt fam­i­ly. (Hunt was involved with attempt­ing to cor­ner the sil­ver mar­ket in the ear­ly 1980’s, a gam­bit in which he con­spired with Ali bin Mus­sal­im, who man­aged the Al Qae­da account at Bank Al-Taqwa, an account that had an unlim­it­ed line of cred­it. ICDCC founder Willough­by was Dou­glas MacArthur’s top intel­li­gence offi­cer and was a Ger­man-born fas­cist and admir­er of Fran­cis­co Fran­co.)

“Between Moscow and Berlin (IV)”; german-foreign-policy.com; 6/06/2012.

EXCERPT: Just a few days before the Soc­cer World Cup is sched­uled to open, a reminder of mas­sacres, car­ried out by Ukrain­ian Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors, has cre­at­ed dis­so­nance between the Ukraine and Poland. In War­saw, gov­ern­ment politi­cians are demand­ing that Kiev final­ly put a stop to pub­lic com­mem­o­ra­tions of Ukrain­ian mili­tia fight­ing on Nazi Germany’s side. They were respon­si­ble for grue­some mur­ders of Poles in World War II. One of those referred to, is the Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tor, Stepan Ban­dera, a leader of the Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists (OUN), whose mili­tia, for exam­ple, attacked a total of 99 Pol­ish vil­lages, mas­sacring count­less inhab­i­tants on July 11, 1943. Ban­dera is hon­ored with numer­ous memo­ri­als, par­tic­u­lar­ly in west­ern Ukraine, where the impris­oned ex-Prime Min­is­ter, Yulia Tymoshenko has her elec­toral back­ing. Through­out the 1930s and 40s, the OUN, found­ed with Berlin’s sup­port in 1929, evolved into the main Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tion. On sev­er­al occa­sions fol­low­ing the Ger­man inva­sion of the Sovi­et Union, it sought state­hood for a seces­sion­ist Ukrain­ian nation under Ger­man domin­ion. The mas­sacres were car­ried out against the Pol­ish pop­u­la­tion, espe­cial­ly Jews. Most recent­ly, the mem­o­ry of numer­ous Ukraini­ans’ col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Nazis was re-awak­ened by the Ger­man tri­al against the for­mer Ukrain­ian con­cen­tra­tion camp guard, John Dem­jan­juk

Mas­sacre of Poles

As the gov­ern­ing PSL par­ty’s par­lia­men­tar­i­an in the Sejm, Fran­ciszek Ste­fa­niuk explained, the Ukraine should face up to the com­mem­o­ra­tions of anti-Pol­ish mas­sacres by numer­ous Ukrain­ian Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors in the Sec­ond World War. This is in ref­er­ence to crimes, such as the mur­ders on July 11, 1943, when Ukrain­ian mili­tia engaged in a coor­di­nat­ed offen­sive against 99 Pol­ish vil­lages, killing thou­sands of inhab­i­tants, says Stefaniuk.[1] Stepan Ban­dera, one of the com­man­ders of the mili­tia, is still cel­e­brat­ed today in the West Ukraine with numer­ous memo­ri­als. War­saw demands that a stop be put to this. Declar­ing July 11, the day in 1943, when the Poles were slaugh­tered, an offi­cial day of com­mem­o­ra­tion is now being con­sid­ered. This would refur­bish the mem­o­ry of Ukrain­ian col­lab­o­ra­tionist activ­i­ties, for exam­ple, of the OUN, the most impor­tant of the orga­ni­za­tions seek­ing Ukrain­ian state­hood at the time.

The Spir­it of the Lead­er­ship

The found­ing of the Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists (OUN) in Vien­na in ear­ly 1929 had been pre­pared at a 1927 Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists’ con­fer­ence in Berlin. The Ukrain­ian Mil­i­tary Orga­ni­za­tion (UVO) was also a par­tic­i­pant at the Berlin con­fer­ence. The UVO had its head­quar­ters in Berlin and had under­gone sev­er­al clan­des­tine train­ing pro­grams pro­vid­ed by the Ger­man Reichswehr.[2] In the 1920s, it had repeat­ed­ly engaged in ter­ror­ist cam­paigns and car­ried out attacks in Poland. Accord­ing to the Pol­ish intel­li­gence ser­vice, six Ger­man sol­diers were also present at the OUN’s found­ing conference.[3] Through­out the years of its exis­tence, while, accord­ing to one of its com­man­ders, “the demo­c­ra­t­ic spir­it” was replaced by “the spir­it of lead­er­ship and the adu­la­tion toward the author­i­ty of the leadership,”[4] the OUN remained loy­al to the Nazi gov­ern­ment, even though the lat­ter was occa­sion­al­ly forced to pub­licly dis­tance itself from the for­mer, for exam­ple after OUN ter­ror­ists assas­si­nat­ed the Inte­ri­or Min­is­ter of Poland June 15, 1934. In any case, in 1939, the OUN had very close rela­tions with the Ger­man Wehrma­cht and orga­nized a small unit of exiled Ukraini­ans for their engage­ment in the inva­sion of Poland. They were dis­ap­point­ed at not being allowed by the Molo­tov-Ribben­trop Pact to march into Lwów (which had been Lem­berg and lat­er Lviv). The OUN began instead to repeat­ed­ly mas­sacre Pol­ish civil­ians through­out the war. These mas­sacres are today the sub­ject of Pol­ish protests.

Hero of the Ukraine

Once the Ger­mans invad­ed the Sovi­et Union June 22, 1941, OUN’s Ukrain­ian mili­tia, or at least its “Nightin­gale Bat­tal­ion,” could make good on not hav­ing been able to march into Lwów. Under the com­mand of Theodor Oberländer,[5] who lat­er was a West Ger­man min­is­ter, the Nightin­gale Bat­tal­ion par­tic­i­pat­ed not only in the inva­sion of that town, but was also involved in the dead­ly pogroms against Lwów’s Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty. That German/Ukrainian mas­sacre left thou­sands dead. Nazi anti-Semi­tes could count on the sup­port of their col­lab­o­ra­tors. As soon as the Ger­mans occu­pied Poland, the OUN declared “open sea­son” on the Jew­ish pop­u­la­tion. “Along­side the Ger­man author­i­ties, our mili­tia is now arrest­ing numer­ous Jews,” the OUN pro­pa­gan­da office in occu­pied Lwów report­ed to Berlin, July 28, 1941. “The Jews are using all means to defend them­selves from liq­ui­da­tion.” The OUN and its troops con­tin­ued anti-Semit­ic mas­sacres in the fol­low­ing years.[6] The mem­o­ry of the com­mon front with the Ger­mans in the war is still alive, at least in the west­ern Ukraine. Octo­ber 12, 2007, the pro-west­ern pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yushchenko declared post-mortem the “Nichtin­gale” com­man­der, Roman Shukhevych, a “Hero of the Ukraine.”

Under Ger­man Pro­tec­tion

The ven­er­a­tion that the OUN con­tin­ues to enjoy in sec­tors of the west­ern Ukrain­ian pop­u­la­tion can be also be explained by efforts to achieve Ukrain­ian state­hood on the ter­ri­to­ry of the occu­pied Sovi­et Union under Ger­man hege­mo­ny — exact­ly as it was attempt­ed back at the end of World War I.[7] . . . .

