September 27, 2021
Adviser to the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher; an MP in the UK Parliament; a member of the Council of Europe; a businessman and a philanthropist – all these words describe a Ukrainian Stefan Terlezki. He was an Ostarbeiter in Austria during World War II, after the end of which he escaped from a Soviet train heading for the Far East, and then he legally immigrated to Great Britain in 1948. Twenty years later Stefan started his political career as a Conservative member of Cardiff City Council in Wales. In 1983, when Margaret Thatcher took power, he became a member of the Parliament, and she appointed him her adviser. “If only my family in Ukraine had known that I was standing here and had known what I was saying, they would have cried out in tears of joy,” – these were Stefan Terlezki’s first words at Westminster. Throughout his political career Terlezki established himself as a dedicated opponent of the Soviet communist regime. He was the first to try to raise the question of Ukraine’s independence at the European level. For eight years Terlezki had been representing the United Kingdom in the Council of Europe, and yet the ex-Ostarbeiter had never forgotten his homeland and his mother tongue. He was fond of history and contributed all of his finds dealing with unexplored pages of our land to the museums of Ivano-Frankivsk. A year before death, he published the story of his life entitled From War to Westminster. He was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire cross from the hands of the Queen Elizabeth II for his services to the State, as well as the Silver Jubilee Medal of Her Majesty the Queen for public and sporting merits in Wales.
Wiki page of Mr Terlezki: