Holodomor
Illicit trade in the marketplace, Kharkiv
Description
Creator
Wienerberger, Alexander, 1891-1955, Photographer
Media Type
Image
Text
Item Types
Photographs
Photograph albums
Description
Wienerberger presents a close-up view of a one to one transaction in a busy marketplace setting in Kharkiv. A young man with a bag slung over his shoulder is engaged in conversation with a woman seated on a bench, with something unwrapped lying nearby. The man standing in the foreground and another seated woman look on. The photographer states that this is an instance of black marketeering of food, meaning that items are sold at a much higher price to those who can’t get them through officially approved channels. A woman on the far left stares intently at the small plate in her hand.

Although private trade was considered anti-socialist, it was tolerated within often arbitrary limitations, and was crucial to the survival of many buyers and sellers during the Holodomor (Osokina, 106-7, Applebaum, 266)

Context: Availability and access to food in urban and industrial areas

As the result of massive food shortages developing in urban and industrial centers, a hierarchy of food rationing became the norm everywhere in the USSR in 1930. Those permitted to have ration cards could purchase an increasingly narrower range of basic foods at relatively low prices in certain designated stores. Having a ration card did not guarantee that the food would be available, however. Survivors frequently mentioned waiting many hours in long lines, only to leave empty handed.

Ration allotments were issued to individuals based on their assigned rank in the proletariat (non rural workers) and their place of residence. Locations in the USSR were assigned a rank based on their level of importance to the Soviet State.

Farmers and their families and most other rural residents were not permitted to have ration cards. This huge segment of the population was dependent on the seasonal produce of the little garden plots near their homes, or the milk from their cow, if they were among the fortunate few to still have possession of one, (Applebaum, 254) or on trade at the now impoverished outdoor markets selling inferior goods at prices as much as ten times that of ration card prices. For many others, the ration allotments were inadequate for survival.
Notes
Photo taken between spring – late summer, 1933.

Photo source: Wienerberger, Alexander. Die Hungertragödie in Südrussland 1933; also known as the Innitzer Album, 1934. p.8.

This is one of 25 photographs depicting life and death in and around Kharkiv during the Holodomor that the photographer put together in a small album with a handwritten title: Die Hungertragödie in Südrussland 1933 [The Tragedy of Famine in South Russia 1933.] He presented the album to the Roman Catholic Cardinal Theodor Innitzer of Vienna in 1934 as an expression of appreciation for the Cardinal’s efforts in trying to organize an international campaign to assist the victims of starvation in 1933. The album is housed in the collections of the Diözesanarchiv, Vienna, Austria.

For essays and a listing of originals and versions published through 1939 with their captions, see Related Features below photo and Home page menus.

Inscriptions
Handwritten caption in album: “Schleichhandel mit Lebensmitteln.” [Black marketeering of food.]
Date of Original
1933
Date Of Event
1933
Dimensions
Width: 24 cm
Height: 13.8 cm
Image Dimensions
Image Width: 10.8cm
Image Height: 7.9cm
Subject(s)
Local identifier
PD9
Collection
Alexander Wienerberger: Innitzer album
Language of Item
German
Geographic Coverage
  • Kharkiv, Ukraine
    Latitude: 49.98081 Longitude: 36.25272
Copyright Statement
Protected by copyright: Uses other than research or private study require the permission of the rightsholder(s). Responsibility for obtaining permissions and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Copyright Holder
Samara Pearce https://www.samarapearce.com/
Recommended Citation
Wienerberger, Alexander. Die Hungertragödie in Südrussland 1933: Album Presented by the Photographer to Cardinal Theodor Innitzer of Vienna. Vienna: Diözesanarchiv der Erzdiözese, [1934]. p.8. Retrieved from: http://vitacollections.ca/HREC-holodomorphotodirectory/3636367/data
Location of Original
Diözesanarchiv - Bibliothek, Vienna, Austria. Please contact this archive for official reproductions.
Terms of Use
Rightsholder requests that the name of the photographer, Alexander Wienerberger, accompany each authentic reproduction of his work.
Reproduction Notes
Reproduced with the permission of rightsholder Samara Pearce and the Diözesanarchiv - Bibliothek, Vienna, Austria.
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Illicit trade in the marketplace, Kharkiv


Wienerberger presents a close-up view of a one to one transaction in a busy marketplace setting in Kharkiv. A young man with a bag slung over his shoulder is engaged in conversation with a woman seated on a bench, with something unwrapped lying nearby. The man standing in the foreground and another seated woman look on. The photographer states that this is an instance of black marketeering of food, meaning that items are sold at a much higher price to those who can’t get them through officially approved channels. A woman on the far left stares intently at the small plate in her hand.

Although private trade was considered anti-socialist, it was tolerated within often arbitrary limitations, and was crucial to the survival of many buyers and sellers during the Holodomor (Osokina, 106-7, Applebaum, 266)

Context: Availability and access to food in urban and industrial areas

As the result of massive food shortages developing in urban and industrial centers, a hierarchy of food rationing became the norm everywhere in the USSR in 1930. Those permitted to have ration cards could purchase an increasingly narrower range of basic foods at relatively low prices in certain designated stores. Having a ration card did not guarantee that the food would be available, however. Survivors frequently mentioned waiting many hours in long lines, only to leave empty handed.

Ration allotments were issued to individuals based on their assigned rank in the proletariat (non rural workers) and their place of residence. Locations in the USSR were assigned a rank based on their level of importance to the Soviet State.

Farmers and their families and most other rural residents were not permitted to have ration cards. This huge segment of the population was dependent on the seasonal produce of the little garden plots near their homes, or the milk from their cow, if they were among the fortunate few to still have possession of one, (Applebaum, 254) or on trade at the now impoverished outdoor markets selling inferior goods at prices as much as ten times that of ration card prices. For many others, the ration allotments were inadequate for survival.