Discussion

5 comments for “Nazi Ghosts of the OUN/B Haunt Soccer in the Ukraine”

  1. http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/58338

    Father­land and Free­dom
    2012/10/30
    KIEV/BERLIN

    (Own report) — A CDU Ukrain­ian part­ner orga­ni­za­tion has announced its close coop­er­a­tion with an extrem­ist right-wing par­ty. As report­ed from Kiev, the “Batkivschy­na” (Father­land) Par­ty — in which CDU ally Yulia Tymoshenko is play­ing a lead­ing role — is plan­ning to form a par­lia­men­tary coali­tion with the “Svo­bo­da” (“Free­dom”) Par­ty. Svo­bo­da stands in the tra­di­tion of Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors and inter­na­tion­al­ly is affil­i­at­ed with Hun­gary’s neo-fas­cist “Job­bik” Par­ty. Svo­bo­da won 8.3 per­cent of the votes in last Sun­day’s par­lia­men­tary elec­tions. It is not yet cer­tain, whether the CDU’s sec­ond part­ner in Kiev, world heavy­weight title­hold­er Vitali Klitschko and his “UDAR” Par­ty will join the coali­tion. This coop­er­a­tion will not be the first time that extrem­ist right-wing forces have been inte­grat­ed into the pro-West­ern Ukrain­ian oppo­si­tion. Sim­i­lar alliances had already emerged dur­ing the “Orange Rev­o­lu­tion” in late 2004.
    Ger­many’s Part­ners

    Fol­low­ing the par­lia­men­tary elec­tions, Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovy­ch’s “Par­ty of the Regions” will con­tin­ue to hold the major­i­ty in a coali­tion with the Com­mu­nist Par­ty in the Ukraine’s Verk­hov­na Rada. Accord­ing to pre­lim­i­nary results, the “Par­ty of the Regions” had received 35.06 per­cent and the Com­mu­nist Par­ty advanced con­sid­er­ably reach­ing 14.92 per­cent. The ” Batkivschy­na” (“Father­land”) Par­ty of Yulia Tymoshenko, the politi­cian court­ed by the West, remains the strongest par­ty of the oppo­si­tion with 21.95 per­cent of the vote. With 12.87 per­cent, Vitali Klitschko’s oppo­si­tion­al “UDAR” entered par­lia­ment for the first time. Tymoshenko is close­ly coop­er­at­ing with the CDU. Some CDU politi­cians even claim that the Kon­rad Ade­nauer Foun­da­tion had charged the world heavy­weight cham­pi­on Klitschko with the orga­ni­za­tion of a Ukrain­ian Chris­t­ian Demo­c­ra­t­ic par­ty. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[1]) The “Svo­bo­da” (“Free­dom”) Par­ty is part of the oppo­si­tion. With 8.31 per­cent, it could, for the first time, over­come the five per­cent hur­dle to enter the Ukrain­ian par­lia­ment.

    Open­ly Neo-Fas­cist

    Svo­bo­da evolved in 2004 from an old­er, open­ly neo-fas­cist orga­ni­za­tion, the “Social-Nation­al Par­ty of the Ukraine” (SNPU). Svo­bo­da replaced the SNPU sym­bol — a reflect­ed wolf hook — with a styl­ized tri­dent. Experts explain that “the trans­for­ma­tion of the appear­ance was under­tak­en while main­tain­ing SNPU’s basic ide­o­log­i­cal prin­ci­ples.” This cam­ou­flage has per­mit­ted Svo­bo­da “to dis­so­ci­ate itself, in the pub­lic eye, from its open­ly neo-fas­cist past” while hold­ing on to its extrem­ist right-wing supporters.[2] The par­ty achieved its polit­i­cal break­through March 15, 2009, when it was elect­ed to the West Ukrain­ian Oblast Ternopil (par­lia­ment) with 34.69 per­cent of the votes, tak­ing 50 of the 120 seats in the leg­is­la­ture. It is par­tic­i­pat­ing in the efforts of sev­er­al extrem­ist right-wing par­ties through­out Europe to found a con­ti­nen­tal umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion. Among the mem­bers of the “Alliance of Euro­pean Nation­al Move­ments” are the neo-fas­cist Hun­gar­i­an Job­bik, France’s Front Nation­al (FN) and the British Nation­al Par­ty (BNP).

    Renais­sance of Col­lab­o­ra­tors

    Svo­bo­da is direct­ly draw­ing on the tra­di­tion of West Ukrain­ian Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors, who, fight­ing on the Ger­man side in the Sec­ond World War, had car­ried out numer­ous mas­sacres in the occu­pied Sovi­et Union. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[3]) The par­ty con­sid­ers itself to be “the mod­ern day equiv­a­lent of the Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists” (OUN), accord­ing to research pub­lished by the polit­i­cal sci­en­tist Andreas Umland.[4] And yet, the OUN, which was found­ed in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with Ger­man authorities,[5] had been sim­ply “one of the diverse forms of inter­na­tion­al fas­cism” — “sim­i­lar to oth­er Cen­tral Euro­pean clas­si­cal fas­cisms, such as the Slo­vak Hlin­ka Guards and the Croat Ustashi.” Their renais­sance — in the form of the Svo­bo­da Par­ty — cor­re­sponds to the renais­sance of oth­er orga­ni­za­tions in the tra­di­tion of Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors, for exam­ple the Hun­gar­i­an Job­bik Party,[6] the Bel­gian Vlaams Belang [7] or the Aus­tri­an Free­dom Par­ty [8]. The renais­sance of col­lab­o­ra­tors coin­cides with the impo­si­tion of a new, wide­ly accept­ed, Ger­man pre­dom­i­nance over Europe.[9]

    Right-Wing Coali­tion

    Already before par­lia­men­tary elec­tions were held, Tymoshenko’s Batkivschy­na Par­ty had begun com­pre­hen­sive coop­er­a­tion with the Svo­bo­da Par­ty. As a first step, the two par­ties reached agree­ments on where their respec­tive can­di­dates would seek major­i­ty man­dates — reach­ing an agree­ment not to run against one anoth­er in the same cir­cum­scrip­tion. With­in the frame­work of these accords, Tymoshenko’s elec­toral orga­ni­za­tion ced­ed 35 cir­cum­scrip­tions to Svo­bo­da. About ten days before elec­tions were held, Batkivschy­na and Svo­bo­da agreed to form a coali­tion in the Verk­hov­na Rada, should Svo­bo­da win entry into the leg­is­la­ture. Kiev has con­firmed that the coali­tion will now be estab­lished, and that Klitschko is con­sid­er­ing bring­ing his par­ty into the coali­tion. But Klitschko, for the moment is hav­ing it be known that he detects a “right-wing rad­i­cal­ism” in Svo­bo­da and there­fore is hav­ing cer­tain “misgivings.”[10] Some of the Ger­man media organs, which, for years, have been sup­port­ing the oppo­si­tion in the Ukraine, have now begun to shy away from this assess­ment. Often, Svo­bo­da is no longer being char­ac­ter­ized as “right-wing extrem­ist” or “right-wing rad­i­cal,” but it is mere­ly being men­tioned “that its crit­ics con­sid­er it to be right-wing radical.”[11]

    Anti-Semi­tes

    One could already observe the inte­gra­tion of extrem­ist right-wing forces into the ranks of the Ukrain­ian pro-west­ern oppo­si­tion dur­ing the “Orange Rev­o­lu­tion” in late 2004. For exam­ple, the “Con­gress of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists,” (KUN) had been includ­ed in the elec­toral alliance “Our Ukraine Block,” of Vik­tor Yushchenko, who lat­er became pres­i­dent. The KUN was found­ed in 1992 by emi­grants return­ing from their exile in West Germany.[12] Yushchenko, him­self, had sup­port­ed a jour­nal, whose pub­lish­er had expressed his belief that the Ukraine was being ruled “by a small group of Jew­ish oli­garchs,” who were “eco­nom­i­cal­ly and polit­i­cal­ly in control.”[13] Yushchenko’s can­di­da­cy, in turn, was sup­port­ed by the mil­i­tant anti-Semit­ic UNA-UNSO orga­ni­za­tion. In fact, extrem­ist right-wing milieus, for years, have been part of the pro-west­ern spec­trum par­tic­u­lar­ly in the West Ukraine. One of their main moti­va­tions is hatred of Rus­sia. Already in 2004, Berlin had accept­ed them as its covert allies to help weak­en Moscow’s influ­ence on Kiev.
    Please read also Between Moscow and Berlin, The Box­er’s Punch and Between Moscow and Berlin (III).

