Alex Constantine - August 9, 2016
By Jake Ryan - The Sun - July 31, 2016
The former Nazi officers deny they took part in any crimes
The men are some of the last surviving members of the Waffen-SS which was declared a criminal organisation at the post-war Nuremberg trials.
They include veterans who admit suppressing popular rebellions which had been backed by the Allied powers during the bloody conflict.
There are also ex-soldiers who served in a brutal SS-led paramilitary force and two officers once listed by Soviet Russia as alleged war criminals.
The SS Galizien division was formed in 1943 from Ukrainian volunteers who joined the elite fighting force and swore an oath of allegiance to Hitler.
Around 50,000 men from the Galicia region of Ukraine were allowed to join the SS because its boss Heinrich Himmler had said they were more Aryan-like.
They fought on the eastern front
The unit was said to have massacred civilians in these countries as well as Polish nationals in Ukraine.
It also included former concentration camp guards and was led by SS officers notorious for their ability to commit murder on a huge scale.
But in a controversial move the British government allowed over 8,000 of the soldiers who surrendered to settle here after the war.
The government carried out few checks on the prisoners and claimed finding out if any were war criminals was an “impossible” task.
We have spoken to a number of the surviving soldiers who admitted they volunteered to join the SS division after it was formed in 1943.
They told how they knew nothing of any war crimes but some did admit taking part in anti-rebel campaigns.
Two men who we tracked down were officers in the SS Galizien and had been listed byRussia in 1948 as men who they claimed had committed war crimes on its territory.
But the list was ignored by the Foreign Office and the men were allowed to settle here in the UK – where they have lived ever since.
Myron Tabora, 90, and Ostap Kykawec, 92, were both lieutenants in the SS division and were listed by famous Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal as Ukrainian SS of interest.
and smashed uprisings in Slovakia, Yugoslavia and Serbia with brutal force.
SS personnel cards and training school rosters for the pair can still be found in archives.
They show both men took part in SS officer school training which they said took place over two years when they joined in 1943 – meaning they hardly saw any fighting.
SS officer training also involved learning about methods of controlling prisoners which involved training at the notorious Dachau concentration camp in Germany.
But both Mr Tabora and Mr Kykawec, who joined when they were 18 and 19 respectively, deny they took part in any concentration camp training.
Mr Tabora, from Lichfield, Staffs, worked as an engineer after arriving in the UK and said he had never known he was listed by Russia as an alleged war criminal.
He also told how he had never seen his SS personnel card before.
He said: “I was with the Galizien, yes. But I never fired a rifle and I was in officer school for two years.
“I went to the Austria front but I didn’t know of any men committing crimes.
“But what is a war crime with what the Russians did?
“I heard about Polish people being killed in Ukraine but Poles were killing Ukrainians just the same.
“It was mutual. And what about the British Empire killing people?”