Yevsey Yakovlevic Gindes

“My homeland is children.”

Y. Y. Gindes

Gindes!!! This surname has been proudly heard in the history of Azerbaijani medicine for more than a century. This pediatrician, Jewish by nationality, did a great job in the development of our national health care, especially pediatrics.
He played an exceptional role in the revival of both theoretical and experimental aspects of medicine. His fruitful and intense activity coincided with a period full of contradictions and crises in Azerbaijan.
Many people speak highly of doctors. Someone said that “the doctor has no homeland”, referring to the doctor’s family. That is, a citizen of the country is a doctor of each country. Dr. Evsey Yakovlevich Gindes has a different attitude to this idea.
Unlike our other ministers of health, the fund of the Azerbaijan Museum of Medicine has rich folders belonging to Y.Yu.Gindes. Documents, photographs and many letters are stored here, reflecting his correspondence with colleagues working in different cities of Russia.
The letters mainly contain an exchange of views related to pediatrics, mutual attitude to scientific work, New Year’s greetings, invitations to conferences and meetings, etc. are discussed. In one of the letters, his colleague from Kharkov N. Shalinsky asks where is your homeland. It is interesting that in one of the folders there was a copy of Professor Yu.Yu.Gindes’ letter to his friend. The title of this half-page letter is as follows: “My homeland is children.”
At the beginning of the 20th century, the name of Yevsei Yakovlevich Gindes was mentioned in the history of healthcare in Azerbaijan. Many may know him as a minister of the republic or as a pediatrician. However, looking through the pages of his life, we see that this person lived a rich and dignified life, honestly served the development of healthcare in Azerbaijan. Yevsey Gindes, a Jew by nationality, studied at the medical faculty of Kyiv University. Prior to his appointment in Baku, the doctor lived in Kyiv, worked at the Alexander Hospital, conducted research at the Kiev Bacteriological Institute, and published scientific papers. In 1905, he won the All-Russian competition held at the congress of Baku oilmen on health issues, and was appointed director of the first children’s hospital in Baku with 150 beds – Garasher. As a result of the hard work of Dr. Gindes and continuous scientific and practical research, the children’s hospital became the first pediatric center in the Caucasus.
Dr. Gindes studied the features and forms of childhood diseases in the socio-climatic conditions of Baku. In 1906, for the first time in Baku, he organized children’s summer camps for schoolchildren and opened a nursery for working children. Pharmacists were well aware of the philanthropic stamp of Dr. Gindes “for the poor” – the doctor who prescribed the medicine personally paid the bill for the poor and indigent. Most likely, due to the fact that the leadership of the Baku oil owners did not like the activities of Dr. Gindes, who provided free services to the children of low-income families and became famous for his charitable deeds, he was removed from the leadership of the Garasakher hospital. . The dismissal of the doctor-philanthropist caused dissatisfaction with the general public of the city. Extensive articles were published about him in the press, doctors and parents complained: “Children under his care very rarely die”, “Gindes with his breath saves even the most hopeless patient”, “The doctor found a language with any child and with every child.” believed in him.” It was after a period of strong public dissatisfaction and the city’s leading doctors that Dr. Gindes was appointed head of the city’s newly opened children’s hospital. The hospital was overhauled at the direction of Gindes. Here, special attention was paid to the nutrition of children.
Yu. Ya. Gindes was looking for ways to combat child mortality, developed special baby food, organized a dairy kitchen – “A drop of milk” with branches in Bail and Sabunchi. From this kitchen, diet food was delivered to all free children’s clinics in the city. In order to further improve the activities of the kitchen in 1907, under his chairmanship, the “Society for the Fight against Infant Mortality” was created. The society was located on the former Rocky – the current B. Safaroglu street. The main principle of this clinic was to combat all situations that would lead to child mortality, and to assist in the proper physical development of all children, regardless of their gender, social status, age and religion. To this end, the society provided poor children with food and shelter, provided medical care at home and in hospitals, and placed orphans in orphanages, sanatoriums, and shelters. At the same time, the society was engaged in the introduction of milk therapy and for this purpose distributed daily milk, buttermilk and other bleaching agents to parents according to the prescription and prescription of a doctor. One part of the distributed products cost 2-3 times cheaper than market prices and was distributed to the poor absolutely free of charge.
