Svetlana Alliluyeva


Biography of Svetlana Alliluyeva

Svetlana Iosifovna Alliluyeva (28 February 1926 – 22 November 2011), later known as Lana Peters, was the youngest child and only daughter of Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and Nadezhda Alliluyeva, Stalin's second wife. In 1967, she caused an international furor when she defected and became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

She was born on February 28, 1926 as Svetlana Stalina. Like most children of high-ranking Soviet officials, Alliluyeva was raised by a nanny and only occasionally saw her parents. Her mother, Nadezhda Alliluyeva, died on November 9, 1932. The death was officially ruled as peritonitis resulting from a burst appendix. While there were various other theories as to the cause of her death (murder on the orders of Stalin, or that she was killed by Stalin himself), it appears Nadezhda Alliluyeva actually committed suicide. According to Nikita Khrushchev, Stalin was very abusive toward Alliluyeva in the later part of their marriage. In his memoirs, Khrushchev recalled an occasion when Stalin, during a drunken rage at a party, dragged a crying Alliluyeva onto a dance floor by her hair.

At 16, Svetlana Alliluyeva fell in love with Aleksei Kapler, a Soviet filmmaker who was 40 years old. Her father vehemently disapproved of the romance. Later, Kapler was sentenced to ten years in exile in the industrial city of Vorkuta, near the Arctic Circle.

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