One of the leaders of the OUN (B), a former prisoner of the Auschwitz camp, Omelyan Koval, died In Lviv. This was announced by the head of the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, Volodymyr Vyatrovych on his Facebook page.
"History is passing away. Omelyan Koval - one of the leaders of the OUN (B), a prisoner of the Nazi Auschwitz camp - died today. In February, he should have turned 99 years old. Last years he lived in Ukraine, died in Lviv," Vyatrovych wrote.
“He conquered death and, having come free, undertook to develop Ukrainian society in Belgium. In his older years, he found the strength to live his hard life once again, recreating it in memories that he left for posterity,” wrote Vyatrovich and clarified that information about the funeral will appear soon.
Omelyan Koval was born on February 24, 1920 in the village of Rakhinya in Ivano-Frankivsk region. In 1938 he joined the OUN, in 1941 he participated in the announcement of the Act of proclamation of the Ukrainian state.
Subsequently, Koval was arrested by the German occupiers and in the summer of 1942 he went to the Auschwitz concentration camp together with a group of 25 Ukrainian political prisoners, among whom were also Vasyl Bandera, Stepan Lenkavsky and Petro Mirchuk. From Auschwitz he was transferred first to the camp Melk, then to Ebensee. In May 1945, he was liberated by American troops.
After the war, Koval was engaged in social activities, in 1952 headed the Union of Ukrainian Youth and a number of other Ukrainian organizations in Belgium, was the head of the World Congress of Ukrainians. After Ukraine gained independence, he asked for its citizenship and received it in 1997.