    [1] see also Der Schlag des Box­ers (II)
    [2] Anton Sche­chow­zow, Andreas Umland: Der ver­spätete Auf­stieg des ukrain­o­phoben Recht­sradikalis­mus in der post­sow­jetis­chen Ukraine — Teil II; ukraine-nachrichten.de 28.10.2012
    [3] see also Zwis­chen Moskau und Berlin (IV) and Zwis­chen Moskau und Berlin (V)
    [4] Andreas Umland: Der ukrainis­che Nation­al­is­mus zwis­chen Stereo­typ und Wirk­lichkeit; ukraine-nachrichten.de 11.10.2012
    [5] see also Zwis­chen Moskau und Berlin (IV)
    [6] see also The New Era of Eth­nic Chau­vin­ists
    [7], [8] see also The Col­lab­o­ra­tor’s Tra­di­tion
    [9] see also Europe’s Chan­cel­lor, The Next Cri­sis Vic­to­ry and Deutsche Führung
    [10] Par­la­mentswahl wirft Ukraine zurück; http://www.dw.de 29.10.2012
    [11] Erfolg für die Oppo­si­tion zeich­net sich ab; http://www.faz.net 28.10.2012
    [12] see also Zwis­chen Moskau und Berlin (V)
    [13] see also Anti­semi­tis­che “Kul­tur”

    Posted by Vanfield | November 1, 2012, 12:30 pm
  2. http://www.timesofisrael.com/ex-commander-of-ss-led-unit-living-in-us/

    Ex-com­man­der of SS-led unit liv­ing in US
    Michael Karkoc, 94, lied to Amer­i­can immi­gra­tion author­i­ties about role in Ukrain­ian Self Defense Legion dur­ing World War II
    By David Ris­ing and MONIKA SCISLOWSKA and Randy Her­schaft June 14, 2013

    BERLIN (AP) — A top com­man­der of a Nazi SS-led unit accused of burn­ing vil­lages filled with women and chil­dren lied to Amer­i­can immi­gra­tion offi­cials to get into the Unit­ed States and has been liv­ing in Min­neso­ta since short­ly after World War II, accord­ing to evi­dence uncov­ered by The Asso­ci­at­ed Press.

    Michael Karkoc, 94, told Amer­i­can author­i­ties in 1949 that he had per­formed no mil­i­tary ser­vice dur­ing World War II, con­ceal­ing his work as an offi­cer and found­ing mem­ber of the SS-led Ukrain­ian Self Defense Legion and lat­er as an offi­cer in the SS Gali­cian Divi­sion, accord­ing to records obtained by the AP through a Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion Act request. The Gali­cian Divi­sion and a Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist orga­ni­za­tion he served in were both on a secret Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment black­list of orga­ni­za­tions whose mem­bers were for­bid­den from enter­ing the Unit­ed States at the time.

    Though records do not show that Karkoc had a direct hand in war crimes, state­ments from men in his unit and oth­er doc­u­men­ta­tion con­firm the Ukrain­ian com­pa­ny he com­mand­ed mas­sa­cred civil­ians, and sug­gest that Karkoc was at the scene of these atroc­i­ties as the com­pa­ny leader. Nazi SS files say he and his unit were also involved in the 1944 War­saw Upris­ing, in which the Nazis bru­tal­ly sup­pressed a Pol­ish rebel­lion against Ger­man occu­pa­tion.

    The US Depart­ment of Jus­tice has used lies about wartime ser­vice made in immi­gra­tion papers to deport dozens of sus­pect­ed Nazi war crim­i­nals. The evi­dence of Karkoc’s wartime activ­i­ties uncov­ered by AP has prompt­ed Ger­man author­i­ties to express inter­est in explor­ing whether there is enough to pros­e­cute. In Ger­many, Nazis with “com­mand respon­si­bil­i­ty” can be charged with war crimes even if their direct involve­ment in atroc­i­ties can­not be proven.
    In this May 22, 1990 pho­to, Michael Karkoc, pho­tographed in Laud­erdale, Minn. pri­or to a vis­it to Min­neso­ta from Sovi­et Pres­i­dent Mikhail Gor­bachev in ear­ly June of 1990. (pho­to cred­it: AP/The St. Paul Pio­neer Press, Chris Poly­do­roff)


    In this May 22, 1990 pho­to, Michael Karkoc, pho­tographed in Laud­erdale, Minn. pri­or to a vis­it to Min­neso­ta from Sovi­et Pres­i­dent Mikhail Gor­bachev in ear­ly June of 1990. (pho­to cred­it: AP/The St. Paul Pio­neer Press, Chris Poly­do­roff)

    Karkoc refused to dis­cuss his wartime past at his home in Min­neapo­lis, and repeat­ed efforts to set up an inter­view, using his son as an inter­me­di­ary, were unsuc­cess­ful.

    Efraim Zuroff, the lead Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesen­thal Cen­ter in Jerusalem, said that based on his decades of expe­ri­ence pur­su­ing Nazi war crim­i­nals, he expects that the evi­dence show­ing Karkoc lied to Amer­i­can offi­cials and that his unit car­ried out atroc­i­ties is strong enough for depor­ta­tion and war-crimes pros­e­cu­tion in Ger­many or Poland.

    “In Amer­i­ca this is a rel­a­tive­ly easy case: If he was the com­man­der of a unit that car­ried out atroc­i­ties, that’s a no brain­er,” Zuroff said. “Even in Ger­many … if the guy was the com­man­der of the unit, then even if they can’t show he per­son­al­ly pulled the trig­ger, he bears respon­si­bil­i­ty.”

    For­mer Ger­man army offi­cer Josef Sche­un­graber — a lieu­tenant like Karkoc — was con­vict­ed in Ger­many in 2009 on charges of mur­der based on cir­cum­stan­tial evi­dence that put him on the scene of a Nazi wartime mas­sacre in Italy as the rank­ing offi­cer.

    Ger­man pros­e­cu­tors are oblig­at­ed to open an inves­ti­ga­tion if there is enough “ini­tial sus­pi­cion” of pos­si­ble involve­ment in war crimes, said Thomas Walther, a for­mer pros­e­cu­tor with the spe­cial Ger­man office that inves­ti­gates Nazi war crimes.

    The cur­rent deputy head of that office, Thomas Will, said there is no indi­ca­tion that Karkoc had ever been inves­ti­gat­ed by Ger­many. Based on the AP’s evi­dence, he said he is now inter­est­ed in gath­er­ing infor­ma­tion that could pos­si­bly result in pros­e­cu­tion.

    Pros­e­cu­tion in Poland may also be a pos­si­bil­i­ty because most of the unit’s alleged crimes were against Poles on Pol­ish ter­ri­to­ry. But Karkoc would be unlike­ly to be tried in his native Ukraine, where such men are today large­ly seen as nation­al heroes who fought for the coun­try against the Sovi­et Union.

    Karkoc now lives in a mod­est house in north­east Min­neapo­lis in an area with a sig­nif­i­cant Ukrain­ian pop­u­la­tion. Even at his advanced age, he came to the door with­out help of a cane or a walk­er. He would not com­ment on his wartime ser­vice for Nazi Ger­many.

    “I don’t think I can explain,” he said.

    Mem­bers of his unit and oth­er wit­ness­es have told sto­ries of bru­tal attacks on civil­ians.
    This undat­ed repro­duc­tion shows a page of Michael Karkoc’s 1949 U.S. Army intel­li­gence file that AP had declas­si­fied by the U.S. Nation­al Archives in Mary­land through a Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion Act request. Offi­cials note in the doc­u­ment that Karkoc told them he per­formed no mil­i­tary ser­vice dur­ing the war; work­ing for his father until 1944 and in a labor camp from 1944 to 45. (pho­to cred­it: AP)

    This undat­ed repro­duc­tion shows a page of Michael Karkoc’s 1949 U.S. Army intel­li­gence file that AP had declas­si­fied by the U.S. Nation­al Archives in Mary­land through a Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion Act request. Offi­cials note in the doc­u­ment that Karkoc told them he per­formed no mil­i­tary ser­vice dur­ing the war; work­ing for his father until 1944 and in a labor camp from 1944 to 45. (pho­to cred­it: AP)

    One of Karkoc’s men, Vasyl Malazhen­s­ki, told Sovi­et inves­ti­ga­tors that in 1944 the unit was direct­ed to “liq­ui­date all the res­i­dents” of the vil­lage of Chlaniow in a reprisal attack for the killing of a Ger­man SS offi­cer, though he did not say who gave the order.

    “It was all like a trance: set­ting the fires, the shoot­ing, the destroy­ing,” Malazhen­s­ki recalled, accord­ing to the 1967 state­ment found by the AP in the archives of Warsaw’s state-run Insti­tute of Nation­al Remem­brance, which inves­ti­gates and pros­e­cutes Ger­man and Sovi­et crimes on Poles dur­ing and after World War II.

    “Lat­er, when we were pass­ing in file through the destroyed vil­lage,” Malazhen­s­ki said, “I could see the dead bod­ies of the killed res­i­dents: men, women, chil­dren.”

