General overview of humanitarian aid of the German Red Cross to the starving population of Soviet Russia and Ukraine in 1921–1923

Tsidenkov G.G.

198-212 p. 10.22378/he.2022-7-2.198-212

The article is based on documents from Russian national and regional archives, as well as modern scientific publications. It highlights and summarizes the main aspects the German Red Cross activities on the territory of Soviet Russia and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialistic Republic during the famine of 1921–1923. The German Red Cross was one of the member organisations of the Nansen International Committee for Aid to Famine in Russia and Ukraine and acted on its behalf independently, sending its own expedition to areas affected by famine and epidemics. Despite the quite unfavourable economic situation in Germany, humanitarian activities of the German Red Cross were conducted in several directions simultaneously: direct assistance to the starving population with food and clothing; healthcare; assistance to the Soviet healthcare authorities in carrying out the vaccination campaign; disinfection of infectious premises; assistance to Soviet scientists and educational institutions; delivery of medical equipment and deployment of scientific laboratories. Missions and representations of the German Red Cross worked in the Volga Region, eastern and southern Ukraine, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the cities of Petrograd, Moscow, Novorossiysk and Minsk. The contribution of the German Red Cross workers was marked with praise at the highest level by the Soviet leadership. Their energy and dedication are evidenced both by the results of their work and by the suffering and human losses they endured together with Soviet citizens.

Keywords: famine of 1921–1923, German Red Cross, humanitarian aid, epidemics

For citation: Tsidenkov G.G. Obshchiy obzor gumanitarnoy pomoshchi Germanskogo Krasnogo Kresta golodayushchim Sovetskoy Rossii i Ukrainy v 1921–1923 gg. [General overview of humanitarian aid of the German Red Cross to the starving population of Soviet Russia and Ukraine in 1921–1923]. Istoricheskaya etnologiya, 2022, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 198–212. (In Russian)


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About the author: Grigoriy G. Tsidenkov, Cand. Sc. (Sociology), Associate Professor of the Department of National History and Archeology, Samara State University of Social Sciences and Education (65/67, Maksim Gorkiy St., Samara 443090, Russian Federation);

Received December 24, 2021   Accepted for publication February 15, 2022

Published Online November 23, 2022