Paula Rubin survived the Holocaust in Poland and never heard the name Michael Karkoc until Friday's allegations were made public. If allegations are true that he was a commander of a Nazi SS-led unit in Poland, she wonders if he could have played a role in the deaths of her friends and relatives.
Ninety-year-old Rubin cherishes her family photos. All the ones from her childhood are either lost or destroyed
A Holocaust survivor from Poland, Rubin is still processing Friday's developments, and like many in the Twin Cities Jewish community, is wondering how a suspected commander of an SS-led unit hid in plain sight for so long.
"Maybe there's some more, maybe there's some more hiding," Rubin said.
Steve Silberfarb along with the Jewish Community Relations Council commissioned the survivor portrait series featuring some of the 80 or so remaining Holocaust survivors in Minnesota.
"I think it's best to let the justice system run its course," Silberfarb said.
"In the Jewish community, the Holocaust is deep inside of us whether you are a survivor or had nobody in your family," he said.
He says the allegations against Michael Karkoc open up some old wounds, but believes it could help remind others about the dangers of letting history repeat itself.
"Let's redouble our efforts and make sure we have a society where we respect each other and take care of each other and watch out for each other," Silberfarb said.
When Rubin was 18 years old, she says the Nazis invaded her hometown of Lodz, Poland. Her parents died in a concentration camp, but she survived along with her brother and sister.
"I don't know how I survived; it's a miracle that I am here," she said.
Rubin eventually settled down in Minnesota and ran a kosher market with her husband for many years.
Today, she lives alone in this Minneapolis apartment, constantly talking about her grandchildren She says if the allegations against Michael Karkoc are true, she wants justice to prevail.
"They should happen the same thing that they did to us, punish him, not kill him right away, but punish him first," she said.