There is dispute about whether Michael Karkoc, 98, and a longtime resident of northeast Minneapolis, is responsible for atrocities committed in World War II. Most of that dispute comes from Karkoc's son, Andriy Karkos.
Karkoc is accused of serving as a commander in the Ukrainian Self-Defense League, a fascist outfit that massacred civilians in Poland, as exposed in a 2013 Associated Press investigation Karkos calls a "scandalous story slandering my father."
Karkos avoided using that kind of harsh language in describing a report this week from the Daily Beast, which says Karkoc was a supporter of the (American) Republican Party. That part's true.
Between 2011 and 2014, Karkoc donated just over $4,000 to the Republican National Committee, according to Federal Elections Commission records, with the bulk of it coming in a $3,000 donation in late May, 2014.
Karkoc, who now lives in a nursing home, does not register at any earlier points in the FEC's online database, which includes records from as early as 1979, and he appears to have sat out the most recent election cycle.
Karkos says his father's donations to the GOP should come as no surprise, as Karkoc is a "lifelong Republican" who appreciated the party's strong anti-communist stance. Karkos hints Karkoc's support of Republicans dates back to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whose administration was "penetrated by Soviet agents of influence."
The alleged war criminal is, instead, a big fan of another president. "[Karkoc] has a picture of Ronald and Nancy Reagan in his bedroom," according to his son, who adds he assumes his dad would've voted the GOP ticket in 2016.
Karkoc emigrated to the United States in 1949, originally telling American immigration agents he had not engaged in military service during World War II. That's a bald-faced lie, according to a Nazi payroll document, numerous men who served in the Ukrainian Self-Defense League, and a Ukrainian-language memoir Karkoc himself wrote in 1995.
And Polish prosecutors: Earlier this year, Karkoc's involvement with the Nazi-led Ukrainian fascists was "100 percent" confirmed, according to officials in that country, who want Karkoc to stand trial for the murder of 44 Polish citizens.
In June, Poland filed for Karkoc to be extradited from the United States to face justice there. A previous attempt at extradition by German prosecutors was abandoned after Karkoc was determined unfit to stand trial.
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