China Underground > Magazine > China Magazine > 30 dramatic images of the 1942 Henan famine

30 dramatic images of the 1942 Henan famine

The 1942 Henan Famine in Photos: A Historical Insight

Henan Province was hit by a terrible famine between the summer of 1942 and the spring of 1943 that led to the death of 3 million people (other sources report 1 million deaths).

Related: Episodes of cannibalism in China during the famine; The famine during the Chinese Civil War; Rare historical photographs of the 1931 China floods

Approximately three million individuals were compelled to relocate to different regions to evade starvation due to a series of calamities. The famine was triggered by a severe drought, the relentless devastation of crops by locust swarms, the increased domestic demand for supplies to support troops in the conflict against the Japanese, and the government’s excessive requisitions from local farmers, leaving them with virtually nothing. These factors combined to transform a poor harvest into an colossal catastrophe.

Theodore White, a correspondent for both American and Time magazine, provided a firsthand account of the situation, which had been concealed by the Nationalist government based in Chongqing. The plight of those affected was further documented through the lens of Harrison Forman, an American photographer who ventured through Henan province during the famine of 1942–1943. Forman’s observations and experiences were meticulously recorded in his diary (Harrison Forman Diary, China, December 1942 – March 1943).

Amidst this dire situation, there were disturbing accounts of cannibalism. White reported harrowing stories from the mountain districts, where refugees traveling on secluded paths were allegedly killed and consumed. While it was challenging to discern the veracity of these tales, the consistency and frequency of such reports across disparate locations were too significant to disregard. White highlighted the grim reality in Hunan, where desperation had driven people to consume human flesh, though it was unclear how much of these accounts were based in fact and how much were mere gruesome legends.

Great China famine images

China famine images
China famine images
China famine images
China famine images
China famine images
China famine images
China famine images
China famine images
China famine images
China famine images
China famine images
China famine old photos
China famine 1942
famine in China
China famine

Sources ,

topic: famine,famine in history,famine in China,China famine

Post Author


20 pictures of Traditional Chinese Medicine animal markets (Graphic Content)

Fluid Hong Kong


Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us

3 thoughts on “30 dramatic images of the 1942 Henan famine”

  1. Those are amazing and tragic photographs reminding me that these things may again happen on a massive scale.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.