From December 26, 1918 to March 14, 1919, Yu. Gindes served with honor as the Minister of Health of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. He was nominated for this position by the Slavic-Russian Society, of which he is a member. During his short tenure as minister, Dr. Gindes managed to open several free hospitals in the country. The treatment of sick children was of particular importance in the work of these hospitals. Here, children in need of care were examined, the seriously ill were placed for treatment, and other recovered children were returned to their families and subsidized by the hospital. Children remained under the protection of their families, both physically and spiritually.
Dr. Gindes founded the Pediatric Physicians Association under difficult and controversial circumstances. The Society held a series of meetings on the problems of pediatricians, the spread and prevention of childhood diseases. Severe infectious diseases that spread throughout the country posed a great threat to children. In addition, Gindes was elected chairman of the Council, who was not indifferent to the fate of children who lost their parents in the massacre perpetrated by the Dashnak-Bolshevik detachments against the Muslim Turks in the battles for the capture of Baku in September 1918. Children’s Help Bureau, and Liza Mukhtarova was elected deputy. The bureau was created in September 1918 at the suggestion of the Ministry of Health and Welfare. There was almost no child in Baku who did not suffer from these disasters. These children needed special care. All this responsibility Dr. Gindes took upon himself and directed all his energy to the organization of shelters. At first, the bureau had five orphanages that could accommodate up to a thousand children.
During the summer months, the Children’s Help Bureau, organized by Dr. Gindes, rented the barge “Nina” and organized a mobile colony at sea. At the same time, conditions were created for rehabilitation of 130 children with tuberculosis during the summer period. Dr. Gindes was also the head of the Children’s Defense League. Einulkhayat Yusifbeyli was appointed his deputy. The League was distinguished by important merits in the removal of orphaned children and adolescents under 17 years of age from the criminal world, their re-education, and the education of citizens useful to society.
Articles by Dr. Gindes about children suffering from infectious diseases in Baku were often published in the press, and the question of helping them was raised. In general, the city of Baku at the beginning of the 20th century had a number of negative characteristics typical for industrial cities, apartments in which the poor lived did not meet sanitary and hygienic requirements and looked like semi-basements, humidity, heavy weather, restrictions on water consumption, especially for children, various infectious and intestinal diseases, served as the basis for his arrest. On this occasion, Dr. Gindesi published an extensive article in one of the issues of the Caspian newspaper. The article can also be seen as a challenge. I would like to highlight some of the comments in the article: “The city certainly needs a children’s hospital, and steps have been taken for this. Unfortunately, the events of recent months have somewhat prevented this … I support its organization. and functions as a hospital. The fact is that orphanages in Baku are of an old type and there are no conditions for first aid. Here, children live not to grow up, but to die. Only one of the children admitted from a young age can leave provisions … Child mortality is massive here … “
Yevsey Gindes continued his activities in the Soviet period. Y. Gindes, who from December 1918 to March 1919 was the Minister of Health of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, was forced to hide this page of his biography, only the fame and respect that he gained as an honest pediatrician helped him avoid repressions from the Soviet era. Approaching his work with the utmost honesty and responsibility, Gindes was the organizer of the children’s hospital located in Shamakhinka, and since 1922 – the chief physician. Y. Gindes, the author of more than 150 scientific papers, received the title of doctor of medical sciences and professor in 1941 without defending a dissertation. Y. Gindes, who works as the head of the Department of Children’s Diseases of the Azerbaijan State Medical Institute, was also awarded the honorary title of Honored Doctor of the Azerbaijan SSR.
In all three periods, Professor Yu.Yu.Gindes remained faithful to the Azerbaijani people, first of all, to their babies, and honored the Hippocratic oath with dignity.
… The multifaceted work of Professor Yu.Yu. Gindes received due recognition. He was awarded the honorary titles of Honored Doctor of the Republic, Honored Worker of Science, and numerous medals. A sanatorium for the treatment of bone tuberculosis in Zugulba was named after him. At present, exhibits reflecting the life and work of the outstanding doctor Y. Gindes are exhibited on stands and showcases in 3 halls of the Museum of Medicine of Azerbaijan.
As early as November 4, 1932, by the decision of the Presidium of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, Professor Yu.Yu. Gindes was awarded the title of “Hero of Labor of the Azerbaijan SSR”. The work that sowed the seeds of love, affection, friendship and humanity in our world.
Yevsey Gindes died on September 5, 1954 in the city of Baku, where he spent most of his life.



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