    In a back­ground check by U.S. offi­cials on April 14, 1949, Karkoc said he had nev­er per­formed any mil­i­tary ser­vice, telling inves­ti­ga­tors that he “worked for father until 1944. Worked in labor camp from 1944 until 1945.”

    How­ev­er, in a Ukrain­ian-lan­guage mem­oir pub­lished in 1995, Karkoc states that he helped found the Ukrain­ian Self Defense Legion in 1943 in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Nazis’ feared SS intel­li­gence agency, the SD, to fight on the side of Ger­many — and served as a com­pa­ny com­man­der in the unit, which received orders direct­ly from the SS, through the end of the war.

    It was not clear why Karkoc felt safe pub­lish­ing his mem­oir, which is avail­able at the U.S. Library of Con­gress and the British Library and which the AP locat­ed online in an elec­tron­ic Ukrain­ian library.

    Karkoc’s name sur­faced when a retired clin­i­cal phar­ma­col­o­gist who took up Nazi war crimes research in his free time came across it while look­ing into mem­bers of the SS Gali­cian Divi­sion who emi­grat­ed to Britain. He tipped off AP when an Inter­net search showed an address for Karkoc in Min­neso­ta.

    “Here was a chance to pub­licly con­front a man who com­mand­ed a com­pa­ny alleged to be involved in the cru­el mur­der of inno­cent peo­ple,” said Stephen Anki­er, who is based in Lon­don.

    The AP locat­ed Karkoc’s U.S. Army intel­li­gence file, and got it declas­si­fied by the Nation­al Archives in Mary­land through a FOIA request. The Army was respon­si­ble for pro­cess­ing visa appli­ca­tions after the war under the Dis­placed Per­sons Act.

    The intel­li­gence file said stan­dard back­ground checks with sev­en dif­fer­ent agen­cies found no red flags that would dis­qual­i­fy him from enter­ing the Unit­ed States. But it also not­ed that it lacked key infor­ma­tion from the Sovi­et side: “Ver­i­fi­ca­tion of iden­ti­ty and com­plete estab­lish­ment of applicant’s reli­a­bil­i­ty is not pos­si­ble due to the inac­ces­si­bil­i­ty of records and geo­graph­ic area of applicant’s for­mer res­i­dence.”

    Wartime doc­u­ments locat­ed by the AP also con­firm Karkoc’s mem­ber­ship in the Self Defense Legion. They include a Nazi pay­roll sheet found in Pol­ish archives, signed by an SS offi­cer on Jan. 8, 1945 — only four months before the war’s end — con­firm­ing that Karkoc was present in Krakow, Poland, to col­lect his salary as a mem­ber of the Self Defense Legion. Karkoc signed the doc­u­ment using Cyril­lic let­ters.

    Karkoc, an eth­nic Ukrain­ian, was born in the city of Lut­sk in 1919, accord­ing to details he pro­vid­ed Amer­i­can offi­cials. At the time, the area was being fought over by Ukraine, Poland and oth­ers; it end­ed up part of Poland until World War II. Sev­er­al wartime Nazi doc­u­ments note the same birth date, but say he was born in Horodok, a town in the same region.

    He joined the reg­u­lar Ger­man army after the Nazi inva­sion of the Sovi­et Union in 1941 and fought on the East­ern Front in Ukraine and Rus­sia, accord­ing to his mem­oirs, which say he was award­ed an Iron Cross, a Nazi award for brav­ery.

    He was also a mem­ber of the Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist orga­ni­za­tion OUN; in 1943, he helped nego­ti­ate with the Nazis to have men drawn from its mem­ber­ship form the Self Defense Legion, accord­ing to his account. Ini­tial­ly small, it even­tu­al­ly num­bered some 600 sol­diers. The legion was dis­solved and fold­ed into the SS Gali­cian Divi­sion in 1945; Karkoc wrote that he remained with it until the end of the war.

    Pol­i­cy at the time of Karkoc’s immi­gra­tion appli­ca­tion — accord­ing to a declas­si­fied secret U.S. gov­ern­ment doc­u­ment obtained by the AP from the Nation­al Archives — was to deny a visa to any­one who had served in either the SS Gali­cian Divi­sion or the OUN. The U.S. does not typ­i­cal­ly have juris­dic­tion to pros­e­cute Nazi war crimes but has won more than 100 “denat­u­ral­iza­tion and removal actions” against peo­ple sus­pect­ed of them.

    Depart­ment of Jus­tice spokesman Michael Pass­man would not com­ment on whether Karkoc had ever come to the department’s atten­tion, cit­ing a pol­i­cy not to con­firm or deny the exis­tence of inves­ti­ga­tions.

    Though Karkoc talks in his mem­oirs about fight­ing anti-Nazi Pol­ish resis­tance fight­ers, he makes no men­tion of attacks on civil­ians. He does indi­cate he was with his com­pa­ny in the sum­mer of 1944 when the Self Defense Legion’s com­man­der — Siegfried Ass­muss, whose SS rank was equiv­a­lent to major — was killed.

    “We lost an irre­place­able com­man­der, Ass­muss,” he wrote about the par­ti­san attack near Chlaniow.

    He did not men­tion the retal­ia­to­ry mas­sacre that fol­lowed, which was described in detail by Malazhen­s­ki in his 1967 state­ment used to help con­vict pla­toon leader Teodozy Dak of war crimes in Poland in 1972. An SS admin­is­tra­tive list obtained by AP shows that Karkoc com­mand­ed both Malazhen­s­ki and Dak, who died in prison in 1974.

    Malazhen­s­ki said the Ukrain­ian unit was ordered to liq­ui­date Chlaniow in reprisal for Ass­muss’ death, and moved in the next day, machine-gun­ning peo­ple and torch­ing homes. More than 40 peo­ple died.

    “The vil­lage was on fire,” Malazhen­s­ki said.

    Vil­lagers offered chill­ing tes­ti­mo­ny about the bru­tal­i­ty of the attack.

    In 1948, Chlaniow vil­lager Stanis­lawa Lip­s­ka told a com­mu­nist-era com­mis­sion that she heard shots at about 7 a.m., then saw “the Ukrain­ian SS force” enter­ing the town, call­ing out in Ukrain­ian and Pol­ish for peo­ple to come out of their homes.

    “The Ukraini­ans were set­ting fire to the build­ings,” Lip­s­ka said in a state­ment, also used in the Dak tri­al. “You could hear machine-gun shots and grenade explo­sions. Shots could be heard inside the vil­lage and on the out­skirts. They were mak­ing sure no one escaped.”

    Wit­ness state­ments and oth­er doc­u­men­ta­tion also link the unit cir­cum­stan­tial­ly to a 1943 mas­sacre in Pid­hait­si, on the out­skirts of Lut­sk —today part of Ukraine — where the Self Defense Legion was once based. A total of 21 vil­lagers, most­ly women and chil­dren, were slaugh­tered.

    Karkoc says in his mem­oir that his unit was found­ed and head­quar­tered there in 1943 and lat­er men­tions that Pid­hait­si was still the unit’s base in Jan­u­ary 1944.

    Anoth­er legion mem­ber, Kost Hir­ni­ak, said in his own 1977 mem­oir that the unit, while away on a mis­sion, was sud­den­ly ordered back to Pid­hait­si after a Ger­man sol­dier was killed in the area; it arrived on Dec. 2, 1943.

    The next day, though Hir­ni­ak does not men­tion it, near­ly two dozen civil­ians, pri­mar­i­ly women and chil­dren, were slaugh­tered in Pid­hait­si. There is no indi­ca­tion any oth­er units were in the area at the time.

    Heo­rhiy Syvyi was a 9‑year-old boy when troops swarmed into town on Dec. 3 and man­aged to flee with his father and hide in a shel­ter cov­ered with branch­es. His moth­er and 4‑year-old broth­er were killed.

    “When we came out we saw the smol­der­ing ash­es of the burned house and our neigh­bors search­ing for the dead. My moth­er had my broth­er clasped to her chest. This is how she was found — black and burned,” said Syvyi, 78, sit­ting on a bench out­side his home.

    Vil­lagers today blame the attack gener­i­cal­ly on “the Nazis” — some­thing that experts say is not unusu­al in Ukraine because of the exalt­ed sta­tus for­mer Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist troops enjoy.

