Nurseries work during the Great Patriotic War in Central Kazakhstan

The article considers the nursery activities during the Great Patriotic War and their role in helping women who replaced men in the workplace in Central Kazakhstan. A comparative analysis of data on the opening of new nurseries in the Union republics is carried out. On the basis of archival data provides information about the number of nurseries, both in cities and in rural areas, the number of available places, children's nutrition, health care, funding, availability of farms, sanitary conditions of nurseries, on dairy kitchens work.

Introduction

The system of Soviet nurseries existed before the war, but it acquired much greater role during the war period since women had to replace men who went to war in production. With the beginning of the Great Patriotic war an increasing number of women were involved in production which caused an urgent need to expand the network of nurseries. Seasonal nurseries were opened for the children of women who worked in the collective farm fields in rural areas at the height of field work. Children were admitted to the nursery from the first months of life. Number of women employed in industry, including heavy industry, increased almost three times — from 8800 people in 1941 to 25591 people in 1945 in the Karaganda region during 1941– 1945. Since Karaganda region was a major industrial center with coal and non-ferrous metallurgy industries, the replacement of male labor with female labor was required in this sector, and women successfully mastered new «non-female» specialties [1, p. 122].

Results and Discussion

The number of places for nursery pupils had increased all over the USSR. Researcher T.I. Dunbinskaya, who studied the daily history of childhood during the war period, provides the following data: in 1941, the number of nurseries in the USSR was 13,135, in 1945 — 18,865 (the growth of nurseries was 43.6 %). As the main reason for the increasing of nurseries, the researcher points to the involvement of women (former housewives) in industrial and agricultural production [2, p. 46].

There were shortage of nursery places in preschool institutions due to the mass exit of women to work in enterprises and institutions. A.B. Bissenova notes that children's institutions in Kazakhstan could find additional resources, for example, special regimes were drawn up for children in two subgroups: while some were sleeping, others were taken out for a walk. This arrangement made it possible to serve thousands of additional children in need of a nursery at minimal cost, without expanding the living space. Where before the war there were 100–120 children in the nursery, 200–250 children were placed [3, p. 111]. So it was possible to increase the number of admitted children to nursery more than twice, despite the fact that it practically did not require large financial investments, with correcting the daily routine. But this staffing process was not always passed easily. Many factors were not taken into account, such as the weather: it was impossible to walk or even just sleep outdoors in a downpour, strong wind or frost, which means that almost always there was a large crowding of children in the nursery.

Researcher M.V. Korenyuk confirms the fact that the number of children in kindergartens and nurseries and often significantly exceeded the norm in many regions of the RSFSR. For example, the kindergarten of the second trust «Kizelugol» of the Molotov region, designed for 60 places, served 100 children. Children's institutions were often opened in unsuitable buildings in order to accommodate everyone. For example, in Gubakha, children were housed in a building that was previously used for storing vegetables and keeping livestock [4, p. 66].

Besides the work of nurseries in two shifts, there was an active opening of new nursery institutions in the USSR as a whole. There is an example (Table 1) of data coverage of the child population with nursery care in the cities of the republics of the Union.

Table 1 Increasing coverage of nursery care in cities

No.

Name of the Republic

Growth of nursery places (%)

The growth of the nurseries (%)

1942 y.

1945 y.

1942 y.

1945 y.

1

Kazakh SSR

1.8

85.9

11.4

39.4

2

Kirghiz SSR

15.0

87.1

–4.9

20.5

3

The Uzbek SSR

–3.5

15.4

–2.1

1.2

4

Azerbaijan SSR

3.4

25.5

3.5

12.9

5

Tajik SSR

5.9

57

4.0

13.4

6

RSFSR*

4.8

50.8

0.7

12.4

7

Turkmen SSR

6.2

41.7

1.6

7.9

8

Armenian SSR

-5.2

11.0

1.6

0

9

Georgian SSR

2.4

11

–0.3

–5.1

10

Average % by Union

4.3

47.2

3.4

18.8

Note. The table is based on data from the State archive of the Russian Federation F. 8008. I. 21. A. 45. P. 4–5; * — Findings according to the RSFSR includes territories that were not under occupation.

