Non-Holodomor: Five boys in Ukraine, stripped down and seated in a row, showing evidence of starvation and swelling
- unknown, Photographer
- Media Type
- Item Types
- Book illustrations
- Pamphlet illustrations
- Many photographs taken during the 1920s international relief missions were posed, such as this one, and many include children partially or fully unclothed to show the effects of starvation on the body. To date, we have not located any authenticated photos from the Holodomor that present a posed, partially or fully unclothed person or group of people suffering from starvation.
In 1921,the normally abundant southern steppe areas of Ukraine were suffering from drought and subsequent starvation as severe as in the Volga regions of Russia. In spite of this, the Bolsheviks in Moscow requisitioned the harvests from throughout Ukraine to feed the starving populations of Russia’s agricultural regions. The dire conditions in the Ukrainian steppes were further compounded as large numbers of migrants from Russia’s famine zones arrived, expecting to find plentiful sustenance.
When word of famine in Ukraine reached the American Relief Administration (ARA) in late 1921, their investigators were initially denied permission by Moscow to inspect the area. Eventually, Moscow relented and the ARA investigators discovered alarming conditions and urged immediate relief. Following extensive negotiations with the Kremlin and Kharkiv, the ARA was finally allowed to open food kitchens and medical relief programs in January of 1922 throughout the famine-stricken regions of southern Ukraine.
- Photo source: Herasymovych, Ivan. 1922. Holod na Ukraïni. Biblioteka Ukraïnʹkoho Slova, Ch. 31. Berlin: Ukr. slovo, p. 143.
For further evidence of the 1920s origins of this photograph, please see Related Features at right.
This photo appears as #13 of 17 photographs that were mailed by the Ukrainian Red Cross with a separate numbered list in an official envelope date-stamped as arriving in Geneva on May 5, 1922. They are now housed among the documents of the "Union international de secours aux enfants" in the Canton Archives of Geneva, Switzerland. (Serbyn 1992, p. 675.)
13. "Діти, опухлі від голоду (Бердянськ)." "Enfants affamés (Berdiansk)" [Starving children (Berdyansk)]
Also published that same year in the Information report series issued by the Comité International de Secours a la Russie, Haut Commissariat du Dr. Nansen, no. 22: "La Famine en Ukraine", rapport, by Vidkun Quisling. April 30, 1922. Genève: Imp. de H. Vollet . p.6. http://diasporiana.org.ua/wp-content/uploads/books/16481/file.pdf
Caption: “Enfants affamés à Berdiansk (gouv. Zaporoshie)” [Starving children of Berdyansk (Zaporizhia oblast)]
Also available for viewing and download, with limitations, from the International Committee of the Red Cross, Audiovisual Archives: https://avarchives.icrc.org/Picture/9381
(Location incorrectly given as Russia).
This image was also used in a poster and on a postcard to raise relief funds, 1921-1922, by the Conference universelle juive de secours (Jewish World Relief Conference).(Сербин, 2010)
- Herasymovych caption: “Діти опухлі з голоду в Бердянську.” [Children swollen from starvation in Berdyansk.]
- Date of Original
- Personal Name(s)
- Quisling, Vidkun
- Corporate Name(s)
- American Relief Administration ; Comité International de Secours a la Russie ; Conference universelle juive de secours ; International Save the Children Union ; Jewish World Relief Conference ; Nansen Mission ; Red Cross Society of Ukraine (1918-1923) ; Union international de secours aux enfants
- Local identifier
- Select 1920s famine photos from Ukraine and Russia
- Language of Item
- English; French; Ukrainian
- Geographic Coverage
Latitude: 46.76644 Longitude: 36.79872
- Copyright Statement
- Public domain: Copyright has expired according to Canadian law. No restrictions on use.
- Copyright Date
- Recommended Citation
- “Dity opukhli z holodu v Berdyansʹku.” 1921-1922. in Herasymovych, Ivan. 1922. Holod na Ukraïni. Biblioteka Ukraïnʹkoho Slova, Ch. 31. Berlin: Ukr. slovo, p. 143. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=inu.32000004088656&view=1up&seq=149
Retrieved from: http://vitacollections.ca/HREC-holodomorphotodirectory/3636151/data
- Location of Original
- Original photograph used in the cited publications held by: Archives d'Etat de Genève (State Archives of the Canton of Geneva), Switzerland.
- Reproduction Notes
- Reproduced from Herasymovych cited above.