Stepan Bandera

Monument to Stepan Bandera in L'viv

Monument to Stepan Bandera in L’viv

For some, Bandera – is a symbol of the struggle for an independent Ukraine, for others – a collaborator and criminal.

On June 15, 1934, Polish Minister, Bronisław Pieracki, was killed at a coffee shop in Warsaw. By the young Ukrainian nationalist, Gregory Maciejko “Honta”. The boy fled to Argentina and died 30 years later. The initiator and organizer was Stepan Bandera. It was not the first attack, but the first of this rank. According to Ukrainian nationalists, Bronisław Pieracki was guilty of pacification – policy of appeasement against Ukraine.

Stepan was born into the family of a greek-catholic priest by the name of Andrii Bandera. Young Bandera was a member of the “Plast” – a Ukrainian Scouting Organization. Even before the attack in Warsaw, Bandera was arrested six times. After the arrest of Bandera, he was tortured, which included the lack of sleep. At the trial, Bandera said that he would not testify in Polish, but only in Ukrainian; even though he spoke both languages fluently. Bandera had great authority among the nationalists who were also tried for the attack in Warsaw. Stepan Bandera was kept in the prison called “Holy Cross”, and not just in the chamber but also in chains as a very dangerous criminal. He was sentenced to death but was pardoned and awarded life imprisonment.

Then there was another hearing and another life imprisonment. Bandera was transferred to a prison in Brest. After Germany’s attack on Poland, Bandera escaped from prison. June 30, 1941 he came to the city with German troops and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists proclaim “The Ukrainian state.” Although Bandera was not in Lviv, but he, like other OUN leaders were arrested by the Nazi. Bandera was transferred to Sachsenhausen concentration camp and two other brothers were placed in Auschwitz, where they died.

While the war continued, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army fought against the Red Army and against Nazi Germany. Almost the entire war, Bandera was in prison. After the war, he lived in Munich. The KGB decided to liquidate Bandera. The case was given to a Ukrainian agent named Bohdan Stashynsky. Stapan lived in Munich under the assumed last name Popel. Even the children of Bandera did not know that their father was the leader of OUN. Stashinsky got to kill with a special gas weapon. On October 15, 1959 Bandera was returning home with a package of tomatoes in hands. Agent Stashinsky was waiting for him there. Bandera had a gun, but did not take it from his pocket. For killing Bandera, the Soviet government awarded Stashinsky, the Order of the Red Banner. Stashinsky asked the KGB if he could marry a German girl and he was allowed. Then Stashinsky’s family decided to flee to West Germany. Stashinsky went to the police and confessed to everything. The court sentenced KGB agent for 8 years, but was released after 4.

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