During Ukraine’s Holodomor, the 1932-1933 famine was officially and forcefully denied by its Soviet perpetrators, who deemed any attempt to document it as anti-Soviet propaganda, and as such, a criminal offense. This directory features, for the most part, forbidden photographs that were taken undetected and that either evaded confiscation or survived in the files of criminal proceedings.
These photos portray the consequences of Stalin’s genocidal policies in Ukraine’s agricultural heartland as starving rural migrants lay dead and dying on city streets, while urban residents themselves struggled to survive on hunger rations. Some of the photos illustrate the tragic ironies of a highly stratified society and a dictatorship obsessed with its image.
The photographs included in this Directory have been authenticated as taken within Ukraine’s borders in the 1930s. Also presented is a small collection of 1920s photos that in the past have been misattributed to the Holodomor, along with evidence of their 1920s origins. With time and further research, we hope to expand this Directory to include additional photographs, including from the Kuban region of Russia, which was predominantly populated by ethnic Ukrainians.
We encourage you to explore the photographs, which are arranged in collections on the home page and are searchable by subject here. On the left, you will also find additional information on the Holodomor and photo documentation during that time, as well as biographical essays about the featured photographers.
We have made every effort to present high quality digital copies of the selected photographs for viewing and research. Please note, however, that we are not the owners of any of these photographs. If you wish to make copies for publication in any medium, please refer to the permissions and owner contact information provided for every photograph in the Directory.