A Book Discussion | Memoirs of Iryna Savytska-Kozak, prominent member of the OUN and UPA

23 February 2022

DATE: WEDNESDAY, 23 February 2022
TIME 10:00 AM (MST, UTC-6) | 12:00 PM (EST, UTC-4) | 7:00 PM (EEST, UTC+3)


The next session of the book discussion series organized by the Peter Jacyk Centre for Ukrainian Historical Research and CIUS Press will be devoted to the recently published memoirs of Iryna Savytska-Kozak (1925–2014), an activist of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), who after 1954 was a member of the faction that evolved into the OUN (Abroad) under the leadership of Lev Rebet. During the Second World War, she headed the Ukrainian Red Cross in the Lviv district and served as a liaison person or courier for Roman Shukhevych, the commander of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA).

As someone who served in various capacities in the UPA, Iryna Savytska-Kozak possessed an intimate knowledge of the operations and inner workings of the army during the Second World War and in the aftermath of the Soviet reoccupation of Western Ukraine. Dispatched by the OUN leadership to inform the Western public about the struggle of the UPA and to appraise the OUN leaders abroad about the decisions of the OUN Home leadership, she reached Germany in 1946 after a dangerous journey through the Soviet-occupied eastern Europe. In Germany, she became an active participant of the Ukrainian political and community life in the diaspora.

Her memoirs contain numerous details about the Ukrainian underground, including her reminiscences about Roman Shukhevych and Stepan Bandera, her discussion of the role of women in the Ukrainian nationalist movement, and her views on the political evolution and transformation of the OUN. Apart from her memoirs, the book also contains Iroida Wynnyckyj’s 1987 interview with Iryna Kozak.

The participants of the discussion will focus on the significance of these memoirs for the study of the history of the OUN and UPA. The discussion will take place online on ZOOM and on the livestream of CIUS. Simultaneous translation will be provided in English and Ukrainian.

Participants include Professor Alexander Motyl (Rutgers University), Professor Emeritus Myroslav Shkandrij (University of Manitoba), and Vakhtang Kipiani (editor-in-chief, Istorychna Pravda). The session will be moderated by Prof. Yaroslav Hrytsak (Ukrainian Catholic University).

The co-sponsor of the book discussion is the Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre.

For a limited time, Iryna Savytska-Kozak’s memoirs «Зродились ми великої години…»: Спогади is on sale at a 25% discount on the CIUS Press website.