    How­ev­er, Pid­hait­si school­teacher Galy­na Sydorchuk told the AP that “there is a ver­sion” of the sto­ry in the vil­lage that the Ukrain­ian troops were involved in the Decem­ber mas­sacre.

    “There were many in Pid­hait­si who were involved in the Self Defense Legion,” she said. “But they obvi­ous­ly keep it secret.”

    Ivan Katchanovs­ki, a Ukrain­ian polit­i­cal sci­en­tist who has done exten­sive research on the Self Defense Legion, said its mem­bers have been care­ful to cul­ti­vate the myth that their ser­vice to Nazi Ger­many was sole­ly a fight against Sovi­et com­mu­nism. But he said its actions — fight­ing par­ti­sans and reprisal attacks on civil­ians — tell a dif­fer­ent sto­ry.

    “Under the pre­text of anti-par­ti­san action they act­ed as a kind of police unit to sup­press and kill or pun­ish the local pop­u­la­tions. This became their main mis­sion,” said Katchanovs­ki, who went to high school in Pid­hait­si and now teach­es at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ottawa in Cana­da. “There is evi­dence of clash­es with Pol­ish par­ti­sans, but most of their clash­es were small, and their most vis­i­ble actions were mass killings of civil­ians.”

    There is evi­dence that the unit took part in the bru­tal sup­pres­sion of the War­saw Upris­ing, fight­ing the nation­al­ist Pol­ish Home Army as it sought to rid the city of its Nazi occu­piers and take con­trol of the city ahead of the advanc­ing Sovi­et Army.

    The upris­ing, which start­ed in August 1944, was put down by the Nazis by the begin­ning of Octo­ber in a house-to-house fight char­ac­ter­ized by its feroc­i­ty.

    The Self Defense Legion’s exact role is not known, but Nazi doc­u­ments indi­cate that Karkoc and his unit were there.

    An SS pay­roll doc­u­ment, dat­ed Oct. 12, 1944, says 10 mem­bers of the Self Defense Legion “fell while deployed to War­saw” and more than 30 oth­ers were injured. Karkoc is list­ed as the high­est-rank­ing com­man­der of 2 Com­pa­ny — a lieu­tenant — on a pay sheet that also lists Dak as one of his offi­cers.

    Anoth­er Nazi account­ing doc­u­ment uncov­ered by the AP in the Pol­ish Nation­al Archives in Krakow lists Karkoc by name — includ­ing his rank, birth­date and home­town — as one of 219 “mem­bers of the S.M.d.S.-Batl 31 who were in War­saw,” using the Ger­man abbre­vi­a­tion for the Self Defense Legion.

    In ear­ly 1945, the Self Defense Legion was inte­grat­ed into the SS Gali­cia Divi­sion, and Karkoc said in his mem­oirs that he served as a deputy com­pa­ny com­man­der until the end of the war.

    Fol­low­ing the war, Karkoc end­ed up in a camp for dis­placed peo­ple in Neu Ulm, Ger­many, accord­ing to doc­u­ments obtained from the Inter­na­tion­al Trac­ing Ser­vice in Bad Arolsen, Ger­many. The doc­u­ments indi­cate that his wife died in 1948, a year before he and their two young boys — born in 1945 and 1946 — emi­grat­ed to the U.S.

    After he arrived in Min­neapo­lis, he remar­ried and had four more chil­dren, the last born in 1966.

    Karkoc told Amer­i­can offi­cials he was a car­pen­ter, and records indi­cate he worked for a nation­wide con­struc­tion com­pa­ny that has an office in Min­neapo­lis.

    A long­time mem­ber of the Ukrain­ian Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion, Karkoc has been close­ly involved in com­mu­ni­ty affairs over the past decades and was iden­ti­fied in a 2002 arti­cle in a Ukrain­ian-Amer­i­can pub­li­ca­tion as a “long­time UNA activist.”
    Copy­right 2013 The Asso­ci­at­ed Press.

    Posted by Vanfield | June 14, 2013, 9:29 am
  3. Update on Karkoc et al. ...

    US lim­bo for Nazi sus­pects ordered out
    Email this Sto­ry

    Jul 30, 4:15 AM (ET)

    By AMY FORLITI and RANDY HERSCHAFT

    (AP) This Aug. 31, 2009, file pho­to shows John Kaly­mon, once known as Iwan Kaly­mon, at his home...
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    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — At least 10 sus­pect­ed Nazi war crim­i­nals ordered deport­ed by the Unit­ed States nev­er left the coun­try, accord­ing to an Asso­ci­at­ed Press review of Jus­tice Depart­ment data — and four are liv­ing in the U.S. today. All remained eli­gi­ble for pub­lic ben­e­fits such as Social Secu­ri­ty until they exhaust­ed appeals, and in one case even beyond.

    Qui­et Amer­i­can legal lim­bo was the fate of all 10 men uncov­ered in the AP review. The rea­son: While the U.S. want­ed them out, no oth­er coun­try was will­ing to take them in.

    That’s cur­rent­ly the case of Vladas Zajanck­auskas in Sut­ton, Mass­a­chu­setts. It’s the case of Theodor Sze­hin­skyj in West Chester, Penn­syl­va­nia. Of Jakiw Pal­ij in New York City. And of John Kaly­mon in Troy, Michi­gan.

    All have been in the same areas for years, stripped of cit­i­zen­ship and ordered deport­ed, yet able to car­ry out their lives in famil­iar sur­round­ings. Dozens of oth­er Nazi war crimes sus­pects in the U.S. were also enti­tled to Social Secu­ri­ty and oth­er pub­lic ben­e­fits for years as they fought depor­ta­tion.

    (AP) This May 22, 1990, file pho­to, shows Michael Karkoc in Laud­erdale, Minn. At least 10...
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    The Unit­ed States can deport peo­ple over evi­dence of involve­ment in Nazi war crimes, but can­not put such peo­ple on tri­al because the alleged crimes did not take place on Amer­i­can soil. The respon­si­bil­i­ty to pros­e­cute would lie with the coun­tries where the crimes were com­mit­ted or ordered — if the sus­pects ever end up there.

    In the 34 years since the Jus­tice Depart­ment cre­at­ed an office to find and deport Nazi sus­pects, the agency has ini­ti­at­ed legal pro­ceed­ings against 137 peo­ple. Less than half — at least 66 — have been removed by depor­ta­tion, extra­di­tion or vol­un­tary depar­ture.

    At least 20 died while their cas­es were pend­ing. In at least 20 oth­er cas­es, U.S. offi­cials agreed not to pur­sue or enforce depor­ta­tion orders, often because of poor health, accord­ing to a 2008 report by the Jus­tice Depart­ment. In some cas­es, the U.S. gov­ern­ment agreed not to file depor­ta­tion pro­ceed­ings in exchange for coop­er­a­tion in oth­er inves­ti­ga­tions, the report said.

    But the key stum­bling block has been the lack of polit­i­cal will by coun­tries in Europe to accept those ordered to leave.

    “With­out any doubt, the great­est sin­gle frus­tra­tion has been our inabil­i­ty, in quite a num­ber of cas­es now, to car­ry out the depor­ta­tion orders that we’ve won in fed­er­al courts. We can’t car­ry them out because gov­ern­ments of Europe refuse to take these peo­ple back,” Eli Rosen­baum, the long­time head of the Jus­tice Depart­ment agency charged with inves­ti­gat­ing accused Nazi war crim­i­nals, said in the 2011 doc­u­men­tary “Elu­sive Jus­tice: The Search for Nazi War Crim­i­nals.”

    Jus­tice offi­cials declined to make Rosen­baum avail­able for an inter­view.

    The four men still liv­ing in the U.S despite depor­ta­tion orders have all exhaust­ed appeals:

    _Zajanck­auskas, 97, remains in Mass­a­chu­setts 11 years after author­i­ties first began the denat­u­ral­iza­tion process. He was ordered deport­ed to his native Lithua­nia in 2007, and ran out of appeals in 2010 but remains in the U.S. because oth­er coun­tries, includ­ing Lithua­nia, won’t accept him, Rosen­baum has said. Zajanck­auskas took part in the “bru­tal liq­ui­da­tion” of the War­saw Ghet­to, accord­ing to Rosen­baum. Zajanck­auskas, who did­n’t return a mes­sage from the AP, has denied being in War­saw at the time.

