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Underground OUN Broadside – Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists

Broadside: "Kolhospnyky skhidnoi i zakhidnoi Ukrainy!" [Collective farmers of eastern and western Ukraine!]. [Ukraine]: Organizatsiia Ukrain'skykh Nationalistiv (OUN); Nadrukovano v drukarni OUN im. polk. Shelesta, June 1951.

[Ukraine]: Organizatsiia Ukrain'skykh Nationalistiv (OUN); Nadrukovano v drukarni OUN im. polk. Shelesta, June 1951. A single leaf, once folded, measuring 18 × 13 cm; [4] pp. Light soil throughout; small chips along the edges; fragile due to moisture; loss to lower left corner not affecting text; still good or better.

A Cold War era propaganda broadside of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (Organizatsiia Ukrain'skykh Nationalistiv, OUN), founded in 1929 by Ukrainian exiles in Vienna with the goal of achieving Ukrainian unification and independence from Poland and the Soviet Union. Most likely printed by an underground printer in Soviet Ukraine and addressed to Soviet collective farmers in Eastern and Western Ukraine, the text refers to “Bolshevik collective farms” as places of “the deepest human despair” imposing a life of “oppression and exploitation.” Outlining numerous examples of hardship, the text is a call to arms against the Bolsheviks. Printed and distributed clandestinely, at top of title the brochure urges: “Read and pass on to another!”

Ukrainian military personality Yevhen Konovalets led the OUN from its founding until his assassination by the Soviet secret police in 1938. The group underwent a split in 1940, divided between the more moderate faction led by Andriy Melnyk (OUN-M) and the more radical faction led by Stepan Bandera (OUN-B). During WWII both factions of the OUN collaborated with the German occupying forces against the Soviet Union, with some members later convicted of conducting ethnic cleansing of Polish and Jewish populations. Many of the OUN members were arrested and executed by the German forces as well as by the Soviets. The post-war OUN factions continued their activity in the Ukrainian diaspora, focusing their fight against the Soviet Union as is evident in this brochure, which was most likely printed by an underground printer in Ukraine. Due to clandestine, low-cost production, and intended distribution on Soviet territories, OUN propaganda leaflets such as this one are scarce.

On the confiscation of such material and the destruction of clandestine OUN printing workshops, see, for instance: Nataliia Nikolaeva, "Pidpil'ni drukarni OUN ta ikh likvidatsiia karal'nymi orhanami SRSR v 1944-1954 rr." (Litopis UPA, vol. 20, 2012).

Book ID: 51997

Price: $450.00