1967: Stalin’s Daughter Defects to the USA

1967: Stalin’s Daughter Defects to the USA

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  • 6. March 1967

Stalin married twice. His first wife died early, aged only 22, some 10 years before the October Revolution. His second wife was called Nadezhda Alliluyeva and he married her after the revolution. In an interesting coincidence, Lenin’s wife was also called Nadezhda.

Stalin and Nadezhda had a daughter – Svetlana Aliluyeva. She fell in love with an Indian communist, Brajesh Singh, who was on a visit to Moscow. This took place in a hospital, where she was recovering from a tonsil operation, while he was being treated for lung emphysema. They became very close, but he soon died from his disease. She was allowed to take his ashes to his native India, so that it can be thrown into the Ganges.

She spent 8 months with his family in an Indian village on the bank of the Ganges. There she adopted their customs and renounced atheism. On this day in 1967 she entered the U.S. embassy in New Delhi in order to defect to the USA.

And indeed, the Americans granted her political asylum and immediately transferred her to the USA (through Europe). There Svetlana denounced her father Stalin and the Soviet government. She married an American and took the name Lana Peters (Lana is short for Svetlana, while Peters was her husband’s surname). She died in the USA on 22 November 2011, at the high age of 85.

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