Gareth Jones

[bas relief by Oleh Lesiuk]



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1933 'Alleged' Famine Photo's  from Dr. Ewald Ammende's  1936 'Human Life in Russia'

Published by George Allen & Unwin, Museum Street, London.

N.B. The provenance of these  'famine' photos below is neither claimed nor implied by the Gareth Jones website and are shown for comparative academic research & discussion purposes only.

Several of the photographs in Ammende's 1936 book [published shortly after Ammende's early death of a stroke, aged 43], have been taken in 1921 and not the1930s and have also been used in other publications, where the articles claim they were taken by their correspondents, such as The Daily Express (Aug 6, 7, & 8 Aug 1934) and syndicated in the American Randolph Hearst Press in February 1935 by the 'con-man' Thomas Walker (whose real name was Robert Green - & who was an escaped convict from Colorado prison, on-the-run  for 14 years; convicted of forgery.)

Ammende would have been fully aware of the controversy caused by Louis Fisher's March 1935 exposure of Thomas Walker's fraudulent photos, so one wonders why did he include them within his own 1936 book, unless of course they were possibly inserted after his death (and thus without his permission)?

However, Ammende did not give the additional photos in this book provenance either (compared to his 1935 German edition) and passes on full responsibility for their presence to his then 'side-kick' Dr. Fritz Dittloff (Dietloff) after his departure from the USSR in February 1934 - CLICK HERE to see 1935 photos from 'Muss Russland Hungern?" where the additional 'suspect' photos did not appear). One must seriously question why did Dittloff, who was working closely with Ammende in 1934 and who supposedly took the ('dubious') photos with his own camera, for which Dittloff allowed his name to appear in the earlier 1935 German edition of Ammende's book?

Background information regarding these photos below from 'Human Life in Russia' is specifically referred to in Ammende's Preface (p22-23):

"A few words should be said about the photographs which illustrate the book. They are among the most important Sources for the actual facts of the Russian position. The majority of them were taken by an Austrian specialist who worked in Russian industry until 1934, and was able to take the pictures unobserved during his stay at Kharkov, at the time when deaths were most numerous during the summer the summer months of 1933. The authenticity of the photographs, which form a permanent record of the terrible events in the Ukraine after the collapse, is undoubted; for an examination made by experts shows that they were taken with a Leica camera of a type which did not exist at the time of the famine of 1921-2, and that the pictures were actually taken in the streets and squares of Kharkov in the summer of 1933, as is also apparent from various details clearly visible in the pictures.

In addition to these photographs taken in Kharkov, the English edition of the book contains also others, which were supplied to the author by Dr. F. Dittloff for many years Director of the German Government Agricultural Concession – Drusag – in the North Caucasus. This institution was most flourishing in the time of the Stresemann regime and of the German Rapallo Policy, but was liquidated in 1933. The photographs were taken by Dr. Dittloff himself in the summer 1933, and they demonstrate the conditions then prevailing on the plains of the agricultural areas of the Hunger Zone. A few of them have been published before elsewhere without his permission. Dr. Dittloff accepts full responsibility for their authenticity."

Another anomaly between Ammende's preface and his body copy again concerns a contradiction of Dr Dittloff, being the former the head of the German Agricultural Concession in the USSR called Drusag and allowing his name to be used as the source of the photos above) - Extract from p190-191  Human Life in Russia and also in the German version p195-196:

Moscow, however decided that, apart from German Nationals, no Drusag official was to leave the country. Most of the former Drusag employees, who are rebuked for working for a foreign undertaking, are now exposed to the hardest of lots - some indeed, to extinction.  The point is - and this illustrates another of Moscow's methods - that the Russian Government can thus exercise a kind of blackmail over the former Drusag employees, who are now abroad; for it is assumed that they will, at least for a time, be reticent in revealing the true position in the South, if only to save their former colleagues from reprisals.