There was active growing number of nursery places throughout all the Union republics, whereas the increase in the number of institutions themselves noticeably lagged, which indicates that the manger has a number of places become much more crowded, and, as noted above, although the adjustment of the order of the day gave certain advantages, still it was impossible in the circumstances to provide quality nursery care for the population. Comparing the data for the Kazakh SSR and the Union, it should be noted that in 1945, the growth in the number of places in nurseries in Kazakhstan was almost 2 times higher than in the USSR on average. Similar data on the growth of the number of nurseries: the indicator for the Kazakh SSR in 1945 was more than 2 times higher than the average data for the Union. In our opinion, this was due to the fact that before the war, many Kazakh women were mostly housewives, but because of the urgent need to replace men who went to the front, their involvement in production, they had to go to work and place children in a nursery. A similar situation as in the Kazakh SSR was in Kirghiz SSR (with the exception of data for 1942). The growth in the number of places in nurseries was several times higher than in the Kazakh SSR, but the growth of the institutions themselves in 1942 was noticeably lagged in the Kyrgyz SSR. As for Uzbek SSR, Armenian SSR, Georgian SSR, and Azerbaijani SSR, there is no high growth dynamics, either in the nursery places or in the nursery itself. In our opinion, one of the reasons is that in these Union republics women were involved in industrial production to a lesser extent than in Kazakhstan, both during the initial period of the war and towards its end. A similar picture was formed in nurseries in rural areas in the Soviet Union as a whole (Table 2).

Table 2 Increasing coverage of nursery care in rural areas

No.

Name of the Republic

Growth of nursery places (%)

The growth of the nurseries (%)

1942 y.

1945 y.

1942 y.

1945 y.

1

Kazakh SSR

1.3

23

0.9

13.2

2

Kirghiz SSR

8.7

58.5

4.2

32.1

3

The Uzbek SSR

3.5

42.3

–2.5

25.5

4

Azerbaijan SSR

–5.5

–33.1

0

–30.9

5

Tajik SSR

22.4

–10.7

9.8

–26.3

6

RSFSR*

–2.9

39

7

Turkmen SSR

36.7

62.5

26.9

7.8

8

Armenian SSR

0.5

18.4

3.4

11.1

9

Georgian SSR

1.6

22.3

–1.9

4.6

 

Average % by Union

–0.4

36.6

–6.8

6.5

Note. The table is based on data from the State archive of the Russian Federation F. 8008. I. 21. A. 45. P. 4–5; * — Findings according to the RSFSR includes territories that were not under occupation.

In comparison with the level of 1942, the number of places in rural areas increased by 36.6 % in 1945, the number of nurseries by 6.5 %. In the Kazakh SSR the growth rate of places in rural nurseries in 1945 is 1.5 times lower than the average for the USSR. Although according to the data for 1942, the indicators for Kazakhstan are several times higher than for the Union on average, both in terms of the number of places and the number of nurseries. In the Kazakh SSR in 1945 the growth of nurseries is almost twice as high as in the Union. Very high growth in the number of places in nurseries was observed in Kyrgyz SSR, Uzbek SSR, and Turkmen SSR. In our opinion this is due to the fact that these republics were mainly agricultural, and women engaged in agriculture needed assistance in the form of seasonal nurseries. Although other ways of caring for young children were often found in rural areas (for example, in larger families, older children took care of young children, or living together in multi-generational families allowed children to be left in the care of old people, etc.), we see a high growth in the number of nursery institutions and the number of places in them. In our opinion, the low growth rate in the number of places in nurseries and the nurseries themselves in the Armenian SSR, the Azerbaijani SSR and the Georgian SSR is due to the fact that there was less need for women's work in agriculture in these Union republics.

The situation was somewhat different in 1942. According to data for 1942 in the USSR, the growth of places in nurseries in cities was low, and in rural areas had a negative indicator, but by 1945 there was an increase in cities by 42.9 %, in rural areas by 36.2 %. As for the growth of kindergartens, it was 13.4 % in cities and -0.3 % in rural areas. In rural areas. There was a problem with facilities for kindergarten because according to archival data funding for this issue was very scarce in rural areas. In the Kazakh SSR in 1942, the percentage of growth in nursery places in the city and rural areas differed slightly (1.8 % and 1.3 %), but by 1945, the number of places in nurseries in the city was more than 3.5 times more than in the village, which indicates that women's work in cities was more in demand. Comparing the growth of the number of nurseries in the city and rural areas in the Kazakh SSR, it should be noted that the growth rate in cities was much higher than in rural areas. Both in the city and in the countryside, there was an urgent need for nursery assistance to the population in order to free women from the household and involve them in industrial and rural production.

