Accessibility links

PHOTO GALLERY: Ukraine's Holodomor Through An Austrian's Eyes

Alexander Wienerberger was recruited into the army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire during World War I. In 1915, he was taken prisoner in Russia and ended up staying in the U.S.S.R. until 1934. Later, he worked as a chemical engineer specializing in explosives, and he established chemical factories in the Soviet Union. In 1933, he was assigned as technical director of a synthetic factory in Kharkiv and became witness to the man-made famine orchestrated by the Soviet government, the Holodomor. His photographs -- made with a Leica camera -- are some of about 100 images verified to be authentic portrayals of those harrowing events. The captions are based on the photographer's own notes.

The jaded population has lost all interest in the gruesome sight of the famished and the dying.
1

The jaded population has lost all interest in the gruesome sight of the famished and the dying.

Everyday conversation in sight of a corpse
2

Everyday conversation in sight of a corpse

Queues in front of a milk distribution center
3

Queues in front of a milk distribution center

At the food market in Kharkiv -- each bottle of milk, desperately clasped, represents a valuable possession in free trade
4

At the food market in Kharkiv -- each bottle of milk, desperately clasped, represents a valuable possession in free trade

The corpses of the starved in the streets of Kharkiv arouse sympathy at first.
5

The corpses of the starved in the streets of Kharkiv arouse sympathy at first.

Hungry and neglected children -- the so-called "Besprisornyje" ("the waifs")
6

Hungry and neglected children -- the so-called "Besprisornyje" ("the waifs")

Hunger forces farmers to migrate
7

Hunger forces farmers to migrate

Besprisornyje sitting on a stone-heap, delousing themselves
8

Besprisornyje sitting on a stone-heap, delousing themselves

A starving child whom nobody cares about
9

A starving child whom nobody cares about

The empty "Chartorg" (Charower Trade Cooperative) food distribution site is besieged by a devastated population in Kharkiv..
10

The empty "Chartorg" (Charower Trade Cooperative) food distribution site is besieged by a devastated population in Kharkiv..

The sympathy recedes!
11

The sympathy recedes!

The corpses of the starving lie on the roadside. Passersby no longer pay them any attention.
12

The corpses of the starving lie on the roadside. Passersby no longer pay them any attention.

This corpse still excites attention
13

This corpse still excites attention

In the blooming countryside, a sign reads: "The burial of corpses is strictly forbidden here!" 
14

In the blooming countryside, a sign reads: "The burial of corpses is strictly forbidden here!" 

The corpses of those who died of starvation are buried in mass graves.
15

The corpses of those who died of starvation are buried in mass graves.

XS
SM
MD
LG