The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)

For Possible Use On The New Ukrainian Holodomor Stamp

Letter to Valentyna Khudoliy, Director
Publishing House "Marka Ukrainy"
Kyiv, Ukraine
Friday, October 17, 2003

Valentyna.........Hello, I hope everything is fine with you and the work on the new Ukrainian holodomor stamp is progressing rapidly. We appreciated very much you meeting with us recently in Kyiv about the new Ukrainian holodomor stamp. It is very important that Ukraine issue a new holodomor stamp on November 22, 2003.


There are some reports going around this week that Marka Ukrainy is considering using a photograph of a young girl, reportedly to be a famine victim in Ukraine during 1932-1933, now on the new Ukrainian holodomor stamp in place of the photograph of the Russian family that was on the original design. The photograph that some people say is now being considered by Marka Ukrainy is attached to this e-mail.


We do not know for sure all the photographs you are considering but wanted to provide you with some additional information about this photograph and about the concerns most experts have with almost any famine photograph reported to be from Ukraine during 1932-1933.


We also understand there are some people who have written to you that feel this photograph can be documented to be from Ukraine during 1932-1933 and that this girl is a victim of the Ukrainian genocidal famine.


We also think you should know there are some experts who do NOT feel this photograph of the young girl can be adequately documented as to have been taken in Ukraine during 1932-1933 and that this young girl is NOT actually a victim of the 1932-1933 Ukrainian genocidal famine.


Some experts say that one of the first places this photograph appeared was in a book published in Germany during the NAZI regime by A. Laubenheimer entitled, "Die Sowjetunion am Abground!: Mit zahlreichen Originalaufnahmen des Verfassers u. a. Berlin and Halensee: Verlag Volkswirtschaftsdienst, 1933. The photograph appeared on page [6] of plates.


One top Ukrainian famine expert wrote to us and stated this about the photograph, "It reminds me of posed pictures of the twenties. The dress is not torn or worn out. It could have just recently been given to the child by one of the relief agencies who did distribute clothing as well as food. I can't imagine it being a 1930s photo. The parents of the child would have long ago traded the dress for a piece of food. No, the more I look at it the less I can see a 1930s picture.


"It would be interesting to know what it was cropped from. The few lines and shapes on the photo are regular, possibly from some relief centre, and not at all the type that would appear in the situation of the 1930s."


Another top Ukrainian famine expert stated the photograph looks like it was taken in a professional photograph studio and also was cropped out of a larger photograph. The expert said in his opinion it is highly unlikely that this photograph was taken in Ukraine during 1932-1933 and that the photograph shows a famine victim during this period of time.


As you know the NAZI'S started and carried out a very large anti-Soviet campaign in the early to mid-1930's. They used the famine in Ukraine as part of their anti-Soviet campaign. It is widely known that the NAZI'S gathered material and photographs from a variety of sources for their anti-Soviet campaign and not all of the NAZI propaganda has been shown by historians and researchers to actually be authentic in terms of the items being from Ukraine or other parts of the Soviet Union in the early 1930's.


It has been shown and documented that many of the photographs, etc. the NAZI'S and others used were actually taken by governmental and private relief agencies during the Russian famine of 1921-1923.


We just want to urge Marka Ukrainy to be very, very careful in their research on this and other such photographs. One has to be very careful as to the real historical identification of such documents. For the most part hard evidence does not exist as far as most experts know. It is also known the NAZI'S and others who were working to discredit the Soviet Union were very clever and deceptive in the propaganda they issued. There was little they would not do to prove their point and to further their cause. The actual source of photographs was reported of little concern to them as long as they showed the images the NAZI'S wanted to show in their propaganda.


Marka Ukrainy must make their own decision about the photograph attached to this e-mail and any other photograph they may choose to consider and use for the new stamp. We urge Marka Ukrainy to be very careful and exhaustive in their research.


We strongly urge Marka Ukrainy not to use any photograph on the new Ukrainian holodomor stamp unless the photograph can absolutely 100% proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to have been taken in Soviet Ukraine during the 1932-1933 genocidal famine and that the photograph show an image appropriate for a such a important stamp issued by the government of Ukraine and one that shows the real tragedy suffered by millions of people in Ukraine. Thanks,

E. Morgan Williams, Coordinator
Worldwide Committee for the Support of
a New Ukrainian Holodomor Stamp in 2003