Seasonal nurseries played an important role in the country's economy, as they allowed rural women to replace men who went to the front. The authors note that with the beginning of the war, the People's Commissariat of education of RSFSR, primarily, began to establish nurseries work, because spring and autumn field works in rural areas depended from the work of seasonal nurseries, and thus providing the country and the army with food and raw materials [5, p. 66].

The Kazakh SSR had a similar situation. But there were certain difficulties in the operation of seasonal nurseries. For example, in the materials of the analytical review of the activities of nurseries of the USSR in 1943, the following information is provided: in seasonal nurseries, premises were not successfully selected everywhere. In some collective farms, nurseries were placed in yurts, without any equipment (Karkaraly, Shet, and Kounrad districts). The nursery staff was not well prepared only 43 people were specialized as noted [6, p. 58]. Meals in seasonal nurseries were not always satisfactory. For example, milk was released by 100–200 grams per child and it was not enough (Telman, Karkaraly, Kounrad and other districts). In some areas (Nurinsky, Karkaralinsky) nurseries received only the skim milk instead of milk. Fat was not released enough — 5–10 grams, more often of nursery children's diet were vegetable fats. Food was mostly carbohydrate [6, p. 58]. The materials of reports on seasonal nursery of «Central» farm Telmanskiy district for 1943 states that children's nutrition was satisfactory, but for some younger children, their mothers brought milk home from their cows (average 4 litres) [6, p. 53]. The food in the nurseries was not suitable for very young children who could not eat solid food on their own, and so mothers were forced to bring them milk from home so that the children would not be hungry during the day.

In the materials of the analytical review of the nurseries activities in the USSR for 1943, in comparative data with the pre-war level and 1942 year (according to the reporting and operational materials of the People's Commissariat of health of the USSR), the following conclusions were made: 1) despite a temporary drop in the birth rate, the growth of nursery care during the war years has increased within 50 % (as a permanent and seasonal network), and the growth is distributed in connection with the republic economy; 2) in 1943, the growth was less intense than in the previous years of the war, the urban network increased by 4.3 %, the seasonal network-10.6 % and the rural network decreased by 0.4 %; 3) despite the rapid growth of the nursery network, the percentage of coverage of permanent nursery care is still low-on average 17 %, the coverage of the seasonal network is satisfactory-about 80 % [6, p. 13]. Indeed, by the middle of the war period, there was an increase in the number of children feeding in the nursery. This growth was due to two components: an increase in the number of places in previously functioning nurseries and an increase in the number of nurseries themselves. Both the first and second cases had their own shortcomings in the work, which affected the quality of services provided.

There has been a tendency to increase the number of nursery beds in cities and industrial enterprises since 1941 in Karaganda region. So, according to the plan for January 1, 1941 there were 2,130 beds in the nursery, of which 565 beds were provided due to the opening of new nurseries, 264 beds were provided due to the expansion of the network of existing nurseries, and 2960 beds were expected to be completed on January 1, 1942 [7, p. 4 t.]. The implementation of these plans in during 1940–1944, we present in Table 3.

Table 3 Number of nurseries and dairy kitchens in the Karaganda region in 1940–1944.

The name of the institutions

1940

1941

1942

1943

1944

Number of institutions

Number of places

Number of institutions

Number of places

Number of institutions

Number of places

Number of institutions

Number of places

Number of institutions

Number of places

Nurseries in the cities

26

1565

33

2113

35

2875

36

3065

36

3105

Nurseries in rural areas

22

477

22

477

28

617

36

530

36

530

Dairy kitchens

10

12

13

16

17

Note. The table is based on data from the State archive of the Karaganda region. F. 664. I. 1. A. 18 P. 58.

