Wienerberger was recruited into the Army of the Austro-Hungarian empire during World War I. He was taken prisoner in 1915 and stayed in Russia after the war, where he spend 19 years until 1934. He was a chemical engineer specializing in explosives, and he built a chemical laboratory. In the 1920s he was a political prisoner in Lubyanka Prison, Moscow. From 1930? he established chemical factories in the Soviet Union, and worked as technical director. In 1931 a daughter was born. In 1933 he was technical director of a synthetic factory in Kharkiv and was witness to the man-made famine orchestrated by the Soviet Government, the Holodomor. His photographs — made with a Leica camera — are some of about only about 100 images that have been verified of this crisis. (Sometimes photos from the famine of 1921–1922 from Wolgau region are used erroneously to portray the Holodomor.) Back in Austria in 1934 he give the Vienna Arcbishop Theodor Innitzer an album with 25 pictures and hand written commentaries. In 1935 Ewald Ammende published in Vienna the Book Muss Russland Hungern? ("Must Russia Starve?") with pictures from Wienerberger. In 1939 Wienerberger published Hart auf Hart ("Hard Times") about his time as an engineer in the Soviet Union, which was compatible with the Nazi-regime. He also published other photographs ofthe Holodomor.
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Ewald Ammende, (Alexander Wienerberger): Muss Russland Hungern? Menschen- und Völkerschicksale in der Sowjetunion, W. Braumüller Universitäts-Verlagsbuchhandlung, Wien 1935; xxiii, 355 p., p. of plates after p. 355 prefaced by the title: Der Hunger in der Hauptstadt der Ukraine. Bilder, Aufgenommen in Charkow im Sommer 1933
Alexander Wienerberger: Hart auf hart. 15 Jahre Ingenieur in Sowjetrußland. Ein Tatsachenbericht, Anton Pustet, Salzburg 1939, 246 p., with 52 Leica-photographs
Alexander Wienerberger: Um eine Fuhre Salz im GPU.-Keller. Erlebnisse eines deutschen Ingenieurs in Sowjetrußland (Band 123 von Spannende Geschichten), Bertelsmann, Gütersloh 1942, 32 p., with drawings from Günther Büsemeyer
William Liber (submitted by), International Commission of Inquiry into the 1932-33 Famine in Ukraine (Ed.): The 1932-33 original photographs from Kharkiv, Ukraine, Toronto 1988, 47 p. or 94 p.; Compilation, contains photographs from "Muss Russland Hungern?" and selections in English and German from "Hart auf Hart".