Children Finding Food for Soviet Authorities

Following Stalin's orders, Ukrainians must turn-over all their food to Soviet officials. This image depicts children digging for potatoes in a Ukrainian field.

What do we know about this photo? It is part of the Innitzer Collection and is online via the Holodomor Research & Education Consortium.

When the Soviets denied there was a famine in Ukraine, man-made or natural, a Cardinal from Austria, Theodor Innitzer—who was also the Archbishop of Vienna—began an awareness-raising campaign in the West. This image is from the Innitzer Collection.

Innitzer was not without controversy himself, as we learn from Holodomor Survivors:

Innitzer was the Archbishop of Vienna and a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. The son of factory worker, he became a priest in 1902, received his doctorate in theology in 1906, and from 1929 to 1930 served as Minister of Social Affairs in the Austrian government of Chancellor Johann Schober. In 1932 he became Archbishop of Vienna.

In his role as Archbishop of Vienna, Innitzer attempted to organize relief for the starving peasantry during the Ukrainian Famine. However, as the Soviet government vehemently denied the existence of any Famine on its territory, Innitzer was not allowed to provide any aid.

Innitzer’s role in Austrian history remains controversial, as the Archbishop supported the 1938 Anschluss with Germany. However, soon after the Anschluss, when the Nazi assault on the Catholic Church began, Innitzer became critical of the regime – in October 1938 he stated in a sermon “There is just one Fuhrer – Jesus Christ.” During the war, Innitzer was critical of the anti-Semitic policies of the Nazis, but openly supported the war effort against the USSR.

Innitzer used photos, from various sources, to try to rally support for the people of Ukraine. This image depicts one of those photos.

Online via the Holodomor Education & Research Consortium, the photo has this description:

This is a black and white image taken in Donetsk in the 1932-33 and is part of the Innitzer collection. This image depicts young children instructed to dig remaining potatoes out of the ground to be collected by officials and taken away. There are over 50 young and old performing this task in colder weather, using their bare hands.

Click on the image for a better view.

Media Credits

Holodomor Research & Education Consortium, Part of the Innitzer Photo Collection; photo by an unnamed photographer

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"Children Finding Food for Soviet Authorities" AwesomeStories.com. Feb 23, 2017. Aug 20, 2018.
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