Svetlana Alliluyeva was probably the only human who melted the heart of the terrifying Joseph Stalin. This happened when she was a little girl. At that time, of course, she was not yet able to make a connection between the loving man who played with her and the Russian leader who had sowed terror on his own territory.
This woman surprised the world in the 1960s when she left the then Soviet Union and applied for asylum in the United States. Do not forget that this country was one of her father’s greatest opponents.
From then on, she was used as a propaganda prize when it came to the famous Cold War. They used her as a figure to discredit the regime her father led.
The torment and contradictions that Svetlana experienced explain why she changed her name several times. She was born Svetlana Iosifovna Stalin. After that, she changed her father’s surname and became Svetlana Alliluyeva. She eventually stopped using that name and ended up as Lana Peters.
Svetlana Alliluyeva and her paradoxical childhood
Svetlana was the only daughter of Iosif Stalin. He had two more sons, one from his first marriage and one from the second with Svetlana’s mother, Nadezhda Alliluyeva. Biographers who studied the life of Stalin indicate that only three people softened the heart of this leader. One of them was his mother, Yekaterina Gueladze.
Another person whose heart melted was his first wife, Ekaterina Svanidze. He was really in love with her, but she died of tuberculosis very young. Some say that Stalin was never the same after losing Ekaterina.
Another person this leader really loved was his daughter Svetlana. However, she had no idea that the man who spoiled her every day was one of the cruelest men in the history of Russia.
Svetlana Alliluyeva was educated in the Moscow Kremlin, as if the rest of the world did not exist. She lived in some sort of ivory tower and had no idea what was happening in the outside world.
She was raised by a nanny. Her father didn’t spend much time with her, but he always knew how much he loved her. Svetlana’s mother seemed furthest away from her.
An absent mother
When Svetlana was six years old, her mother died suddenly. Official sources said she had a deadly appendicitis attack. Although it has always remained a mystery, there is ample evidence that the death of Nadia, Svetlana’s mother, was not a natural one.
She had fallen madly in love with Stalin, that’s for sure. However, when she entered university, she was disappointed to see what he was doing to Russia.
Nadia was one of the few people who called Stalin “executioner” to his face. The day before her death, she had a nasty public quarrel with the leader. There are testimonies that claim that he used physical violence against her in public.
The next day she was found on her bed with a bullet through her heart. Most people believed she committed suicide, while others believed her husband killed her. Svetlana had no choice but to believe the official version.
The sad awakening
Growing up, Svetlana also began to realize that things in her country were not as she had imagined until then. She maintained a close and loving relationship with her father until she turned 16 years old. At that age, Svetlana had already learned English. One day she got access to an article in that language, which indicated that her mother had committed suicide.
This news sparked huge controversy with the one who had been a loving father to her until then. Later, she fell in love with a film director who was much older than her. Stalin did not approve of this relationship. To end the relationship, he ordered some of his people to arrest him and take him to Siberia.
When she was just 19 years old, she got married and had a child. Perhaps she only did this to rebel against her father. This was the first of four short marriages from which two more daughters were born.
Biography of Svetlana Alliluyeva
When her father died, she was not allowed to talk about the leader’s private life. Her feelings towards her father were always ambivalent. She loved him and hated him at the same time.
About 14 years later she went on a trip to India. She left her 19 and 16-year-old children alone. In April 1967 she arrived in the United States, where she started working as a writer. A publisher paid her $3 million for her autobiography.
She married again and had a daughter, Olga. After her last divorce and several aliases, all because of the political shadow that haunted her, Svetlana tried to commit suicide in 1991. However, this did not work.
She died of cancer in 2011, telling everyone not to return her body to Russia after her death.