Kolkhoz Orphanage of the Podolskii District

Address: Meshcherino Village, Podolskii district, Moscow region

 
 
Pre-revolutionary poorhouse in the Meshcherino estate. The orphanage was presumably located in one of the estate's houses. Photograph: Letopis of Russkaya Usad'ba (web blog).

Pre-revolutionary house for the poor on the Meshcherino estate. The orphanage was presumably located in one of the estate houses. Photograph: Letopis of Russkaya Usad'ba (web blog).

The orphanage was established in April 1943 for 53 children. During a 1944 inspection, 76 orphans or half-orphans (i.e. soldiers’ children) lived there. The orphanage's facilities had not been renovated and were in poor condition. There were not enough beds, sheets, tableware, and winter shoes, so children were forced to wear canvas shoes in the cold.

Food deliveries from farms arrived with delays. The children’s standard daily ration was the following: 500 grams of bread, 200 grams of milk, 130 grams of hulled grains, 100 grams of meat, and 800 grams of vegetables. On inspection day, however, there was no meat or fat. The orphanage had a horse and one hectare of land, where potatoes were grown.

There was no doctor on duty, only an orphanage nurse. According to a report from November 1944, the children went to school, but received poor marks. Due to the shortage of teachers, children were often left unattended.

 

Daria Durneva, Anna Margolis