Lenkavsky, Stepan

Lenkavsky, Stepan [Ленкавський, Степан; Lenkavs'kyj], b 6 July 1904 in Zahvizd, Stanyslaviv county, Galicia, d 30 October 1977 in Munich, West Germany. Revolutionary leader and nationalist ideologist. He became active in clandestine student groups before graduating from secondary school in Stanyslaviv. While studying philosophy in Lviv he joined the Union of Ukrainian Nationalist Youth and became its leading ideologist and, eventually, a member of its executive council. In 1929 he participated in the founding conference of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and assumed the post of ideology officer for the OUN national executive in Western Ukraine. Besides contributing articles to the legal and underground nationalist press he composed the ‘Decalogue of the Ukrainian Nationalist-Revolutionary,’ the official membership oath of the OUN. He was a member of the Lystopad group of nationalist writers. His political activity led to his imprisonment by the Polish authorities (1932–6). From the very beginning of the internal dissension in the OUN Lenkavsky sided with Stepan Bandera. As one of the authors of the Proclamation of Ukrainian Statehood, 1941, he was imprisoned by the Nazis for three and a half years, mostly in the concentration camp in Oświęcim (Auschwitz). After the Second World War he held top posts in the External Units of the OUN, and at Bandera’s death he assumed leadership of the OUN (Bandera faction) (1959–68). After voluntarily stepping down as leader he remained as chief of propaganda and editor of the newspaper Shliakh peremohy. In the last years of his life he edited a number of books and helped prepare a collection in honor of Yevhen Konovalets.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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