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Commander in SS-Led Unit Living in US

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A top commander whose Nazi SS-led unit is blamed for burning villages filled with women and children lied to American immigration officials to get into the United States, according to evidence uncovered by The Associated Press. (June 14)

SHOTLIST:

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Minneapolis, Minnesota - 10 June, 2013

1. Wide shot of Michael Karkoc's home

2. Medium shot of Associated Press reporter approaching the front door of Karkoc's home

AP PHOTOS/COURTESY ST PAUL PIONEER - NO ACCESS CANADA/FOR BROADCAST USE ONLY - STRICTLY NO ACCESS ONLINE OR MOBILE

Lauderdale, Minnesota - May 22, 1990

3. STILL of Michael Karkoc

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Minneapolis, Minnesota - 10 June, 2013

4. Unidentified man at home of suspected Nazi commander Michael Karkoc, refuses to speak with the Associated Press on pending unpublished story regarding Karkoc's activities during World War II, confronts the AP crew telling it to get off the property, AP crew seeks to elicit comment, gets sent away

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Berlin, Germany - 7 June, 2013

5. Various of David Rising, AP Germany Chief Correspondent, looking at documents from the AP investigation on Michael Karkoc

6. SOUNDBITE: (English) David Rising, AP Germany Chief Correspondent (transcript below)

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Pidhaitsi, Ukraine - 10 May, 2013

7. Villager Ivan Hrushka shows the site of a burnt house and a blue cross, a memorial to the victims

AP PHOTOS - NO ACCESS CANADA/FOR BROADCAST USE ONLY - STRICTLY NO ACCESS ONLINE OR MOBILE

8. STILLS: The undated reproduction shows a SS administrative file probably dated 1944 and now located in the Polish National Archive in Krakow, southern Poland. It shows a roster list for the Ukrainian Self Defence Legion identifying Michailo Karkoz as the top commander of II company.

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Pidhaitsi, Ukraine - 10 May, 2013

9. UPSOUND (Ukrainian) Heorhiy Syvyi, 78, his mother and 4-year-old brother Slavik were killed in the fire (transcript below)

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Jerusalem - 9 June, 2013

10. Various of Efraim Zuroff, director of Simon Wiesenthal center

11. SOUNDBITE: (English) Efraim Zuroff, director of Simon Wiesenthal center (transcript below)

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Berlin, Germany - 7 June, 2013

12. Various of Rising looking at documents from the AP investigation on Michael Karkoc

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Berlin, Germany - 10 June, 2013

13. SOUNDBITE: (English) Karel Berkhoff, Senior Researcher, NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (transcript below)

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Pidhaitsi, Ukraine - 10 May, 2013

14. Villager Ivan Hrushka approaches the monument to victims of the fire erected on the site where the Nazi unit burned 21 residents of the village of Pidhaitsi alive

15. Monument to the victims of the killings in a village cemetery, writing on the monument reading: (Ukrainain) "To our parents, wives, children, who were murdered by the German occupants on December 3, 1943 in Pidhaitsi. 21 people, including 9 children."

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STORYLINE:

LIVING IN MINNESOTA... A FORMER SS OFFICER... AN ASSOCIATED PRESS INVESTIGATION SHOWS LIED ABOUT HIS PAST.

MICHAEL KARKOC (KAR-KOTSCH) COMMANDED A NAZI-LED UKRAINIAN UNIT, BLAMED FOR BURNING VILLAGES FILLED WITH WOMEN AND CHILDREN DURING WORLD WAR TWO.

BUT HE TOLD AMERICAN IMMIGRATION OFFICIALS HE WAS NOT IN THE MILITARY.

UPSOUND - GET OFF THE PROPERTY ETC

AT KARKOC'S HOME, NO-ONE WAS WILLING TO EXPLAIN THE 94-YEAR-OLD'S LINKS TO THE SS UNIT - SERVICE THAT WOULD HAVE STOPPED HIM ENTERING AMERICA.

BUT RECORDS UNCOVERED BY THE AP CONFIRM HIS WARTIME ROLE... AND SHOW THE COMPANY HE COMMANDED... MASSACRED CIVILIANS IN 1943.

SOUNDBITE: David Rising/AP Germany Chief Correspondent

"He was responsible for about 115 men and he was one of the founding members of this Ukrainian Self Defence Legion which is implicated in war crimes."

IN UKRAINE, A MONUMENT MARKS WHERE THE 21 VILLAGERS WERE KILLED - NINE CHILDREN AMONG THEM.

ALTHOUGH RECORDS DON'T SHOW KARKOC HAD A DIRECT HAND IN WAR CRIMES, STATEMENTS SUGGEST HE WAS AT THE SCENE OF THE ATROCITY.

(NATS MAN SPEAKING)

THIS MAN SAYS HIS MOTHER AND 4-YEAR-OLD BROTHER WERE AMONG THE VICTIMS.... HE MANAGED TO FLEE WITH HIS FATHER AND HIDE.

NATS UP

HE SAID, "WE HEARD SHOTS, THEN IT WAS SILENCE AND THEN WE FELT THE SMELL OF SMOKE."

THE LEAD NAZI HUNTER AT THE SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER IN JERUSALEM SAYS THE FINDINGS ARE SIGNIFICANT.

SOUNDBITE: Efraim Zuroff/Director, Simon Wiesenthal Center

"This sends a very powerful message that even today we're looking for these people.."

IT'S UNLIKELY THAT KARKOC COULD BE TRIED IN HIS NATIVE UKRAINE.

SOUNDBITE: Karel Berkhoff/NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies

"It would raise problems and secondly they're simply not very interested in the past, the current government."

BUT GERMAN AUTHORITIES SAY THEY MAY EXAMINE THE NEW EVIDENCE, TO SEE IF A PROSECUTION IS WARRANTED.

MATT FRIEDMAN, ASSOCIATED PRESS

(****END****)

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