Notion: Did this 'blackmail' extend to using Dittloff to allow his name to front the already known fake photos in Ammende's English version after he died? In any event, it is certainly contradictory...




[#HLiR 1]



[#HLiR 2]

Caption: "A Struggle for Existence".


Caption:  "Surrender"


 *Comments: A copy of this photo above appears in The Daily Express - 6th August 1934 - CLICK HERE to Cross Reference

It also appears in the Hearst Press on February 25th 1935, in Thomas Walker's bogus articles.  [CLICK HERE for an external Link - as awaiting copies of the original for website inclusion.]


[FP = Facing Page] FP32

[#HLiR 3]



[#HLiR 4]

Caption:  "Foodshop in Kharkov besieged by the population."


Caption:  "Queue at milk-distribution centre at Kharkov."



[#HLiR 5]



[#HLiR 6]

Caption:  "Starving, homeless children, the bezprizorne".


Caption:  "Bezprizorne".



[#HLiR 7]



[#HLiR 8]

Caption:  "Famine is of all scourges the cruellest to children".


Caption:  "A mother and child wandering in search of food".


* Comments: A mirror image copy of this photo above appears in The Daily Express - 7th Aug 1934 - CLICK HERE to cross-reference



[#HLiR 9]



[#HLiR 10]

Caption:  "Brothers in distress".


Caption:  "Another child victim of the famine".



[#HLiR 11]



[#HLiR 12]

Caption:  "Corpses of famine victims who dies in the streets awaken at first the sympathy of passers-by".


Caption:  "This famine victim also still attracts attention and pity".



[#HLiR 13]



[#HLiR 14]

Caption:  "Familiarity breeds indifference".


Caption:  "Even several famine victims dead in the street causes no emotion passers-by".



[#HLiR 15]



[#HLiR 16]

Caption:  "Carrying on everyday conversation regardless of the corpse by the roadside".


Caption:  "A child dead from starvation to whom passers-by pay no attention".



[#HLiR 17]



[#HLiR 18]

Caption:  "Body of famine victim lying on the roadside".


Caption:  "Another famine victim lying in a field".


* Comments: A cropped copy of this photo above appears in the Daily Express - 7th August 1934 - CLICK HERE to cross-reference.



[#HLiR 19]



[#HLiR 20]

Caption:  "Body of famine victim lying by  freshly dug grave ready for burial".


Caption:  "Famine victims in hospital".


FP- 161

[#HLiR 21]



[#HLiR 22]

Caption:  "Body of a famine victim in a field, stripped of clothing by passers-by".


Caption:  "Collecting corpses for burial".


* Comments: A cropped copy of this photo above appears in the Hearst Press (e.g. Chicago American - 6th March 1935

Hearst Caption: "This corpse is that of the father of a boy pictured at the right. The orphaned child was unable to bury his parent. There were no shovels in the village since the last raid of the OGPU., and the boy could only cover the body with straw.


FP- 192

[#HLiR 23]


FP- 193

[#HLiR 24]

Caption:  "These families boarded a train and went to Kharkov to demand food, which they did not however, receive. When the train was opened they were found to have died from  hunger on the return journey".


Caption:  "The last journey".


FP- 224

[#HLiR 25]


FP- 224

[#HLiR 26]

Caption:  "Mass graves of famine victims, in such numbers they resemble dunes".     Caption:  "A great multitude that no man could number".  


To cross-reference these photos with Walker's articles for Hearst, please CLICK HERE

To cross-reference these photos with Ammende's Muss Russland Hungern?, please CLICK HERE

To cross-reference these photos with those appearing in August 1934 in The Daily Express, please CLICK HERE

Click here for a discussion hypothesis over whether Walker was in fact a Soviet Patsy rather than a Hearst Stooge?

Original Research, Content & Site Design by Nigel Linsan Colley. Copyright © 2001-17 All Rights Reserved Original document transcriptions by M.S. Colley.Click here for Legal Notices.  For all further details email:  Nigel Colley or Tel: (+44)  0796 303  8888