Target: Artyom Belan, Art Director at the Alt Publishing Company
Goal: Discontinue production of notebook flaunting a positive image of Stalin.
For three decades, Josef Stalin ruled over the Soviet Union with an iron grip. In those years, he left a brutal legacy. While many credit Stalin for bringing Russia into a progressive age—helping establish the country as a nuclear superpower—there is no doubting the depth of his ruthlessness. Characterized by political repression, mass murder and forced labor, Stalin’s time in power remains a spot of contention for many current residents and political leaders.
Despite this bloody legacy, Stalin and his image are now being commemorated on notebooks for school children as part of a series of 20 “Great Russians.” As can be expected, not everyone is thrilled. “Stalin is a criminal, a bloody tyrant,” explained Viktor Kruglyakov of the Moscow Duma’s education and youth committee. “If these notebooks end up in schools, kids who don’t yet know history can think: ‘You can kill a lot of people, but still be great.’ It’s very dangerous.”
Contrary to this friction, sales of the notebook have gone through the roof, stocks selling out at bookstores daily. It is no wonder then that booksellers are standing behind their product and the publisher, Alt Publishing Company, has no plans to withdraw the notebook. Whether “great” or a menace to his nation, the question now comes down to whether or not the notebooks—which appeal to younger consumers, like children—are suitable for a younger generation that are less aware of his legacy. Does the image of a man, decked out in full regalia, need to be made to appeal to a generation still largely unaware of his bloody influence?
Please sign the petition to ensure Stalin’s brutal legacy is no longer honored among children.
Dear Mr. Belan,
In the hope of celebrating the lives and works of “Great Russians,” the Alt Publishing Company has included a man that many find to be a questionable choice. Although he brought great change and progress to Russia, Josef Stalin also brought countless depravities to a nation under his control. But despite his less-than-clean history, Stalin’s image is now emblazoned on the cover of school notebooks aimed to appeal to children.
As a leader, Stalin did much to further the nation; however, the light of his greatness is largely dimmed by his crimes against his people and humanity. To honor the man that took from his people would be a set back and disgrace to the memory of those that were lost. Therefore, I ask that you discontinue production on the Stalin notebook. Throughout history there have plenty of great Russians—a fine list can certainly be made that will not include the controversial Stalin.
[Your Name Here]