Ideology For Kids – Soviet Style

Yesterday I was at the famous Powell’s Book Store in downtown Portland yesterday looking for various non-fiction books in French, Italian and Russian.

I came across an early grammar school primer in Russian. Sometimes those books have really simple but effective explanations of grammar rules (Russian grammar is intense). What I found was a bit disturbing… nostalgic, but creepy.

The opening spread of the book shows a bold, stylized portrait of Vlad Lenin. The text on the left says:

“Lenin – lived
 Lenin – lives
 Lenin – will live”
Oregon photos, Lake Oswego, Mount Hood, Portland, Oregon Gardens

The following spread is a cartoony image of the Kremlin showing thousands of people lining up to pay tribute to Vlad Lenin in his tomb. Eww…
Oregon photos, Lake Oswego, Mount Hood, Portland, Oregon Gardens

The book contains word lessons for each letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. Under “3″ (Z, in latin-based languages) depicts children presenting Communist Party member and soldier/hero with roses. Note the Soviet star with hammer & sicle. Note the Stalin-ordered building structure drawn in the top left corner. The text says (in paraphrase):

“The childen present the hero with roses.
He fought for world peace.
Praise to the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Union promotes world peace.”
Oregon photos, Lake Oswego, Mount Hood, Portland, Oregon Gardens

Very interesting, huh?

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