    _Sze­hin­skyj, 89, remains in Penn­syl­va­nia near­ly 14 years after DOJ began a case against him. He was denat­u­ral­ized and ordered deport­ed to his native Ukraine, Poland or Ger­many, and exhaust­ed all appeals in 2006. The Depart­ment of Jus­tice has said no coun­try has been will­ing to accept him. Author­i­ties say Sze­hin­skyj was an armed guard at Nazi con­cen­tra­tion camps in Ger­many and Poland, a claim he has denied. Sze­hin­skyj’s attor­ney did­n’t return mes­sages from the AP.

    _Pal­ij, 89, remains in New York 11 years after the DOJ ini­ti­at­ed a case against him and sev­en years after he exhaust­ed appeals. Court records say Pal­ij — born in a part of Poland that is now part of Ukraine- was an armed guard at an SS slave labor camp for Jews in Nazi-occu­pied Poland until at least the spring of 1943, and helped to keep pris­on­ers from escap­ing. Pal­ij has denied the accu­sa­tions. The orig­i­nal order deport­ing Pal­ij to Ukraine has been amend­ed to allow depor­ta­tion to Ger­many, Poland or any oth­er coun­try will­ing to accept him. Jus­tice offi­cials say none has been will­ing. A man who answered the phone at Pal­i­j’s num­ber had trou­ble hear­ing and could not car­ry out a phone con­ver­sa­tion. A woman who answered the phone at the office of Pal­i­j’s attor­ney said he does not speak to reporters.

    _Kaly­mon, 92, is still in Michi­gan despite exhaust­ing appeals ear­li­er this year in a process that took nine years. Pros­e­cu­tors said Kaly­mon, who was born in Poland, was a mem­ber of the Nazi-spon­sored Ukrain­ian Aux­il­iary Police in Lviv, which round­ed up Jews and impris­oned them. Pros­e­cu­tors said Kaly­mon also shot Jews. He was ordered deport­ed to Ukraine, Poland, Ger­many or any oth­er coun­try that would take him. His attor­ney, Elias Xenos, said his client was a teenage boy who was essen­tial­ly guard­ing a sack of coal.

    “That’s not the gov­ern­men­t’s posi­tion, of course. But they’ve run out of true per­se­cu­tors, and they are try­ing to now pros­e­cute peo­ple on the fringes,” Xenos said.

    He said he is not aware of any coun­try that has agreed to take Kaly­mon, who he said has Alzheimer’s dis­ease and can­cer.

    In Poland, pros­e­cu­tor Grze­gorz Mal­isiewicz said an inves­ti­ga­tion of Kaly­mon was closed in Jan­u­ary because author­i­ties could­n’t defin­i­tive­ly tie him to crimes com­mit­ted in 1942. In Ger­many, Munich pros­e­cu­tors have been inves­ti­gat­ing Kaly­mon on sus­pi­cion of mur­der since 2010.

    Efraim Zuroff, chief Nazi hunter for the Simon Wiesen­thal Cen­ter, said many coun­tries lack the polit­i­cal will to accept sus­pect­ed Nazi crim­i­nals who have been ordered deport­ed: “I don’t think it’s any lack of effort by the Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment.”

    Ger­many has tak­en the posi­tion that peo­ple involved in Nazi crimes must be pros­e­cut­ed, no mat­ter how old or infirm, as it did in the case of retired Ohio autowork­er John Dem­jan­juk. He died last year at age 91 while appeal­ing his con­vic­tion of being an acces­so­ry to 28,060 mur­ders while a guard at the Sobi­bor death camp.

    Before that case, Ger­many had been reluc­tant to pros­e­cute Nazi war crimes sus­pects who weren’t Ger­man cit­i­zens, said Stephen Paskey, a for­mer Jus­tice Depart­ment attor­ney who worked on the Dem­jan­juk and Zajanck­auskas cas­es. Ger­many has also resist­ed accept­ing those who are ordered deport­ed because, like oth­er coun­tries, it does­n’t want to be seen as a refuge for those with Nazi pasts, the DOJ said.

    The case of Johann Lep­rich fell into that cat­e­go­ry. Author­i­ties said Lep­rich, of Clin­ton Town­ship, Michi­gan, served as an armed guard at a Nazi camp in Aus­tria dur­ing World War II. He was 78 when he was ordered deport­ed in 2003. Ger­many, Hun­gary and Lep­rich’s native Roma­nia — which passed a law in 2002 bar­ring the entry of war crimes sus­pects — all refused to accept him. A tech­ni­cal issue relat­ed to Lep­rich’s depor­ta­tion order allowed him to remain eli­gi­ble for pub­lic ben­e­fits until he died in 2013, although for unclear rea­sons he stopped receiv­ing them long before that

    Accord­ing to AP’s analy­sis of DOJ records, five oth­er Nazi sus­pects were ordered deport­ed but remained in the U.S. until they died because no coun­try was will­ing to take them:

    _Osyp Firishchak, 93, of Chica­go, died last Novem­ber, nine months after exhaust­ing appeals. A U.S. judge con­clud­ed that Firishchak had lied when he said he was not a mem­ber of the Ukrain­ian Aux­il­iary Police, which helped Nazis arrest Jews in large num­bers and sent them to labor and death camps. He was born in ter­ri­to­ry that was then Czecho­slo­va­kia and is now part of the Ukraine. He was ordered deport­ed to Ukraine in 2007.

    _Anton Tit­tjung, of Wis­con­sin, died last year at age 87. Born in a part of the for­mer Yugoslavia that is now Croa­t­ia, he was accused of being an armed guard at the Mau­thausen con­cen­tra­tion camp in Aus­tria and was ordered deport­ed to Croa­t­ia in 1994. He said he was not a Nazi. He exhaust­ed his appeals in 2001 but remained in the U.S. because Croa­t­ia would not accept him, say­ing he was nei­ther born there nor a cit­i­zen of Croa­t­ia, accord­ing to a DOJ report. The U.S. also asked Aus­tria and Ger­many to accept him; both refused.

    _Mykola Wasy­lyk spent most of his Amer­i­can years in the Catskills region, 90 miles north of New York City, and died in North Port, Flori­da, in 2010 at age 86. He exhaust­ed his appeals in 2004. He was born in for­mer Pol­ish ter­ri­to­ry that is now part of Ukraine. Pros­e­cu­tors say he was an armed guard at two forced labor camps in Nazi-occu­pied Poland, but he claimed he was unaware that pris­on­ers there were per­se­cut­ed. The Unit­ed States ordered him deport­ed to Ukraine. At Wasy­lyk’s request, the DOJ amend­ed the order to seek to deport him first to Switzer­land. Nei­ther coun­try took him in.

    _Michael Negele, died in St. Peters, Mis­souri, in 2008 at age 87. He was ordered deport­ed to his native Roma­nia or to Ger­many in 2003, and he exhaust­ed appeals in June 2004. Nei­ther coun­try was will­ing to take him, the DOJ said. Negele was accused of being an armed guard and dog han­dler at the Sach­sen­hausen con­cen­tra­tion camp in Ger­many, and lat­er at the There­sien­stadt Jew­ish ghet­to in what is now the Czech Repub­lic. Negele had argued he was not involved in any wartime atroc­i­ties.

    _Bronislaw Haj­da, died in Schiller Park, Illi­nois, in 2005 at age 80. He was ordered deport­ed to his native Poland or Ger­many in 1998, and his appeals process end­ed in 2001. But both coun­tries repeat­ed­ly refused to accept him, author­i­ties said. He was accused of par­tic­i­pat­ing in a mas­sacre of Jews at a Nazi slave labor camp. Haj­da had denied the alle­ga­tions and said he nev­er killed any­one.

    Lead­ing Holo­caust experts express frus­tra­tion at the fail­ure to remove such men from the Unit­ed States.

    “That they have been able to live out their lives enjoy­ing the free­doms of this coun­try, after depriv­ing oth­ers of free­dom and life itself, is an affront to the mem­o­ry of those who per­ished,” said Paul Shapiro, direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Advanced Holo­caust Stud­ies at the U.S. Holo­caust Memo­r­i­al Muse­um in Wash­ing­ton.

    The reluc­tance of coun­tries to accept sus­pect­ed Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors could become a fac­tor in the case of Michael Karkoc, a Min­neso­ta man iden­ti­fied in an AP inves­ti­ga­tion last month as a com­man­der in a Nazi SS-led unit accused of mas­sacres.

