Studies in Crap and the USSR’s Ministry of Health Love Themselves Some Gently NSFW Socialized Medicine!

Each Thursday, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets. I do this for one reason: Knowledge is power.

Public Health and Social Security in the USSR

Author: Either an upbeat cadre of Soviet propagandists or, for you FOX viewers, Obama with a time machine.

Publisher: USSR Ministry of Health
Date: circa 1963
Discovered at: Estate sale

The Cover Promises: Soviet men are so vigorous in all capacities that women must peer upwards, on constant alert, ready to catch the newborn comrades that rain from the skies.

Representative Quotes:

“A uniform system of free medical attention operates throughout the Soviet Union.” (page 14)

“There are increased pensions, depending on the service record, which are granted to teachers, doctors, civil airways air crews, ballet dancers, many categories of circus performers, and people of a number of other professions.” (page 21-22)

Engineered in some Ministry of Smiling Babies & Glorious Sunshine to demonstrate that life in the Soviet Union is, was, and always will be a series of escalating triumphs, this cheerful pamphlet trumpets the USSR’s progress in delivering free health care to its people. The verdict of the apparatchiks working whatever idea assembly-line that pumped this out: everything’s super, and getting super-er.

They back this up with stat after stat in polished English. By 1962, the authors claim, “real incomes” for Soviet workers had risen 18 per cent in three years, while a growing national income at the same time allowed the government to boast about providing pensions for 25 million workers, paid holidays 69 million, and education for 61 million.

This, we learned, stirred happiness in the population, who, to honor this government, made dutiful love to each other:

“The high birth-rate in the U.S.S.R. is testimony of the rising material and cultural welfare of Soviet people, an indication that young mothers and fathers look to the future with confidence.”

Another key factor in that high birth-rate? Hotness!


The propagandists admit that even a boon like this storm of Soviet Success Babies can present some minor difficulties:

“The expectant mother prepares layettes for her baby. The father cudgels his brain over the problem of his son or daughter.”

Tragically, the father only can dash that brain in after bribing an official a week’s salary for cudgel access.

Once born, children are arranged into multiplication tables.

Then, just like here, they’re stuffed with false promises.

(Note: “All Roads” excludes any that head west.)

Still, every Soviet baby enjoys one great opportunity: the chance to audition for Bob Fosse!


Pop Quiz! Which is he actual caption?
The one on the right is more West Side Story than Cabaret.

  • Baking eliminates trans-fats but still locks in that great baby flavor.
  • Meanwhile, top aides to L. Ron Hubbard come ever closer to hatching Tom Cruise 2.0.
  • In Norilisk, a town within the Arctic Circle, children are growing up healthy and strong. Quartz lamps make up for the deficiency in sunlight.

No matter what, it’s disgusting! Only the most corrupt and desperate failing power would resort to the exploitation of baby nudity!


At least the communists have decency enough not to try to make the babies sexy.

Shocking Detail:
Often indebted to the techniques of western advertising, the photos and slogans here seem more persuasive than pamphlet’s many statistics. (What are we to make of the boast “Cars are sold to invalids on easy terms, and those who want motor carriages get them free of charge”?)

More powerfully, the authors promise on page one that “Man is the most precious of all the wealth of the land of the Soviets” and then parade images of that man’s greatness.

The USSR is the home of:
Nude retirement!

Robot gynecologists!


Permafrost horseplay!


Note the caption’s implication: “Pitiful American men, with your heated water, tasteful underthings, and Ford motor cars like glorious baby asses! Never will you understand the simple pleasure of gang-icing a portly comrade!”

Soviet youth trust so deeply in their health care system that they laugh and cheer even as they destroy their bodies . . . kind of like Americans today, except with sleds and broken bones rather than corn syrup and diabetes!