Historical Photographs of the Holodomor

Travel was restricted within the Soviet Union, making it difficult to document the tragedy that was unfolding. Nearly all photographs showing starvation during the Holodomor were taken secretly by foreigners and smuggled out of Ukraine.

Below is a selection of over 30 photographs depicting the conditions in Ukraine during the early 1930’s, with brief commentaries. Many are officially approved government photos that depict Soviet policies of indoctrination, eviction and removal of stored food, along with positive imagery from collective farming life for propaganda purposes. 

Photos of hunger victims and graves were taken by Austrian technician A. Wienerberger (labelled here as “Innitzer collection”) in Kharkiv and environs in 1933 and smuggled out.