Comparing data on cities and rural areas of the Karaganda region, it should be noted that the growth rate of the number of institutions was approximately the same, but the number of places in the city was significantly higher than in rural areas. For example, in 1943 the number of nurseries in cities and rural areas was equal — 36, but there were 3065 pupils in the city, and 530 in the village, i.e. children in one nursery were served about six times more in the city than in the village. The need for nurseries in cities was higher than in rural areas, urban women were more involved in production than women in rural areas (in rural areas, the need for women's labor was often seasonal). According to archival data, the growth of the nurseries network during the war had a noticeable positive dynamics, both in terms of the number of places and the number of nursery institutions in general in the Karaganda region. By the growth of the number of dairy kitchens, we see a stable growth dynamics since 1940. But, despite the positive quantitative indicators there were problems in the quality of the nursery work.

As indicated in the materials of the regional health department reports, the nursery of the Karaganda region in 1943 fully provided the needs of the population in the nursery service. Some nurseries were working with over-fulfillment of the plan for bed-days by 10–15 % or more. Children from large families, families of red army soldiers, and low-income families were attracted when the nurseries were under loaded. In some nurseries two-mode maintenance was carried out (the New City nursery, № 17, 18 mines, Kirov, mines named after Gorbachev, etc.) [7, p. 11].

Special nursery department was organized at the Institute of maternity and childhood protection of the USSR, one of the main tasks of which was to improve the doctors, nurses and nursery teachers skills [3; p.112]. As a part of the work to improve children's health, the issue of increasing special sanatorium groups for children with tuberculosis intoxication, for children who are weakened and have suffered various diseases was resolved. Thus, the percentage of sanatorium places in nurseries increased from one in 1940 to twelve in 1945, and the number of children on round-the-clock service increased from 35 to 70 % in Karaganda [3, p. 113].

To improve the health of children in Karaganda, 20 sanitary groups worked in nurseries, through which 398 children passed, and in addition, 11 sanitary groups at temporary nurseries in Osakarovsky district with total coverage of 85 children. [7, p. 4 t.]. There were 26 permanent city nurseries according to the materials on the survey of the children's institutions condition in Karaganda region of the Kazakh SSR in 1943. Sanitary condition of most of the nurseries was considered as satisfactory. The usage of air (airing the premises, walking or sleeping outside) in most groups (senior, middle, nursery, crawler) was recorded as sufficient, in infant groups — as unsatisfactory. Good work was noted in the Gorbachev's mine (head T. Alabysheva, doctor Chernaya), in the New City nurseries (head T. Smolikova, doctor Levina), in № 1, 17, 18, 20 mines nurseries. But the nutrition of children in the nursery groups in most cases was unsatisfactory, which was especially reflected in the younger nursery children [6, p. 56]. This was not an isolated fact.

Not all children's institutions in Central Kazakhstan were provided with quality food. The food was satisfactory in the nurseries which was served by industrial enterprises of Karaganda. But in the nurseries served by the regional trade department and the district consumer unions, there was unsatisfactory due to frequent interruptions in the delivery of products necessary for children, especially milk [7, p. 11]. Interruptions in the delivery of fresh milk and dairy products were complicated due to the remoteness of the city from the places of milk production. In the materials for the annual report on medical and preventive care for children (in the fight against acute childhood infections in the Kazakh SSR for 1945) there is information about the nutrition of children's institutions in the Karaganda region: the supply of food to children's institutions has deteriorated in comparison with 1944. The nutrition of children in district centers and rural areas was also unsatisfactory (their service was provided by regional trade Unions and its branches). Despite the measures taken to improve the health of children in the nurseries, there were serious problems with the lack of necessary products, such as meat, milk, eggs. 10 Karaganda nurseries were not received: meat — 466 kg, sugar — 1119 kg. The nurseries were poorly equipped with vegetables and fruits [8, p. 8]. The children did not get the necessary calories, not to mention vitamins.

Children's institutions had their own subsidiary farms that equipped them with vegetables and grains in Karaganda, but there were problems with delivery due to the lack of vehicles. At each children's institution there was a horse and cows, however, cows were low-yielding [9, p. 71]. In 1943, in one of the children's institutions in Karaganda, a crop of potatoes was collected from the subsidiary farms of children's nurseries: 39.668 kg. For children's hospital of the Kirov's mine were collected: cabbage 8 tons, tomato — 3 tons, potatoes — 1.5 tons, carrots — 0.3 tons, oats — 5 tons, millet — 3 tons of sunflower — 0.2 tons [7, p. 114 t.]. But, despite the efforts of children's institutions to provide food for nursery children with the help of subsidiary farms, these measures were not enough, and there were problems with high-quality and varied nutrition.

