Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Defaming the Infamous: Grandson Claims Newspaper Libeled Josef Stalin

Stamp Josef Stalin 2Image via Wikipedia

Yevgeny Dzhugashvili wants folks to stop saying mean things about his late grandpa--dictator Josef Stalin, who was supreme ruler of the Soviet Union for 25 years.

Prodded by Stalinist Leonid Zhura, who is representing Dzhugashvili in court, Yevgeny sued the Novaya Gazeta newspaper for libel, seeking 9.5 million roubles, over an article that alleges Stalin signed death warrants for members of his politburo.

Zhura disputes the authenticity of documents that allege Stalin ordered the execution of 21,000 Polish prisoners of war in 1940. The suit contends that allegations that Stalin was responsible for the deaths of millions of Russian citizens are harmful to Stalin's reputation. Stalin died of a stroke in 1953. Recently, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin attempted to rehabilitate Stalin's reputation in a speech delivered in Poland.

Generally, under libel law in the U.S., because damage to one's reputation  is personal, defamation actions don't survive the death of the alleged victim.
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1 comment:

  1. "Springtime for Stalin and CCCP/Russia is happy and gay."
    "Don't be stupid/Be a smarty/Come and join the Commie Party."
    "I was born in Stalingrad/And that is why they call me Vlad."