William Henry Chamberlin | Soviet Russia: A Living Record and a History
I FIRST met Olga Chernisheva at a session of the Vutsik, or All-Ukrainian Soviet Executive Committee, in Kharkov, seven years ago. A rather slight and spare figure, with typically Russian high cheek-bones and blue eyes, with a kerchief cast over her head, she might have been any one of the numerous working-class and peasant women who lend proletarian color to every Soviet Congress and then disappear into the obscurity of their factories or native villages.
But Olga Chernisheva had her own very strong and distinctive personality; as one became better acquainted with her it was impossible to escape the impression that here was a new and interesting type of character, a true daughter of the Russian Revolution. She was born and brought up in a poor peasant family in Tver Province. There was no revolutionary influence in her childhood; she knew only the traditional simple life of the peasants, with its habitual poverty and grinding toil and its occasional outbursts of rough merry-making at weddings and holidays.
After a little schooling she was sent to work in a textile factory. When she was eighteen years old her patriarchally minded father gave her away in marriage to a village suitor who brought a variety of the gifts customary on such occasions, not the least appreciated being a hogshead of vodka. Then, with her husband, she went to Petrograd, where both found employment in a factory. Up to this time there had been no trace of radicalism in Chernisheva's life; in fact, she was quite religious and made frequent pilgrimages to churches and monasteries. It was the World War that brought a decisive change for her, as it did on a much greater scale for her country.
Her husband perished at the front and she found her meagre wages insufficient to provide for her young daughter. So she went to the Tsar's daughter, who headed a commission for the relief of soldiers' wives, and asked for help. But her plea was rejected; it seems that her husband's record for discipline had not been good.
Chernisheva left the Tsar's daughter crying: "If my child had been a kitten or a puppy you would have done more for it." From that time she was drawn into the underground conspirative circles which the revolutionary agitators managed to keep alive even in time of war and severe police repression. After the fall of the old regime in March 1917 she joined the Communist Party, or the Bolsheviks, as they were then called, under the persuasion of a fellow worker who for a long time had been active in the revolutionary movement.
The one-time peasant girl, who had formerly been so religious and crossed herself before every saint's image, now threw herself into the whirling storm of revolution with all the ardor of her character. Knocked down and bruised in the street demonstrations which preceded the Bolshevik Revolution of November 1917, her existence after November was a kaleidoscopic series of varied and strenuous activities. The huge impersonal organism of the Communist Party took her, as it did many others, and cast her from one turbulent scene to another.
First she was at the front against the Germans in the short-lived period between the Revolution and the Peace at Brest-Litovsk. Later she found herself in a village in the remote Don country, where she was supposed to carry on Party propaganda and educational work. This experience was abruptly interrupted when the Cossack cavalry of General Denikin broke through the Red front in this region and Chernisheva barely escaped and made her way to Kiev. From that city she returned to Petrograd, just at the moment when it was threatened by the advancing White Army of Yudenitch. Here she sat as a member of one of the revolutionary tribunals which, as in the days of the French Revolution, dealt promptly and sternly with suspected enemies.
"It was useless to give people prison sentences in those times," said Chernisheva, "because they thought Yudenitch might come any day and release them. In order to create a deterring impression the tribunals had to order active counter-revolutionists to be shot. Lighter cases were punished with forced labor."
There was no hint either of pity or of bloodthirstiness in Chernisheva's voice as she recalled the heroic and terrible period of the Revolution. Serving on the revolutionary tribunal was simply a piece of Party work, like any other. And in the same disciplined, matter-of-fact spirit she was carrying out the work to which she was assigned at the time when I met her, as a member of the board of management of a textile factory near Kharkov. She knew little of the technical side of the industry; but as a Communist and a former working woman she was supposed to act as a sort of bridge between the old engineer, whose skill could not be dispensed with, and the workers, who disliked him because his son had been in the White Army and his own views were far from revolutionary.
Now she has been transferred to another post as head of the Leningrad branch of the union of textile workers, which includes a very large number of women workers. Here she is grappling with those prosaic but difficult problems which occupy much of the attention of the highly proletarianized "women's movement" of Russia: to enforce the rule of equal pay for equal work, to give the women workers, usually less skilled than the men, special craft training which will enable them to earn higher salaries, to establish and push forward the nurseries and large central laundries and public dining rooms which will help to set women free from household cares and give them more time for education and public activity.