According to the materials of the market review of Balkhash for the first quarter of 1943, we can track the nurseries conditions. There were 11 nurseries with 685 beds in the city and groups for dystrophics were organized at large nurseries No. 1 and 2. Children's nutrition in the nursery was mainly carbohydrate, very little protein and fat, milk was brought once every 3–5 days for 35–100 ml per child. There was no milk for 2 weeks during severe frosts in winter. Cereals were received once a month: a month of rice, a month of semolina, then only noodles, so the food was very monotonous, as the inspector writes: «the children did not want to eat this food». There were no fresh vegetables and fruits in the diet, and children received only a decoction of rosehip from vitamins in February. Sugar was received per day 2–5 grams per child, while the norm for children's institutions of the usual type was 25 grams of sugar and confectionery in the RSFSR in 1943 [5; p. 4]. There were no baby food stores and the dairy kitchens were not open regularly. There were quartz, salt and pine baths, massage, homeopathy. The children were 100 % vaccinated. The system was introduced in two modes, which made it possible to take everyone to the nursery [7, p. 43]. In Balkhash there were no problems with placing children in nursery groups during 1942–1943, but, unfortunately, there were serious shortcomings in the nutrition of children: monotonous products, a lack in the diet of children's dairy products, fresh vegetables, fruits and sugar. However, a significant plus was the fact that all children who attended nursery-type institutions had all the necessary vaccinations, i.e. there was no shortage of vaccines and medical personnel serving the nursery.

The report on the condition of children's institutions work provides information about the work of nurseries in the Zhezkazgan region. Nursery with 70 beds located in an adapted room in the center of the city in Karsakpay. The walls were light, the wood floors were painted, and the room was in good condition. The state of nutrition was unsatisfactory: milk was delivered intermittently, in the summer months in sour form, eggs and meat-irregularly. There was no record of educational work in the nursery, and educational work was not carried out enough. Instruction was given on making homemade toys [7, p. 161]. The situation was similar with other nurseries in the entire region.

The work of dairy kitchens played a huge role in the children nutrition. 11 new breast milk collection points, 29 dairy kitchens and distribution points were additionally deployed in 1942. 5 tons of breast milk were collected for 9 months of 1943 and more than two tons in 1945 in Karaganda. By the middle of 1943 the contingent that was served by dairy kitchens in Karaganda was 3700 children [7, p. 115]. But there were problems in the operation of dairy kitchens related to the lack of milk, its delivery and storage, especially in the summer months (there was no ice for cooling in dairy kitchens), as well as problems with the lack of inventory (bottles). Another negative point was that the products did not undergo bacteriological research [7; p. 67]. Despite certain shortcomings in the operation of dairy kitchens they played an invaluable role in young children nutrition for some families who were in very difficult living conditions.

There is information about the sanitary condition of the nurseries n the materials of market reports. It was characterized as satisfactory in the whole region, but there were some problems with the supply of soap. There was no lice among organized children, disinfection is carried out regularly, children were bathed in round-the-clock nurseries. The Laundry was satisfactory, but there was no boiler for boiling. Nurseries were provided with linen poorly [7, p. 43]. Repairs were made mainly by the staff of the nursery groups, and funding for this issue was very weak. Also in winter there were problems with heating, some nurseries in rural areas were closed due to lack of fuel, because state farms did not release heating materials [7, p. 43]. In the materials of reports on medical and preventive care for children in 1943 there is information about the nursery at the Kirov's mine, which was in urgent need of current repairs, as well as repairs to the water supply, lighting network and did not receive assistance from the administration. There was often no light and water and they were in an unsuitable room in the nurseries [6, p. 70].

