News & Politics

The GOP Accepted Donations from an Accused Nazi War Criminal as Recently as 2014: Report

Michael Karkoc is a "lifelong Republican" wanted for liquidating a village in Eastern Poland.

Michael Karkoc
Photo Credit: YouTube Screengrab

During the 2016 election, Donald Trump earned the enthusiastic endorsement of Neo-Nazis and the alt right. Now a new report published Thursday reveals that the Republican Party counts an actual S.S. commander among its constituents.

According to the Daily Beast, Michael Karkoc made three separate donations to the RNC between September 2013 and May 2014 totaling $3,850—after the AP uncovered his involvement in the Ukrainian Self-Defense Legion. Karkoc is wanted in Europe for war crimes, and prosecutors claim they're "100 percent" certain he is responsible for ordering the liquidation of Chlaniow, a village in Eastern Poland. A separate AP investigation confirms that his unit massacred men, women and children, and that he "was at the scene of the atrocities as the company leader." 

That same report also cites recovered S.S. files indicating Karkoc played a role in the suppression of the Warsaw Uprising, a massive operation by the Polish underground resistance to free the capital from German control. The Nazis wound up killing between 150,000-200,000 civilians before razing the city to the ground.

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Karkoc's son, Andriy, calls the AP's story "slanderous," but acknowledges that his father is a "lifelong Republican" who has a picture of Ronald and Nancy Reagan hanging in his bedroom. “Republicans oppose communists…Under FDR, the White House was penetrated by Soviet agents of influence," Andriy told the Daily Beast. "I’m assuming [my father] voted Republican [in the 2016 presidential election]."

Now a 98-year-old resident of Minneapolis, the elder Karkoc entered the U.S. in 1949 after neglecting to disclose his role in World War II. His family maintains that he's suffering from Alzheimer's.

The RNC did not respond to the Daily Beast's request for comment.

H/T Daily Beast

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Jacob Sugarman is a managing editor at AlterNet.