In looking back at the part which women have played in Russian society in the past one finds striking contradictions. Four empresses, Catherine I, Anne, Elizabeth, and Catherine II, ruled the country with despotic authority during the eighteenth century. Women have always been identified more or less prominently with the revolutionary movement. The poet Nekrasov in his "Russian Women" commemorated the wives of the Dekabristi, who shared with their husbands the hardships of exile in what was then the wilderness of Siberia. A colonel's daughter, Sofia Perovskaya, was the soul of the conspiracy which led to the assassination of Alexander II. The girl student is a familiar figure in revolutionary reminiscences and literature; and every group which worked for the overthrow of Tsarism numbered its heroines and its martyrs. Western ideas, first of gallantry and politeness, then of equality in the relations of the sexes, made their way among the propertied and educated classes of pre-revolutionary Russia.
But the attitude toward women among the Russian masses has always savored of orientalism; it finds expression in the popular proverb: "A chicken is not a bird, and a woman is not a human being." Wife-beating was common. The peasant girl passed from the almost unlimited authority of her father to that of her husband, or rather, what was perhaps still more oppressive, of her husband's family. Law supported tradition and custom in giving woman an unequal status. Manhood suffrage prevailed in the limited legislative bodies which existed before the Revolution. The peasant woman was not entitled to a share of land in her own right. The husband was legally regarded as the head of the family, and his wife was obliged to follow him wherever he might go.
Among the Mohammedan people of Eastern Russia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus the subjection of women was even more strongly emphasized. The Tsarist Government did not interfere with the operation of the Shariat, a book of Mohammedan law and custom in which it is written: "Woman has no right to study, orate, and agitate; she has no right to be a judge or a priest. The testimony of a woman before the court is equivalent to half the voice of a man." Among the Eastern peoples, as a rule, women went veiled and were kept in the strictest seclusion.
The Bolshevik Revolution was nothing if not thorough in its handling of the problem of sex equality. Lenin's statement that "we do not leave one trace of the old Tsarist laws which placed woman in a subordinate and humiliating position" is borne out by the facts of Soviet legislation. One may comb it from end to end without finding any evidence of discrimination between the sexes, unless a certain amount of protective legislation for women employed in industry is to be construed in that light. There is no office in the land for which women are not eligible, from membership in a back-woods village Soviet to the presidency of the Council of People's Commissars. The peasant woman is now entitled to her own equal share of land, which she brings to her husband when she is married and takes away when she is divorced. Neither party to a Soviet marriage contract has any legal right to dominate the actions of the other. Finally, there is a persistent effort to organize and educate the tens of millions of women all over the Soviet Union (a good half of whom are illiterate, while almost all are lacking in any experience of public life), to persuade and push them into actually assuming their newly granted rights of citizenship.
This effort is under the direction of the Women's Department of the Communist Party Central Committee. Lenin once declared that "every cook must know how to manage the state"; and, whether or not this ideal may be realizable in practice, the zhenotdel; or Women's Department, spares no effort to reach the cooks and the working and peasant women of the country with its summons to political activity.
With headquarters in the office of the Central Committee in Moscow and branches all over the country, the zhenotdel; which is under the direction of a former working woman, Mrs. Artyukhina, fulfills a multitude of functions. It issues eighteen women's magazines, with a circulation of 670,000. (These publications are not at all similar to the brightly illustrated German women's journals which appear side by side with them on the Moscow news-stands; political articles and literary stories heavily predominate over fashion notes and household suggestions.) Its organizers gradually communicate to peasant women the idea that their husbands should not beat them. These organizers ride about in peripatetic tents, preaching to the Kirghiz nomadic women the new gospel of washing their children's faces, and try to convince the Cal-mucks, who dwell in the Astrakhan steppes, that the custom of having the head of the family sleep in a bed while the women lie about his feet is not a proper domestic habit.
The zhenotdel recruits and marshals Russia's army of delegatkas, or women delegates, now between 600,000 and 700,000 strong. These delegatkas are elected at general women's meetings on a basis of one to every five for working women and servants and one to every twenty-five for office employees, housewives, and peasant women. They are then attached to some institution, to a hospital, a school, or a public office of some kind; they are supposed to offer criticisms and suggestions about the work of their institution and to make periodical reports to the women who elected them.
