NOTE: Very graphic images! Viewer discretion adviced.
This second installment of photographs depicting the very grim realities of the Manchurian Plague are of Russian provenance. The files were generously provided by Mr. Spike Cook in Florida, the owner of this extremely rare album. Each image was processed for perspective control and contrast adjustment. Post-processing was done in PhotoShop/CS2. The captions in Russian await translation into English.
The Manchurian (or Pneumonic) Plague, a fiasco in the history of public health in China, came at a time when the imperial court in Beijing was at its weakest and the Republican Revolution led by Sun Yat-sen hadn't occurred yet. With a mortality rate of almost 100%, its outbreak would claim the life of ca. 45,000 to 60,000 residents of Harbin and environs.
Not only did the outbreak occur at a crucial moment in Chinese history, it also took place in a geopolitically highly contested area: Russia, Japan and China all lay claim to controlling this particular region. I recommend the work of William C. Summers and Mark Gamsa for further reading (for English-language materials).
Thomas H. Hahn, Ithaca
Uploaded May 22, 2008
© Thomas H. Hahn Docu-Images