Holodomor
Impoverished woman from the countryside seated by a fence in Kharkiv
Description
Creator
Wienerberger, Alexander, 1891-1955, Photographer
Media Type
Image
Text
Item Types
Book illustrations
Photographs
Description
A destitute woman is seated against a wooden fence or other wooden structure. Her clothing is tattered, her feet are bound in rags. It looks like she is either inspecting a wound on her leg – disease and sores being so common among the starving, or adjusting the wrapping around her leg. The captions with both published photos mention that the woman is infested with lice, a condition quite common among the homeless. The unsanitary conditions of homelessness increased the possibilities for a variety of diseases, including deadly typhus carried by lice.

Context note: The fate of Ukraine’s rural migrants in the cities
Notes
Photo taken between spring – late summer, 1933.

Photo source: Ammende, Ewald, and Alexander. Wienerberger. Muss Russland Hungern?: Menschen- und Völkerschicksale in der Sowjetunion. Wien: W. Braumüller Universitäts-Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1935, Abb.8.

The title loosely translated as, “Must Russia starve? The fate of the peoples of the Soviet Union, ” this book was a remarkably revealing, detailed and damning portrayal of the USSR in the early 1930s by a respected expert on nationalities issues. It also included a photographic supplement: 21 photographs on 11 pages of plates with the title: "Der Hunger in der Hauptstadt der Ukraine. Bilder, Aufgenommen in Charkow im Sommer 1933." [Famine in the capital of Ukraine. Photographs taken in Kharkiv during the summer of 1933.] According to Ammende, the photographs were unattributed to protect the identity of the photographer, but later were proven to be Wienerberger’s.

The original 1935 edition was followed by an English translation, Human Life in Russia, published in London after Ammende’s untimely death in 1936. This edition, however, included only half of Wienerberger’s photos and added others – some of possible legitimacy from the North Caucasus region of Russia, and the remainder proven to be from the 1920s famine in Russia and Ukraine. Reprinted in the US in 1984 for its important historical text, hardly anyone knew of the false and unverified nature of some of the photographic content. Regrettably, therefore, Human Life in Russia became an accepted resource for all its photographic documentation as well.

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
Caption: “Als Begleiterscheinung des Hungers und Träger der Epidemien - die Verlausung.” [Associated with hunger and carriers of epidemics - lice infestation.]
Date of Original
1933
Date Of Event
1933
Image Dimensions
Image Width: 8cm
Image Height: 7cm
Subject(s)
Local identifier
PD107
Collection
Alexander Wienerberger: Beyond the Innitzer album
Language of Item
German
Geographic Coverage
  • Kharkiv, Ukraine
    Latitude: 49.98081 Longitude: 36.25272
Copyright Statement
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Copyright Holder
Samara Pearce https://www.samarapearce.com/
Recommended Citation
Ammende, Ewald, and Alexander. Wienerberger. Muss Russland Hungern? : Menschen- und Völkerschicksale in der Sowjetunion. Wien: W. Braumüller Universitäts-Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1935, Abb.8
Retrieved from: http://vitacollections.ca/HREC-holodomorphotodirectory/3639067/data
Location of Original
Location of original photograph reproduced in this publication is unknown.
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. Source: Book cited in NOTES above.
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Impoverished woman from the countryside seated by a fence in Kharkiv


A destitute woman is seated against a wooden fence or other wooden structure. Her clothing is tattered, her feet are bound in rags. It looks like she is either inspecting a wound on her leg – disease and sores being so common among the starving, or adjusting the wrapping around her leg. The captions with both published photos mention that the woman is infested with lice, a condition quite common among the homeless. The unsanitary conditions of homelessness increased the possibilities for a variety of diseases, including deadly typhus carried by lice.

Context note: The fate of Ukraine’s rural migrants in the cities