Old Photos: Soviet Kindergartens

When I was growing up© , the original political and ideological reasons for organizing preschools in the USSR were long gone and kindergartens became what they are in the rest of the world – places to drop off children while adults work. Soviet kindergartens had various quality levels – some were owned by money-rich companies with new buildings, nice personnel and good food; others were for everyone else – with cramped quarters, frustrated overworked teachers and always-present smell of burnt milk (the milk was always boiled and if you smelled burnt milk once you’ll never forget it). I was lucky to spend a few years in the former kind of kindergarten, it was very nice and not easy to get into, especially since my parents didn’t work for the company which owned it. I don’t remember much from that time, so this set of photos was a nice reminder what the kindergartens of my childhood looked like, they are taken in 1960 but little has changed when I was attending one in 1975.

Performance dedicated to the International Women's Day

I am pretty sure the girl on the left did something to break my wrist, starting off my streak of bad relationships with women.

©Time Carl Mydans

©Time Carl Mydans

©Time Carl Mydans

Older kids hated mandatory nap-time.©Time Carl Mydans

©Time Carl Mydans

©Time Carl Mydans

©Time Carl Mydans

©Time Carl Mydans

©Time Carl Mydans

©Time Carl Mydans

Karl Marx is overlooking the room where the future of socialism is being molded.©Time Carl Mydans