Olga Anstei

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Olga Anstei

Olga Nikolaevna Anstei also Olga Anstey (1 March 1912 – 30 May 1985; Ukrainian: Ольга Анстей), was a Jewish-Ukrainian émigré poet from Kiev.[1] She was the wife of poet Ivan Elagin (Ukrainian: Иван Елагин). Olga Anstei is best remembered for writing about the Holocaust. Her "Kirillovskie iary" (another name for Babi Yar) written in 1943, was one of the first-ever literary works on the subject of 1941 massacre of Ukrainian Jews in Kiev.[2]

Olga Elagin and her husband defected together from the Soviet Union to the West in 1943. Their works were published side by side in the poetry anthology entitled Berega: Stikhi Poetov Vtoroi Emigratsii (Shores: Poetry of the Second Emigration) by Valentina Sinkevich, the first ever collection of works by the second wave of Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union.[1] They divorced in 1950.[3] She remarried, but divorced again. Olga Elagin died in New York City at the age of 73.[4]

Selected works[edit]

  • Door in the Wall (1949)
  • Stephen Vincent Benet's The Devil and Daniel Webster (1960); translator
  • In the Way (1976)


  1. ^ a b Maria Gorecki Nowak (Jul 1, 1999). "Book Reviews: Berega featuring Olga Anstei and Ivan Elagin". The American Bibliography of Slavic and East European Studies for 1994. M.E. Sharpe. p. 469. ISBN 1563247518. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  2. ^ ULS Archives (June 2009). "Ivan Elagin Papers". Summary Information. University of Pittsburgh Library System. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  3. ^ W.W.H. (January 1, 2002). "Anstei, Olga Nikolaevna (1912–1985)". Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. HighBeam Research. Retrieved March 31, 2013.