Photo Gallery

Several families from the countryside on their way to Kharkiv by foot

CreatorWienerberger, Alexander, 1891-1955, PhotographerMedia TypeImageTextItem TypesPhotographsPhotograph albumsDescriptionWe are shown a group of people consisting primarily of women and children with a handful of men at the lead. Ahead of all is a horse drawn wagon, too distant to see what is carried in it. Almost everyone is carrying a sack over their shoulder, and some carry extra outerwear. Some are walking barefoot. The bags may hold a very few personal essentials, and quite likely some things to sell or trade for food. Wienerberger wrote in his memoir that these people are starving rural residents heading out to the city “um hier Hilfe, Brot, Arbeit oder Erbarmen zu finden” [to find help, bread, work or mercy]. (Hart auf Hart, p.180).

In the winter of 1932, Moscow closed the borders of Ukraine and the Kuban to stop the rapidly increasing numbers of residents from leaving in search of food. Those apprehended at the borders were either arrested and deported or sent back to die in their villages. New internal passport requirements were instituted in 1932 and expanded in 1933 which restricted travel from the villages to the cities, and mandated residency registration in the cities. But with their last food reserves stripped away from them, the desperate, starving rural residents continued to turn to the major urban and industrial centers of Ukraine as their last hope.

NotesPhoto source: Wienerberger, Alexander. Die Hungertragödie in Südrussland 1933; also known as the Innitzer Album, 1934. p.1.

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 menus at right.
InscriptionsHandwritten caption in album: “Die hungernden Bauern verlassen das Dorf, um Hilfe in der Stadt zu finden.” [The starving farmers leave the village to find help in the city.]Date of Originalspring-summer 1933Image DimensionsImage Width: 10.8cm
Image Height: 7.9cm

Local identifierPD2CollectionAlexander Wienerberger: Innitzer albumLanguage of ItemGermanGeographic Coverage

Copyright StatementProtected 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 HolderSamara Pearce CitationWienerberger, Alexander. 1933. “Die hungernden Bauern verlassen das Dorf, um Hilfe in der Stadt zu finden,” in: Die Hungertragödie in Südrussland 1933. Vienna: Diözesanarchiv der Erzdiözese, [1934]. p.1. Retrieved from: of OriginalDiözesanarchiv – Bibliothek, Vienna, Austria. Please contact this archive for official reproductions.Terms of UseRightsholder requests that the name of the photographer, Alexander Wienerberger, accompany each authentic reproduction of his work.Reproduction NotesReproduced with the permission of rightsholder Samara Pearce and the Diözesanarchiv – Bibliothek, Vienna, Austria.