There are materials concerning the weak financing of children's institutions in the Karaganda region in the reports on medical and preventive care for 1943. It was noted that children's institutions were not prepared for the winter and there were no warm clothing and shoes. The breast and crawler groups had no warm blankets or cotton bags for walking. 50 % of older and middle-aged children did not have shoes or galoshes. Thus, it was impossible for infants and sliders to stay in the air, most children of middle and older groups were in the same position in Karaganda nurseries [8, p. 71]. Based on the above, we can conclude that during the war years funding was insufficient, there were not enough linen, clothing, shoes, heating materials, hygiene products, and there were no workers to repair the rooms.

In seasonal nurseries, funding was also insufficient. For example, we have the following data in the report for 1943: in the vast majority of nurseries there were no soft equipment, children used bedding and clothing brought from home. There were no toys, visual materials and other necessary accessories for educational work [6, p. 58].

The report has given a detailed description of the seasonal nursery of Telmanskiy region «Centralnyi» farm. The nursery was located in a seasonal house consisting of two large rooms, a reception room and a kitchen. Hard inventory consisted of beds, which were not enough for all children, some of the children slept in the hay on the floor. There were plenty of benches and chairs, but cooking utensils weren't enough. Bed linen was brought from home. There were no any manufactures for linen and clothing from the district consumer union. The sanitary condition was good, there was cleanliness and comfort in the nursery, but there were almost no toys. There were 81 children in the nursery, 1 of them up to 6 months old, 8 of them up to one year old, and the rest were children up to 4 years old. The nursery worked around the clock, there were no devices for bathing, and there was a washtub for washing [6, p. 53].

Conclusion

In general, the nursing system work of Central Kazakhstan during the Great Patriotic War, even having serious problems in financing, nutrition, sanitation, etc., in terms of women's employment in manufacturing in the rear, to replace men who went to the front, have made a huge contribution to ensure the rear by the female workforce and approaching the Great Victory.

 

References

  1. Saktaganova, Z.G., Tursynova, Zh.Zh., Smagulov, A.Zh. (2016). Zhenshchiny Tsentralnoho Kazakhstana v hody Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny. 1941–1945 hh. [Women of Central Kazakhstan during the great Patriotic war. 1941–1945]. Karaganda: Karaganda State Univ. Publ. [in Russian].
  2. Dunbinskaya, T.I. (2011). Statistika evakuirovannykh i mestnkyh detskikh uchrezhdenii v hody Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny (na materialakh Zapadnoi Sibiri) [Statistics of evacuated and local children's institutions during the great Patriotic war (based on West Siberia materials)]. Vestnik Tomskoho hosudarstvennoho pedahohicheskoho universiteta — Bulletin of Tomsk State Pedagogical University13 (115), 46–51 [in Russian].
  3. Bisenova, A.B. (1965). Materinstvo i detstvo: ocherki razvitiia okhrany materinstva i detstva v Kazakhstane [Maternity and childhood: an outline of the development of maternity and childhood protection in Kazakhstan]. Alma-Ata: Kazakhstan [in Russian].
  4. Korenyuk, V.M. (2017). Povsednevnaia zhizn detei voennoho i poslevoennoho vremeni (po materialam Molotovskoi oblasti) [Daily life of ' children of the war and post-war period (based on the materials of the Molotov region)]. Candidate's thesis. Perm [in Russian].
  5. Dunbinskaya, T.I. (2017). Orhanizatsiia letnikh ozdorovitelnykh kampanii dlia detei Zapadnoi Sibiri v hody Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny (1941–1945) [Organization of summer recreation companies for children of Western Siberia during the great Patriotic war (1941–1945)]. Vestnik Tomskoho hosudarstvennoho pedahohicheskoho universiteta — Bulletin of Tomsk State Pedagogical University, 5(182), 65–71[in Russian].
  6. Hosudarstvennyi arkhiv Rossiiskoi Federatsii [State archive of the Russian Federation]. F. 8008, I. 21, A. 45.
  7. Hosudarstvennyi arkhiv Karahandinskoi oblasti [State archive of the Karaganda region]. F. 664, I. 1, A. 18.
  8. Hosudarstvennyi arkhiv Rossiiskoi Federatsii [State archive of the Russian Federation]. F. 8008, I. 21, I. 65.
  9. Hosudarstvennyi arkhiv Rossiiskoi Federatsii [State archive of the Russian Federation]. I. 21, A. 53.
Year: 2020
City: Karaganda
Category: History