Ukrainian woman at work. As seen by John Steinbeck and Robert Capa in 1946


“We went first to the fields where the women and the children were harvesting cucumbers. They were divided into battalions and were in competition with one another, each group trying to pick the most cucumbers. The lines of women were stretched across the field, laughing and singing and shouting at one another. They were dressed in long skirts and blouses and headcloths, and no one wore shoes, for shoes are still too precious to use in the fields…

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They were lively, friendly people, and they made us taste the cucumbers and the tomatoes for quality…. And although the women laughed and talked, and called to us, they did not stop working, for this is a good harvest, seventy per cent better than last year, the first really good harvest since 1941, and they have great hopes from it. “

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