IN MEMORIAM TO OLGA BESARAB
On February 13, 1924, 35-year-old Ukrainian public and political activist Olga Basarab was tortured to death in prison in Lviv.
Olga Basarab organized the first women's chota (platoon) of the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen Legion in Lviv and a member of the Main Board of the branch of Ukrainian Women Union. Besides this, Besarab had been a handler for colonel Yevhen Konovalets. On February 9, 1924, Olga Basarab was arrested the Polish police for fictitious allegations of espionage at the same time in favor of Germany and the Bolsheviks. In order to pry out the information about the representatives of the Ukrainian nationalist underground Olga had been submitted to tortures. The investigator was Leo Kaidan. According to the guard's testimony, after the siries of brutal interrogations, she could not move on her own, so she was brought to the cell. On the morning of February 13, Olga Basarab was found hanged on an Ukrainian embroidered towel tied to the window lattice in her cell. There is a version that Olga was too short to reach the window and mount the knot - not to mention the affect of tortures - so she was hanged by the prison staff. Before the death Olga left a message on the wall: "I'm dying tortured, revenge!"
It is inherent for many of our fellow citizens to mention such historical characters with tearful whipping and grief sentiments. However, the life story of Olga Besarab deserves not tears, but at least to be reflected in a good adventure film.
In the 20's, the leader of the Ukrainian nationalists, Eugene Konovalets, among other things, pledged to cooperate with the special services of a number of Eropean states, with whom the Ukrainian patriotic forces had shared same geopolitical interests. In particular - with special services of Baltic countries and Germany, which was quite logical. There were many reasons for such cooperation: from combat training and receiving financial support in exchange for intelligence work to the search of a possible ally before the upcoming war.
In short, the UVO (that time main Ukrainian nationalist organisation) had enough of workd. The UVO intelligence apparatus was interested in the most complete information on the Polish military forces, their numbers and personnel, military records, mobilization plans, the characteristics of the officers and, of course, the plans of the government.
Historians haven't manneged to determine complitelly the role of Olga Basarab in the system of reconnaissance activity of the UVO. But, it seems, she had an involvement both in collecting and transferring information (one should mention her previous experience in the diplomatic sphere). When her house searched, a lot of intelligence about the Polish troops was found.
Difenatelly, Olga Basarab's life story deserves at least one movie in a "spy action" genre. But, unfortunately, even in a purely academic sense, the illumination of the intelligence activities of the UVO and the OUN (in general) is limited to several monographs.