Polish MP Thomas Rzymkowski (Kukiz’15) submitted an interpellation to the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration and to the Minister of Justice about the prosecution of the former Waffen-SS officer, Mykhailo Karkoc, who is alleged to be responsible for the murder of at least dozens of Poles during World War II. His case is broadly described by Kresy.pl.

As already reported, Polish investigators will apply a new method that can confirm the identity of the Waffen-SS officer Michael Karkoc who is alleged to be responsible for the murder of at least dozens of Poles during World War II. Thanks to the joint efforts of Kresy.pl and the British Holocaust researcher Dr. Stephen Ankier, who tracked him down and first drew attention to his case, Poland has a chance to obtain justice for the victims of this alleged Ukrainian criminal.


Will the photos reveal the truth? Polish investigators to use new technique to confirm the identity of alleged Ukrainian war criminal

Polish MP Tomasz Rzymkowski announces interpellation in Karkoć’s case: “this matter is urgent”

In his interpellation submitted last week, Mr Rzymkowski notes that Karkoć was the co-founder and a company commander of the Ukrainian Self-Defense Legion, a collaborationist formation of the Third Reich composed of Ukrainian volunteers. On 23 July 1944, his company was responsible for the ‘pacification’ of Chłaniów villages in the Lublin region in retaliation for the killing by Polish partisans of the German liaison officer. As a result, 44 residents of Chłaniów and the neighbouring village of Władysławin were killed, including children. The evidence gathered by IPN about this incident is totally sufficient to prepare an indictment. Later Karkoc’s unit participated in, among others events, the pacification of Czerniakow during the Warsaw Uprising, and he later became part of the well-known Ukrainian 14th Waffen-SS “Galizien” Division.

According to available information, after receiving a US visa Karkoć left for the US in 1949. He lied to the Americans by stating that he did not serve in the military at any time during the war. He continues to live in the Ukrainian part of ​​Minneapolis, where he worked as a carpenter and was also active in local organisations uniting Ukrainians. He received American citizenship and is known as Michael Karkoc.

Rzymkowski also recalls that in 2015, the Main Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish, Institute of National Remembrance asked the US Department of Justice to provide them with information to assist with the confirmation of Karkoc’s identity. Samples of handwriting were received but that did not help, hence it was decided to use another method of identification, “facial comparison using photographs”, which will be based on the comparison by experts of the wartime images of Mychajły with photos of Michael taken during the post-war period.

Read also: Polish investigators are working to confirm the identity of the alleged Ukrainian criminal

However, experts from the Forensic Laboratory of the Police Headquarters in Lublin state that due to their current outstanding workload, that they will only be able to process the analysis of Karkoc’s images after some time, with the results only being known in February 2017. Meanwhile, Karkoć is 97 years, which means that any delay in these studies might mean that he will not be alive to face the consequences of the results.

– The extradition process may be protracted in the US courts, but at the same time the indictment of Karkoc would give many people the feeling that the Polish state has not forgotten about the pursuit of justice when judging war criminals– emphasised the Kukiz’15 deputy. Rzymkowski also asked the two ministries the following questions:

1. What actions will you take to significantly accelerate the work by the Forensic Laboratory of the Police Headquarters in Lublin to use the technique of “facial comparison using photographs” to compare the images of Mychajły Karkoc and Michael Karkoc?

2. What are the options to exceptionally accelerate the process of extraditing Mychajły Karkoc from USA after confirming his identity and, in this case, how will this be achieved by the Minister themselves?

– It is an extraordinary situation that the relevant Polish authorities – and here I am thinking of the experts associated with the police – can accept such an excessive delay in processing this matter, when in fact everything is needed yesterday– deputy Rzymkowski pointed out in an earlier conversation with Kresy.pl. – All available indications are that the person named by the journalists and the British researcher is the one being looked for. At the same time, the laying of charges and the condemnation of these people might go some way to satisfy victims of the Ukrainian collaborationist Waffen-SS which was a criminal formations that served the Third Reich.


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