Olena Ivanivna Teliha (née Elena Ivanovna Shovgeneva in Ilyinskoe, Russia, 1906 – d. 1942, Kiev, Ukraine) was a Ukrainian poet and activist of Ukrainian and Belarusian ethnicity.
Olena Teliha was born in a village near Moscow, Russia. In 1918, she moved to Kyiv with her family, when her father became a minister in the new UNR government. There they lived through the Ukrainian Civil War. With the Bolshevik occupation, her father emigrated to Czechoslovakia, and the rest of the family joined him in 1923. After her marriage, Olena Ivanivna Teliha moved to Warsaw, Poland, where she lived until the start of WWII. In 1939, like many of the young Ukrainians with whom she associated, Olena Teliha became a member of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, within which she became an activist in cultural and educational matters. In 1941, Olena and her husband Mykhailo Teliha (whom she met and married in Czechoslovakia) moved back to Kyiv, where she expanded her work as a cultural and literary activist, heading the Ukrainian Writers’ Guild and editing a weekly cultural and arts newspaper Litavry. She was finally arrested by the Gestapo and executed, aged 35, in Babi Yar in Kyiv along with her husband. Her wooden cross was erected as monument commemorating Olena Teliha and other Ukrainian nationalists executed in 1942.
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