Michael Karkoc. Image courtesy of KARE-TV.
By Scott Seroka
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (KARE) - While it didn't appear 94-year-old Michael Karkoc was in his northeast Minneapolis home on Friday, dozens of people drove by to catch a glimpse of the place that he has lived in for the past 10 plus years.
"If you want to blend in, this is the place. The St. Anthony West Neighborhood is a really good place for a family," Phil Cross said, on his way to the park with his two children.
An Associated Press investigation revealed Karkoc's whereabouts. Investigators say he was a Ukrainian commander of a Nazi SS-led unit accused of wartime atrocities during World War II.
A reporter with the organization said when they caught up with the elderly man at his home before the story broke, he was not interested in talking about his past.
"Where he is today? I have no idea. I thought he was there," Gordon Gnasdoskey said sitting on his porch.
Gnasdoskey lives right next door and calls Karkoc a friend who takes pride in his garden and lawn, takes walks with his wife and has always been considerate. He says his neighbor talks with a heavy accent, but never talked about his past.
"With the atrocities, knowing that they did things like that, I don't see how one human being could do that to another human being," Gnasdoskey concluded.
"How involved was he? Who was he? I have no idea," Janine Munson said, stopping in front of the home which is in her neighborhood.
Munson says the diverse neighborhood has World War II survivors all over the place, including across the street from Karkoc.
"For my entire life she lived there and she was a Holocaust survivor and then there's another Holocaust survivor that lives down the street," Munson said, pointing to a couple of homes.
Also down the street is St. Michael's Ukrainian Church, where Karkoc and his wife are regulars.
"His wife was in the choir. His son was in the choir. I mean they were good people, they still are. They're still active in the church," Myron Kudanovych explained.
Kudanovych lives four doors downs and attends St. Micheal's. He also says his parents from Poland spent time in concentration camps during the war.
Gnasdoskey believes Karkoc was in the construction business for years and says he has several children in the area.
KARE 11's attempts to reach them were unsuccessful.