The office of the delegatka can scarcely be regarded as an unmixed blessing, either by the women who fill it or by the organizations which they are commissioned to observe and criticize. The harassed doctor at the head of a crowded hospital does not usually appreciate the amateur suggestions of a woman who has just come from her factory branch or kitchen pots; and the delegatkas themselves often complain that their work is made very hard for them, that they are jeered at and kept from learning anything about the actual functioning of their institutions, while their absorption in public activity leads to quarrels with their more conservative husbands.
Notwithstanding these drawbacks and defects, the women's course in practical civics represented by the delegatka system has doubtless helped many of the 150,000 women members of village Soviets and the twenty-odd thousand women in the city Soviets. Six hundred and eighty-three of the village Soviets (a little less than one per cent of the total number) have women presidents, but no Russian city has yet acquired a woman mayor. Two provinces, Smolensk and Kaluga, have women presidents of their Soviet Executive Committees; several women have been elected members of the Communist Party Central Committee, but there is at present no woman Commissar, although Mme. Alexandra Kollontai, ardent feminist and advocate of free love, has successively filled the posts of Commissar for Social Welfare and Ambassador to Norway. On the whole the proportion of women in political executive posts in the Soviet Union is not very different from what one would find in Western European and American countries where equal suffrage prevails.
Representatives of the women members of city and village Soviets from all over the country met to exchange experiences at the congress of working and peasant women, held in Moscow shortly before the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the November Revolution. Apart from the dramatic element in the spectacle of nine hundred women from the poorer classes of the country, some with shawls and kerchiefs over their heads, others in the long gowns and picturesque head-dresses of the East, meeting in the Kremlin palace of the Tsars, the congress provided an interesting forum at which women from the textile. factories of Ivanovo-Vosnessensk, the fields of Ukraina, and the desert lands of the Mohammedan East could state their views and problems.
Although it is one of the dogmas of Communist faith that women have no separate problems, apart from the all-embracing one of the liberation of the working class, there was more than one expression of robust feminist consciousness. Complaints that male workers and peasants showed little disposition to help their sisters on the pathway of new political life were fairly frequent, and one speaker elicited laughter and applause when she spoke of this attitude and added: -
"Perhaps the men are afraid that the time will come when we shall go to the offices with portfolios and they will stay at home and cook the cabbage."
The same speaker, Mrs. Sukhareva, of Leningrad, protested against the policy of dismissing women as soon as they were married, on the ground that they had found a provider and that single women should have the first chance of employment.
"The husband is not the provider under our present-day conditions," she declared. "Every capable woman must earn her own living, if she isn't held back by any cause."
A peasant delegate said that her fellow villagers were willing to elect her to the board of management of the cooperative store, because they felt this fell within woman's sphere, but showed great reluctance before choosing her as their representative in a credit cooperative. Another, struggling with her unaccustomed duties as a member of the local land commission, declared that the muzhiks did not want to listen to her.
Mrs. Ivanova, from the far northern region of Murmansk, the country of long summer days and long winter nights, described the peculiar customs of the local tribes, where it was formerly the practice to avoid and boycott a woman at the time of childbirth and where a mother still falls under public censure if she gives birth to a daughter. Murmansk was also the scene of a curious domestic difficulty. A Chinese resident of that region who had married a Russian wife returned from his native country with a Chinese spouse, to whom he had been betrothed in infancy. Confronted with this baffling problem, the community handed down a Solomonic judgment to the effect that the Chinese should live one week with his Russian and one week with his Chinese wife.
The voice of criticism was freely heard at the congress; one gained an impression both of the poverty and backwardness of many parts of the country and of the manifold questions which the new women Soviet rulers are called on to solve. A Ukrainian delegate called for the building of more barracks for agricultural women laborers. Comrade Baskakova, from the town of Kostroma, pointed to the danger of letting children run. with street gangs, and urged the establishment of more and better vocational schools; saying: "Now, if a woman bears an extra child, she is afraid that she may give Russia an extra hooligan." A woman from the Ural mining district spoke vigorously of the hardships of living in crude barracks, which housed forty families and were flooded with water every spring. Unemployment as a cause of prostitution among women was mentioned more than once.
But, if there was much plain-spoken criticism, there was also a sense of power and achievement in these nine hundred women members of the Russian ruling class, and one sometimes caught a note of almost touching faith in the new Soviet gospel, as when a Tartar woman declared that, despite the fact that all her property consisted of two acres of land and a cow, she had put down a subscription for all the works of Lenin, "in order more easily to follow in the footsteps of our chief."
