Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
On Elena Teliga Street, near the entrance to the Babi Yar memorial park, the Kiev authorities opened a monument to the activist and PR manager of the Organization of the Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) Elena Teliga, reported the correspondent of the Federal News Agency (FAN) from the place of events.
Attending the public event were the leader of OUN Bogdan Chervak, the mayor of Kiev Vitaly Klitschko, and representatives of the government of Ukraine and clergy. Without exception, all of the authorities spoke about the activist of OUN Elena Teliga’s alleged fight with Germans in occupied Kiev, and for this she was shot at Babi Yar by the Gestapo.
“Here today, at this place we all together give the answer to the Soviet, and now the Russian cliches about the role and place of Ukrainian patriots. In particular, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists during World War II. Once again I repeat, in this land, hundreds of Ukrainian patriots are buried, including from the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, who were tortured by the German occupiers,” stated the Deputy Prime Minister Pavlo Rozenko from the tribune.
Similar versions of events were pronounced by the leader of OUN Bogdan Chervak, patriarch Filaret, Vitaly Klitschko, and the Minister of Culture Evgeny Nishchuk.
In fact, the biography of Elena Teliga is well studied by European historians. The local Kiev historian, who also came to this event, directly told the correspondent of FAN about this. He asked not to film him and not to mention his name because the historical truth can become a reason for physical reprisals against him.
“Elena Teliga was brought to Kiev on October 22, 1941, as a part of a wagon of Bukovina Kuren of OUN, which later was directly involved in the executions of peaceful civilians in Babi Yar. Thus, among 1500 punishers who took part in executions in the Kiev tract were 1200 auxiliary policemen from OUN and only 300 Germans. It is precisely on the basis of Bukovina Kuren that Kiev’s Kuren was created, in September of the 1941, as a unit of the Ukrainian auxiliary police under the command of the nationalist Petro Zakhvalynsky. This Kuren brought the main contribution in the murder of Jews, Roma, communists, and prisoners of war in Babi Yar”, the Kiev historian told FAN.
According to our expert, Elena Teliga actively helped Germans with the creation and organization of occupational authorities, local governance, police, media, and praised the activity of OUN. She headed the Union of Ukrainian writers in occupied-by-fascists Kiev, cooperated with the editorial office of the occupational newspaper “Ukrainskoye Slovo” (editor Ivan Rogach), and published the weekly magazine of literature and art “Lytavry”, and in addition, owned a restaurant.
In her articles Teliga directly supported not only Ukrainian, but also German nationalism, however during internal squabbles in 1942 she became a victim of denunciation, where she was accused of financial fraud. The Gestapo didn’t care to understand how truthful the accusations in relation to Teliga were, and several of her colleagues were placed in the basement of the Gestapo in the house of 33 Vladimirskaya Street, where now, by the way, the SBU resides. As the former burgomaster of Kiev Leonty Forostovsky testifies, Teliga didn’t live long enough for the investigation results, having cut her veins in her prison cell, after which she and her colleagues were buried in a mass grave in Lukyanovsky cemetery.
“So, it is impossible to present the nationalist Elena Teliga as a victim of German fascists. Teliga was arrested not for opposing fascism, but during nationalist in-fighting. Moreover, Teliga has no relation to the victims of Babi Yar, and to put here a monument to her is blasphemy and treachery of the memory of the victims buried here,” summarized the historian.
At the end of the event, the mayor of Kiev Vitaly Klitschko stated that the monument to Teliga is established using the means of the capital’s community, and its cost is about 8 million hryvnias. He promised that in a few years the memorial of the victims of Babi Yar will be built here.
“We are working on the concept of a memorial, on fund raising from philanthropists for its construction. And the historical memory of the global tragedy will be celebrated and safeguarded,” emphasised Klitschko.
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