    Both Ger­man and Pol­ish pros­e­cu­tors are inves­ti­gat­ing whether there is enough evi­dence to bring charges against Karkoc, 94, and seek extra­di­tion. If nei­ther coun­try decides to charge Karkoc, U.S. offi­cials may try to hold him account­able through sep­a­rate civ­il pro­ceed­ings that would strip him of his cit­i­zen­ship and seek to have him deport­ed. In that event, the U.S. would need to find a coun­try that would take him in — and the ear­li­er cas­es sug­gest that may prove dif­fi­cult.

    “No one is oblig­at­ed to take him unless he is charged,” Paskey said. “Ukraine would­n’t have to take him. No one else would want him.”

    The AP inves­ti­ga­tion revealed that Karkoc lied to Amer­i­can immi­gra­tion offi­cials to enter the Unit­ed States after the war, say­ing he had no mil­i­tary expe­ri­ence and con­ceal­ing his work as an offi­cer and found­ing mem­ber of the SS-led Ukrain­ian Self Defense Legion. Records don’t show Karkoc had a direct hand in wartime atroc­i­ties, but the evi­dence shows that he had com­mand respon­si­bil­i­ty over a unit that mas­sa­cred Pol­ish civil­ians. Karkoc’s fam­i­ly claims he was nev­er involved in Nazi war crimes. Jus­tice offi­cials would not con­firm whether the U.S. is inves­ti­gat­ing Karkoc.

    Paskey said the U.S. could have a good denat­u­ral­iza­tion case against Karkoc, because pros­e­cu­tors would­n’t have to prove he had a direct hand in war crimes. But the quick­est — and per­haps only — way to remove him from the U.S. would be if he is charged crim­i­nal­ly.

    “Unless Poland or Ger­many decides to pros­e­cute him,” Paskey said, “he is like­ly to die in the Unit­ed States.”

    Asso­ci­at­ed Press writ­ers David Ris­ing in Kab­ul, Afghanistan; Moni­ka Scis­lows­ka in War­saw; Geir Moul­son in Berlin; Michael Rubinkam in Aldan, Penn­syl­va­nia; Karl Rit­ter in Stock­holm, Swe­den; and Liu­das Dap­kas in Vil­nius, Lithua­nia, con­tributed to this report. Her­schaft report­ed from New York.

    Posted by participo | July 30, 2013, 2:16 pm
  4. Posted by participo | July 30, 2013, 2:17 pm
  5. http://www.timesofisrael.com/ukraine-divided-over-legacy-of-nazi-fighters/

    Ukraine divid­ed over lega­cy of Nazi fight­ers
    Local men who fought as part of the SS are remem­bered either as trai­tors or patri­ot­ic heros
    By Maria Danilo­va August 1, 2013, 3:28 pm 0

    CHERVONE, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraini­ans dressed in Nazi SS uni­form trudge through trench­es and fire mod­el rifles in a recon­struc­tion of a key bat­tle against the Sovi­ets dur­ing World War II. An Ortho­dox priest leads a cer­e­mo­ny for fall­en sol­diers of the Nazi unit, sprin­kling his bless­ing over sev­er­al men sport­ing swastikas who low­er a cof­fin in a rit­u­al rebur­ial.

    The scenes were part of com­mem­o­ra­tions last week of sol­diers many Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists — along with a smat­ter­ing of hard­core ultra-right­ists — hail as heroes. The men they are hon­or­ing belonged to the SS Gali­cian divi­sion, a Nazi mil­i­tary unit made up most­ly of Ukraini­ans, which fought Sovi­et troops dur­ing World War II.

    More than 20 years since gain­ing inde­pen­dence from the Sovi­et Union, Ukraine remains painful­ly divid­ed over the lega­cy of World War II and the actions of Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist fight­ers, who are hon­ored as heroes by some and con­demned as trai­tors by oth­ers. Some of those fight­ers served under or coop­er­at­ed with the Nazis, see­ing a chance to over­throw the Sovi­et regime, while oth­ers fought both the Red Army and the Nazis.

    “Ukraine is in our souls and hearts,” said SS Gali­cian divi­sion vet­er­an Mykhai­lo Yamu­lyk, a gray-haired man in his late 80s, before the remains of some of his fel­low sol­diers were reburied in coffins draped with the yel­low-and-blue Ukrain­ian flag at a ceme­tery in this small vil­lage in west­ern Ukraine. “Those who say that we wore Ger­man uni­form — yes, we did, and our weapons were Ger­man, but our hearts were full of Ukrain­ian blood and we nev­er betrayed it.”

    One of Yamulyk’s fel­low SS Gali­cian vet­er­ans is Michael Karkoc, a Min­neso­ta man shown in an Asso­ci­at­ed Press inves­ti­ga­tion to have com­mand­ed a Nazi-led unit accused of atroc­i­ties. The annu­al com­mem­o­ra­tions of the Gali­cian give an insight into the com­plex reac­tion that the Karkoc rev­e­la­tions have pro­duced in Ukraine, in con­trast to the near uni­ver­sal out­rage they have stirred up in Poland, Ger­many and the Unit­ed States.

    Each year, com­pet­ing ral­lies com­mem­o­rat­ing World War II are held through­out Ukraine, some­times result­ing in brawls. Much of the Russ­ian-speak­ing east of the coun­try cel­e­brates the Red Army’s vic­to­ry over Nazi invaders, while in the Ukrain­ian-speak­ing west, where most of the anti-Sovi­et insur­gents fought, mon­u­ments have been erect­ed and streets have been named in their hon­or. Vet­er­ans receive gov­ern­ment ben­e­fits, no mat­ter which side they fought on dur­ing the war.

    Politi­cians are also deeply divid­ed on the sub­ject. For­mer Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yushchenko, who steered Ukraine toward the West after lead­ing the 2004 Orange Rev­o­lu­tion, cam­paigned to have the nation­al­ist insur­gents hon­ored as heroes, even though lead­ing West­ern his­to­ri­ans say many of their units had a hand in mas­sacring civil­ians, includ­ing Jews and Poles. And the rad­i­cal nation­al­ist par­ty Svo­bo­da — a vocal force in par­lia­ment whose lead­ers have been accused of anti-Semit­ic and racist remarks — extolls those fight­ers.

    The Par­ty of Regions led by Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovych, who is seen as more Rus­sia-friend­ly, has cam­paigned against treat­ing the men as heroes. But the par­ty has exploit­ed the anti-fas­cist cause to its advan­tage. In May, it orga­nized a large ral­ly in Kiev to protest fas­cism and call for tol­er­ance — but after the event end­ed, pro-gov­ern­ment activists clashed with oppo­si­tion pro­test­ers and beat up two jour­nal­ists try­ing to film the brawl.

    Post-Sovi­et Ukraine has failed to inves­ti­gate, pros­e­cute or bring to tri­al a sin­gle Nazi war crim­i­nal, accord­ing to Efraim Zuroff, the top Nazi hunter with the Simon Wiesen­thal Cen­ter. The same is true of oth­er post-Com­mu­nist coun­tries with a record of Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tion such as Latvia, Esto­nia and Belarus. Pressed by the West, Lithua­nia put three Nazi crim­i­nals on tri­al, but wait­ed until they were too old or unfit to be pun­ished. In all of these coun­tries, experts say, sus­pect­ed Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors were pro­tect­ed because of their role fight­ing the Sovi­ets, con­sid­ered by much of the pop­u­la­tion as the greater ene­my.

    “Ukraine’s efforts or lack of efforts to inves­ti­gate and pros­e­cute Nazi war crim­i­nals is assessed as a total fail­ure; they haven’t done a damn thing,” Zuroff said. “To bring such peo­ple to jus­tice would be very polit­i­cal­ly unpop­u­lar in East­ern Europe.”

    Ukraini­ans sought inde­pen­dence dur­ing cen­turies of rule by the Russ­ian and Aus­tro-Hun­gar­i­an empires as well as Poland, and sev­en decades as part of the Sovi­et Union. Sub­ju­ga­tion under Poland lies at the heart of Ukraine’s his­toric resent­ment against Poles. When Sovi­et Ukraine was over­run by the Nazis dur­ing World War II, the Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists ini­tial­ly coop­er­at­ed with Hitler’s forces, hop­ing to shake off the Sovi­et regime — which had col­lec­tivized farms, engi­neered a dev­as­tat­ing famine that killed mil­lions and impris­oned or exe­cut­ed regime oppo­nents in droves. When lead­ers of the group real­ized the Nazis had no plans for an inde­pen­dent Ukraine, the group and its mil­i­tary wing switched to fight­ing both Stalin’s and Hitler’s forces. Oth­er Ukrain­ian mil­i­tary units, such as the SS Gali­cian Divi­sion or the Ukrain­ian Self Defense Legion, remained loy­al to the Nazis.