In general it was the women of the Mohammedan East who were most unqualified in their expressions of enthusiasm for the changes which the Revolution had brought in their lives; and this is quite understandable in view of the state of ignorance, isolation, and semi-slavery from which they are now beginning to emerge. Nowhere is the zhenotdel doing more interesting or picturesque work than in Central Asia and the Caucasus, the old strongholds of Mohammedan patriarchal tribal life. In many respects the process of emancipation in these regions is quite similar to what is taking place in Kemalist Turkey and, to a much smaller extent,, in Persia and Afghanistan.
The wearing of the veil is the central point of the battle between old and new customs among the women of the Soviet East. The veil that is worn in Central Asia and the Caucasus is not a filmy, gauze-like creation, but a heavy horsehair covering that not only hides the face but shrouds the whole figure. It seems to symbolize the whole weight of old Mohammedan tribal law and custom.
In Uzbekistan, the largest Central Asiatic Soviet republic, 170,000 women have already cast off these veils. At one celebration of Women's Day, which is observed annually in Russia on March 8, forty thousand veils were cast into bon-fires. It is neither safe nor easy for the oriental woman to break with family tradition in this way. Eastern feminism has its martyrs, its scores of women who have been murdered by husbands and relatives in response to the incitations of the more fanatical mullahs, or Mohammedan priests. Many of them have been driven from their homes and forced to shift for themselves. But the new spirit of the time and the constant missionary work of the zhenotdel seem destined to prove stronger than the passive forces of Asiatic conservatism. In the ancient city of Derbent, in Daghestan, where the Caucasus Mountains sweep down to the Caspian Sea, a husband struck his unveiled wife dead. Immediately a large number of other women cast off their veils as a sign of protest.
In Bokhara, where medieval Mohammedan theologians worked out the doctrine that woman has no soul, the crusade for unveiling has proceeded with such success that now only a few of the older women retain their horsehair shrouds. Traveling in the interior of Crimea, the old seat of a Tartar khanate, I visited a remote mountain village, where one would not have expected any especially rapid development of modern ideas, and found the Tartar women going about unveiled as a matter of course. Stopping in the hut of a philosophic old Tartar, who seemed more concerned over the low price which the state paid for his tobacco than over the new freedom of his womenfolk or the decreased attendance at the village mosque, I asked his wife whether she preferred the new status or the old.
"I might just as well have remained veiled," she replied with some bitterness. Further questions brought out the fact that although this Tartar woman had parted with her veil she had not been able to rid herself of the inhibitions which were connected with wearing it. She still shrank from going to the village market or even from being seen unveiled on the street. But her daughter had grown up without the veil and went quite freely and self-confidently everywhere, even to the neighboring large town.
Several institutions have been created for the benefit of these women who are in the transitional stage between abandoning the veil and gaining full freedom of movement. Two hundred and eighty-three Eastern women's clubs have been founded, and some of these, notably one in the big oil centre of Baku, are quite large organizations, with thousands of members and visitors. Their activity combines the functions of a women's club and a social centre in England or America. In these places, where, as a rule, no men are admitted, the newly unveiled women lose some of their shyness, become acquainted with each other, and receive instruction in reading and writing, household affairs and sanitation. In one case it is reported that the sight of a picture of Lenin on the wall created a panic among the more timorous women, who feared that to appear unveiled even before the portrait of a man might bring some sort of bad luck; but in general the visitors to the women's clubs have emerged from the first extreme stage of self-created fear of the outer world.
Finding that some women, even after they had cast their horsehair coverings on the feminist bonfire, were loath to go to the market, the zhenotdel in Uzbekistan took the initiative in establishing fifty-seven cooperative stores, managed and served entirely by women. These stores also represented a convenience for the women who had not yet discarded their veils, since they could make purchases without fear of being seen by men.
The two customary methods of obtaining a wife in the Russian East are by purchase and by violence, real or feigned. The institution of kalim, or purchase money for a bride, is deeply rooted in the Caucasus and Central Asia, where a comely and desirable wife may command a price as high as fifty camels. When an avaricious parent sets his terms for kalim too high, or when the girl secretly favors a poor suitor, an abduction often takes place. Sometimes the abduction passes off smoothly and with general satisfaction, but it may lead to one of the blood feuds which are common among the Caucasian mountaineers. Both the purchase and stealing of brides are now forbidden under severe legal penalties. In the Soviet East, as in new Turkey, polygamy is interdicted by law, so that the Soviet Government here plays the role of a champion of the Western monogamic system.
