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National Exhibit
National Exhibit
Stepan Bandera

Stepan Bandera was born on January 1, 1909 and was assassinated in Munich by Soviet agent Stashynsky on October 15, 1959. From his youth Bandera was active in community affairs by joining youth organizations such as “Plast”, association “Prosvita” and others. Already in his last of studies in gimnaziya (high school) in 1927 Bandera became a member of the Ukrainian Military Organization and two years later of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN).
It was the OUN that became for Bandera his greatest source of inspiration. His commitment and ability were soon recognized by the OUN leadership and already in June 1933 Bandera was appointed the chief executive of the OUN in Western Ukraine.

During his tenure, Bandera expanded the OUN’s network in Western Ukraine and energized its activity, particularly among the young people. This lasted only for one year because already in 1934 Bandera was arrested, in association with the assassination of B. Pieracki, the Polish minister of internal affairs, and spent seven years in Polish jails. He got out of jail in 1939, when Poland was already occupied by the Germans. Bandera went to Krakow where he headed a faction of the OUN, which became known as “Banderites”. It was in this new position that he hoped to obtain German support in order to proclaim independence of the Ukrainian state. Since Bandera did not obtain a positive response from Berlin, he decided to act unilaterally by authorizing Yaroslav Stetsko to make such proclamation the moment the Germans occupy Lviv. Stetsko did that on June 30, 1941, an act that shocked the German authorities, who demanded that Bandera immediately revoke the proclamation. Since he refused to do that, Bandera was arrested and from July 1941 to October 1944 he spent in German prisons and concentration camp.

For the people of Ukraine Bandera was a hero who went from Polish jail to Nazi concentration camp in defense of their rights and although he was imprisoned the resistance movement of OUN and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) conducted their operations under his name – indeed, Bandera was a symbol of patriotism. And although Moscow sent their assassin to Munich to kill Bandera, he killed only a person, Bandera as the symbol of national dignity and a flag bearer of independence is still alive.

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Location:  Eastern Europe
Capital:  Kyiv
Communist Rule:  1922-1991
Status:  Independence: 24.08.91
Victims of Communism: