on the banks of the Neva in Leningrad, in the famous health resorts of the
Caucasus, in the Donetz Basin, and many other parts of the Soviet Union
have been converted into delightful Rest Homes and Sanatoria for workers
While in the Crimea, we visited a very large number of these Homes
and Sanatoria, we often partook of meals with the inmates and patients, and
although the food was strange to us, and not always to our liking, it was
fresh and plentiful, and eaten with evident relish by both the inmates and
the Russian visitors, who accompanied us. We also had numerous talks
with the doctors, nurses, patients or holiday makers, the directors of the
Sanatoria and Rest Homes, and the kitchen and general domestic staffs
Our general impression was that the number of such Rest Homes and
Sanatoria was very great, but taking into account the enormous size of the
U.S.S.R. they are still insufficient to meet the demand ; we learned that
actually the Rest Homes could cope with about 25 per cent, of the requirements and that the Sanatoria, although the accommodation in them had
increased during the last year by 150 per cent., could now cope with about
36 per cent of the demand. The director of the Yalta Sanatoria told us
that it was the aim of the Government, the Health Commissariat and the
Insurance department to bring the Sanatoria of the U.S.S.R. up to the very
highest level of excellence, even before they increased their number to any
In the Crimea, as in the Rest Homes and Sanatoria of other parts of the
Union—and we visited a large number of such in the Caucasus, Georgia and
other parts of the U.S.S.R.—the general rule is that 80 per cent, of the
inmates are workers from the bench or peasants direct from the land, the
rest being brain workers, including clerks, typists, &c.
Both Rest Homes and Sanatoria are entirely free of charge, the stay
in the former being generally for a period of two weeks and in the latter
for six weeks with an extension when necessary, but only by decision of the
medical commission. The ordinary food at the Sanatoria consists of the
8.30 Breakfast—Eggs, butter, cheese, bread, &c.
12.0 Lunch—Fish or meat and vegetables, cocoa or kefir (a
specially prepared kind of sour milk).
3.0 Dinner—Soup, fish or meat and vegetables, fruit.
7.0 Supper—Same kind of meal as lunch.
10.0 Milk and bread and butter.
All patients receive at least three large tumblers of milk per day and
about an ounce of butter.
Patients who require it receive extra food.
In general, the patients at the Sanatoria and holiday makers at Rest
Homes seemed thoroughly satisfied with their conditions, and to be
enjoying their stay there immensely.
The only complaints we ever heard—and we often spoke to the patients
and holiday makers privately, with no Soviet or Trade Union official within
ear-shot—was that they did not always like the compulsory hour of rest
after dinner, that they thought the time spent at the Sanatorium not long
enough, and that not all their friends at their factory or workshops, who also
needed a holiday or treatment, had been selected.