An enormous amount of ignorant and malicious nonsense has been written on the subject of the Soviet marriage laws and regulations. Ten years ago a story gained currency abroad that women in Russia had been "nationalized," and despite innumerable denials and refutations this idea simply would not down. As a matter of fact Soviet legislation, which in general abounds in restrictive and regulating features, has left the matter of marriage entirely to the free will of the parties concerned. A simple process of registration before a civil bureau establishes the fact of marriage; and a marriage contract may be formally dissolved, at the desire of either party and without previous notice, by a declaration before the same bureau. A marriage accompanied by religious rites is permitted but has no binding legal sanction. In making marriage terminable at the desire of either partner the Soviet law simply follows along lines marked out in the legislation of Norway on the same subject; but the Soviet law is the more radical of the two, because it permits the instantaneous dissolution of marriage, without any period of preliminary waiting.
The principle of sex equality holds good in Soviet matrimonial legislation. An unemployed husband or wife is entitled to support by his or her spouse on the same basis over a limited period of time. Alimony in Russia may be claimed only for the support of the children. The provision that a man may be called on to pay up to one third of his income for the support of his children acts as something of a deterrent on reckless remarriage, or at least on reckless procreation.
Divorce is probably more prevalent in Russia than in any other country, yet in view of the extreme laxity of the law it is perhaps surprising that the proportion of separations to marriages is not even higher. According to the figures of the Commissariat for the Interior there were 526,692 marriages and 126,28o divorces in European Russia during the first half of 1927. This was a ratio of a little less than one divorce to every four marriages, whereas in America, despite the strict laws of individual states, the relation of. divorces to marriages in comparatively recent years has been estimated at about one to six.
The city of Moscow, with 9973 divorces and 12,825 marriages for the, same period, was substantially ahead of the country as a whole in the lightness of its marital ties; and this is quite natural, because the peasant homestead is held together by much stronger bonds, both traditional and economic, than those which apply to the population of the cities. Apart from the fact that the peasant woman still usually demands a church wedding and feels the personal and social stigma of a child born out of wedlock more keenly than her city sister, a divorce, with consequent division of land, stock, and property, is a serious matter for the peasant farm, and brings impoverishment to both parties.
Some efforts have been made by supplementary legislation to correct certain obvious abuses which grew up in the working of the Soviet marriage law. It is now a punishable offense for a man to marry a woman and immediately divorce her, if it can be proved that his marriage was nothing but a pretext for the gratification of passing sex desire. Legal steps have also been taken against the habit of taking "summer brides," which developed in certain country districts. With a view to evading the payment of social insurance and other difficulties connected with the employment of hired labor, the rich peas-ants sometimes "married" strong girls at the beginning of the harvest season, divorcing them as soon as the press of work was over.
It is plain that the Revolution has produced a far-reaching shake-up in family relationships; it is probably too soon to gauge the effects of this shake-up on individual happiness and social welfare. One familiar literary figure, the woman whose subsequent life is darkened by social obloquy incurred in connection with an unfortunate love affair, is almost inconceivable in the Soviet Union to-day, at least in the cities. Soviet law recognizes no distinction between legitimate and illegitimate children, and the woman who lives with a man without registering the fact at the proper bureau is not likely to lose either her position or her friends as a result of this fact. A Muscovite of the younger generation once remarked to the writer: -
"The tragedy of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina scarcely seems real to-day. A Soviet Anna Karenina would simply make a trip to the Zaks [the abbreviated term for the marriage and divorce bureau] and the whole matter would be settled."
This, I suspect, is rather too short and simple a view of the situation. Crimes and suicides as a result of disappointed love and jealousy are far from uncommon in Russia to-day. Two recent moving-picture productions in Moscow tried to point the moral that the husband should forgive and forget when his wife has a child by some other man; but such indifference is the exception rather than the rule, especially among the masses of the people. In short, while the more or less artificial social barriers which other countries have tried to erect around monogamy have largely been swept . away, individual tragedies arising in complicated love affairs occur in Russia very much as anywhere else.
