The Urals Committee of Parents public foundation expressed their concern and bewilderment on Thursday after they discovered that local shops sold school diaries, which bore the national emblem and the flag of the Russian Federation but inside held a picture of Hitler and his short biography.
In their letter to Yelena Mizulina, the chairman of the State Duma Committee on Family, Women and Children, foundation’s activists asked her to take the issue under personal control and “initiate the suspension of printing and distribution” of such school diaries.
Each page of the school diary at the issue contained pictures and short descriptions of various prominent Russian people, including Peter the Great, Dmitry Mendeleyev, Fyodor Ushakov, Mikhail Kutuzov, Anna Akhmatova, Sergei Yesenin, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and many others.
The diaries for schoolchildren were printed upon order from Phoenix Plus company based in Russia’s southern city of Rostov-on-Don.
Yevgeniya Razboinikova, a spokeswoman for the company, told ITAR-TASS that the scandal was initiated by their business competitors as there was not any intended implication in the Hitler’s picture and only an encyclopedic reference.
The Prosecutor’s Office of the Sverdlovsk Region launched an inquiry to establish whether the school diary at the issue, which had been published and sold in Russia over the past three years, contained any materials aimed at instigation of hatred and promotion of extremism.