    Vet­er­ans of the Gali­cian see them­selves as free­dom fight­ers.
    Yevhen Kut­sik, 86, for­mer sol­dier of SS Gali­cian Divi­sion, right, and a young Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist lay a wreath on a mon­u­ment to SS Gali­cian Divi­sion, Sun­day, July 21, 2013. (pho­to credit:AP/Efrem Lukatsky)

    Yevhen Kut­sik, 86, for­mer sol­dier of SS Gali­cian Divi­sion, right, and a young Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist lay a wreath on a mon­u­ment to SS Gali­cian Divi­sion, Sun­day, July 21, 2013. (pho­to credit:AP/Efrem Lukatsky)

    Yevhen Kut­sik, 86, was a 16-year-old boy when he took up arms and joined the SS Gali­cian divi­sion after see­ing “moun­tains of corpses of inno­cent tor­tured men, women and even chil­dren” left by the Sovi­ets. “I fought for my moth­er­land, for my peo­ple, for my coun­try,” Kut­sik, clad in the divi­sion vet­er­ans’ dark blue uni­form and for­age cap, told The Asso­ci­at­ed Press dur­ing the com­mem­o­ra­tions out­side the west­ern city of Lviv in late July. After the war, Kut­sik served 12 years in a Sovi­et labor camp.

    In April, a larg­er ral­ly com­mem­o­rat­ing the SS Gali­cian Divi­sion was held in Lviv. Men and women clad in tra­di­tion­al Ukrain­ian embroi­dered shirts marched peace­ful­ly in the cen­ter of the city wav­ing the SS unit’s blue and yel­low ban­ners — but there was also a clear neo-Nazi con­tin­gent in the mix. Some marchers wore Nazi SS caps or uni­forms that appeared inspired by the Nazi Wehrma­cht armed forces, while oth­ers gave Nazi salutes. A band of neo-Nazi skin­heads from Rus­sia marched along­side the Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists, wear­ing T‑shirts embla­zoned with “SS Totenkopf” — in appar­ent ref­er­ence to the SS unit that sup­plied death camp guards.

    At anoth­er recent com­mem­o­ra­tion in the vil­lage of Yaseniv out­side Lviv, a young man with the SS Gali­cian division’s lion sym­bol tat­tooed on his leg wore a T‑shirt embla­zoned with the neo-Nazi slo­gan: “White pride world­wide.”

    In much of the post-Sovi­et Union, peo­ple gen­er­al­ly do not receive strong edu­ca­tion regard­ing Holo­caust hor­rors. Such igno­rance plays a strong role in events such as the ones in Yaseniv and Cher­vone that glo­ri­fy Nazi imagery — and most par­tic­i­pants do not belong to the hard right. The ten­den­cy to over­look Nazi crimes, how­ev­er, does breed tol­er­ance of the few neo-Nazi ele­ments among them, and can also lead to vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty to the xeno­pho­bic rhetoric of par­ties such as Svo­bo­da.

    Ral­lies in hon­or of sol­diers who fought in Nazi units dur­ing WWII have been held in Latvia and Esto­nia over the past years, also spark­ing con­tro­ver­sy.

    Many Ukrain­ian his­to­ri­ans see the insur­gents, includ­ing those who col­lab­o­rat­ed with the Nazis, as resis­tance fight­ers and vic­tims of unjust and bru­tal cir­cum­stances. Many West­ern his­to­ri­ans say some of them were also involved in mas­sacring civil­ians, such as Jews, Poles and Sovi­et sym­pa­thiz­ers. The killings of Jews rep­re­sent “a large and inex­pugnable stain on the records of the Ukrain­ian nation­al insur­gency,” writes John-Paul Him­ka, a his­to­ri­an at Canada’s Uni­ver­si­ty of Alber­ta who stud­ies the Holo­caust in Ukraine. His­to­ri­ans are still weigh­ing evi­dence on whether the SS Gali­cian had a role in Nazi war crimes, Him­ka said.

    An open dis­cus­sion of the lega­cy of the Ukrain­ian insur­gents was taboo dur­ing the Sovi­et era, with school chil­dren taught that they were ene­mies of the peo­ple. With the col­lapse of the Sovi­et Union in 1991, secret archives opened up and wit­ness accounts and doc­u­ments became acces­si­ble, some por­tray­ing the nation­al­ist fight­ers in a hero­ic light, oth­ers point­ing to the atroc­i­ties they had com­mit­ted.

    “Now it has become open and with it a lot of pain has emerged,” said Ana­toly Podol­sky, head of the Ukrain­ian Cen­ter for Holo­caust Stud­ies. “What can­not be done is to label them all as (Nazi) col­lab­o­ra­tors. Or as heroes. They are not all col­lab­o­ra­tors and they are not all heroes.”
    Ukraini­ans dressed in the SS Gali­cian Divi­sion uni­form stand in the guard of hon­or dur­ing re-bur­ial cer­e­mo­ny at the SS Gali­cian Divi­sion ceme­tery near the vil­lage of Cher­vone in west­ern Ukraine on Sun­day, July 21, 2013. (pho­to cred­it: AP/Efrem Lukatsky)

    Ukraini­ans dressed in the SS Gali­cian Divi­sion uni­form stand in the guard of hon­or dur­ing re-bur­ial cer­e­mo­ny at the SS Gali­cian Divi­sion ceme­tery near the vil­lage of Cher­vone in west­ern Ukraine on Sun­day, July 21, 2013. (pho­to cred­it: AP/Efrem Lukatsky)

    Podol­sky and oth­ers say that a thor­ough inves­ti­ga­tion and con­dem­na­tion of Nazi war crimes in Ukraine should be con­duct­ed along­side a sim­i­lar review of the crimes com­mit­ted by Sovi­et author­i­ties, which also hasn’t tak­en place.

    Born in the Lut­sk region, which is now part of west­ern Ukraine, Karkoc emi­grat­ed to the Unit­ed States short­ly after the war by lying to Amer­i­can author­i­ties about his role in the Ukrain­ian Self Defense Legion, which is accused of torch­ing vil­lages filled with women and chil­dren. The AP inves­ti­ga­tion found evi­dence indi­cat­ing that Karkoc was at the scene of the mas­sacres, although no records impli­cate him direct­ly in them. When reached for com­ment at his home in Min­neso­ta, Karkoc refused to dis­cuss his past.

    The Ukrain­ian For­eign Min­istry declined to talk about the Karkoc case. The Prosecutor’s Office said Karkoc’s case would be reviewed by Ukraine’s secu­ri­ty agency.

    But Vadim Kolesnichenko, a law­mak­er with the president’s par­ty, asked the pros­e­cu­tors to seek Karkoc’s extra­di­tion from the Unit­ed States and to put him on tri­al in Ukraine. “Nazi crimes against human­i­ty have no expi­ra­tion date,” Kolesnichenko wrote in a blog post­ing.

    Activists on the oth­er side of the debate flocked to Karkoc’s defense.

    Ros­tislav Novozhenets, head of Ukraine-Rus, a group which stud­ies Sovi­et repres­sion against Ukraini­ans, said fight­ers like Karkoc coop­er­at­ed with the Nazis for the sake of free­ing their home­land from the total­i­tar­i­an Sovi­et regime.

    “Was it bet­ter to join the Sovi­et army, the army of a coun­try infa­mous for repres­sions and the Holod­mor (Stal­in-era famine), which killed mil­lions of its own cit­i­zens? The USSR was ene­my No. 1,” Novozhenets said. “That is why these boys, these Ukraini­ans, the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of an oppressed nation, can­not be con­demned: They fought for an inde­pen­dent Ukraine and that is why they should be hon­ored as fight­ers for inde­pen­dence.”

    Copy­right 2013 The Asso­ci­at­ed Press.

    Posted by Vanfield | August 1, 2013, 8:13 am

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