While commercialized vice persists in the Soviet Union, it is less obtrusive and probably less prevalent in Moscow and Leningrad than in most large European cities. On the other hand casual sex affairs between friends or acquaintances are probably entered into more lightly in Russia than in most other countries.
While the byezprizorni, or shelterless waifs - most of them orphans of war and famine - who formerly haunted markets and railroad stations in great numbers are now gradually being placed in children's homes and farm colonies, there is a new class of byeznadzorni (literally "children without care") who are growing up as child delinquents and give no little concern to the Soviet social organizations. The conservative in family relations might contend that these children on the city streets are a product of the loosening of parental responsibilities and the absorption of women in work and activity outside the home. The radical might reply that a fuller provision of nurseries, kindergartens, and supervised children's playgrounds would do much to eliminate this problem of the byeznadzorni.
Probably there would be a certain measure of truth in both explanations.
One of the most visibly beneficial social reforms which Russia has experienced under the Soviet regime is the large-scale provision of free nurseries for the children of working women and the enactment of a number of laws for the benefit of the working woman who becomes a mother. Every large factory where women are employed in any considerable number now has its clean, well-kept nursery, where the mothers may leave their children during working hours, instead of being obliged, as in former times, to tie the children to a table leg or leave them to the doubtful care of some neighbor's child. Several thousand summer nurseries have been established also in the country districts, so that peasant women will not be compelled to take their babies to the fields with them in the heat of harvest work. These nurseries, like most forms of social work, as yet cover the needs of the peasants very inadequately.
The only serious criticism which seems to be made against the factory nurseries is that the cost of upkeep is abnormally high. According to Mrs. Artyukhina, head of the zhenotdel, the maintenance of a child in a nursery costs the state thirty rubles a month, which is equal to the monthly wage of many unskilled workers. Moreover, not all children of working women can be admitted to these nurseries, which have accommodations only for 26,000 or 30,000. Still, they have been of very definite social benefit, especially in connection with the laws which guarantee eight weeks' vacation before and an equal amount of time after childbirth for factory workers, and six weeks for office workers. Moreover, the working mother is permitted to feed her child for half an hour every three or four hours, and receives a payment from the state social insurance funds for feeding and clothing the child in the first months of its existence. All this has helped to reduce infant mortality in Moscow from 26.3 per cent in 1913 to 13.4 per cent in 1926. Soviet Russia may justly be proud of the fact that the child death rate in Moscow, which was 7 per cent higher than in Warsaw in 1912, is now 13 per cent lower.(1)
Present-day Russia is interesting for its points of contact, as well as for its differences with the West. Russian women are now living under a regime which has given legal effect to most of the demands of advanced feminism. The actual degree of sex equality, to be sure, is far short of the theoretical rights which Soviet women should enjoy. Still, whenever a peasant begins to exert his formerly unquestioned masculine right to beat his wife he never can be quite sure that he will not precipitate the domestic revolution which some nameless peasant heroine, who never had heard of Aristophanes or his Lysistrata, launched in a backwoods village of Smolensk Province. Rebelling against her own ill-treatment, she organized all the other women of the village, who united in refusing to hold any communion with their spouses until written promises of reformation were forthcoming.
This Smolensk Lysistrata won her battle, and she is a portent for the future. The unveiled woman of the East, the bustling delegatka, the occasional Chernisheva or Artyukhina who rises to a high post in state, trade-union, or other public work, have all come to stay.
(1) The following table of infant mortality in the Soviet Union is based upon figures of the Health Commissariat supplied to the International Bureau of the League of Nations.
|PERCENTAGE OF INFANT MORTALITY|
Infant mortality in the European territory of the Soviet Union: -
According to Dr. Benstock, Infant Mortality ofNursing Children inPetrograd for the Past Ten Years(Petrograd, 1917), infant mortality in Warsaw was: (1911) 17.9 per cent; (1912) 16.4; (1913) 16.1. In the Bulletin of the Leningrad Oblast (Department of Statistics), No. 20 for April-June 1927, Professor Paevsky says that infant mortality for 1927 was 16.7 in Leningrad, 14.8 in Warsaw, and 13.9 in Moscow. Professor Paevsky takes his figures for Warsaw from The Statistical Yearbook of the German State. The authority for the statement that infant mortality in 1926 was 13 per cent lower in Moscow than in Warsaw is contained in a booklet published by the Women's Department of the Communist Party.