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Nadezhda Alliluyeva
Grave at Novodevichy Cemetery under protective covering.

Nadezhda Sergeevna Alliluyeva (Russian: Надежда Сергеевна Аллилуева) (22 September 1901 – November 9, 1932) was the second wife of Joseph Stalin.

Nadezhda was the youngest child of Russian revolutionary Sergei Alliluyev and his wife Olga, a woman of German and Georgian ancestry. She first met Stalin as a child when her father, Sergei Alliluyev, sheltered him after one of his escapes from Siberian exile in 1911. She may have always been in love with the mysterious swarthy Georgian with the yellowish colored eyes who saved her life from drowning when she was a child. [1] After the revolution, Nadezhda worked as a confidential code clerk in Lenin's office. She eschewed fancy dress, make-up and other trappings that she felt un-befitting of a proper Bolshevik. The couple married in 1919, when Stalin was already a 41 year old widower and father of one son born to his first wife, who died of typhus years earlier. Nadezhda and Joseph had two children together: Vasily, born in 1921, became a figher pilot (C.O. of 32 GIAP) at Stalingrad and Svetlana, their daughter, was born in 1926. According to her close friend, Polina Molotov, the marriage was strained, and the two constantly fought. She also suffered from a mental illness which may have been bipolar disorder, Molotov recalled that she suffered from mood swings which made her seem like a "mad woman." While she was close to Vasily, she wasn't very close to Svetlana and was very stern with the children.

After a public spat with Stalin at a party dinner, Nadezhda was found dead in her bedroom, a revolver by her side.[2] Regardless, the official announcement was that Nadezhda died from appendicitis. Two doctors, who refused to sign a certificate stating false conclusions about the cause of her death (Levin and Pletnev), were later convicted during the Trial of the Twenty-One and executed. Some claim the gun was found beside the hand she didn't use, apparently pointing to a framed suicide; many in Russia allege that Stalin killed her himself. [3] [4]

Accounts of contemporaries and Stalin's letters indicate that he was deeply disturbed by the event. [5 ] [6 ]

Her daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva later emigrated from the Soviet Union in a high profile defection to the United States, where she eventually published her autobiography which included recollections of her parents and their relationship.


  1. ^ He married seventeen-year-old Nadezhda Allilueva in 1919,... She was the daughter of a veteran Marxist railroad worker, Sergei Alliluev, who, though Russian, found work and a second home in the Caucasus. Her mother was Olga Sergei. Later, during Stalin's years of exile, the Alliluev family was a source of constant support and refuge. Nadezhda's mother, who was part Georgian and spoke Russian with a strong accent, ran a Caucasian household. In 1917, Stalin lived from time to time in their apartment and appeared to regain some of the high spirits of his youth.1 For him, they had already become a family before he married young Nadezhda.
    1. S. Ia. Alliluev, "Moi vospominaniia," Krasnaia letopis' 5 (1923); Alliluev, "Vstrechi s tovarishchem Stalinom," Proletarskaia revoliutsiia 8 (1937); Alliluev, Proidennyi put' (Moscow, 1946); the memoirs of Sergei Alliluev's daughter and Nadezhda's sister, Anna Sergeevna Allilueva, were published in two editions, both in the same year, 1946, as Iz vospominanii, published by Pravda and Vospominaniia, published by Sovietskii pisatel'. Stalin was angered by revelations of his personal life and ordered both editions withdrawn from circulation shortly after they appeared. Svetlana Allilueva, Dvadtsat' pisem k drugu (New York, 1967), 56–57.
    2. Figure 2: From the Alliluev family album. Stalin's mother-in-law, Ol'ga Evgen'eva Allilueva (1905), and his father-in-law, Sergei Iakovlevich Alliluev (1914), who first met Stalin in Tbilisi in 1904. RGASPI, f.558, op.11, d.1651, nos. 16 and 15.
    3. Figure 3: From the family album of the Alliluevs. Stalin in 1915 during his Siberian exile and his future wife, Nadezhda Allilueva, taken in 1912, about a year after he met her. RGASPI, f.558, op.11, d.1651, nos. 18 and 22.
    RIEBER, ALFRED J. (2001-12). "Stalin, Man of the Borderlands". The American Historical Review 106 (5). Retrieved 2007-03-26.  
  2. ^ Some time during the evening, over a table of vodka, Georgian wines and Russian cuisine, Stalin and Nadya became angry with each other. Irritated, she started dancing with her louche Georgian godfather, “Uncle Abel” Yenukidze, the official in charge of the Kremlin, who had shocked the party with his affairs with teenage ballerinas. Stalin was flirting with Galya Yegorova, the beautiful wife of a Red Army commander. Galya, 34, was a brash film actress well known for her affairs and risqué dresses. Certainly Nadya suspected him of having affairs, most recently with a female hairdresser in the Kremlin, and some historians report her discontent heard from her students about the starvation occurring in the Ukraine. Some accounts claim that, sitting opposite Nadya at the table, Stalin upbraided her for not raising her glass in a toast. “Why aren’t you drinking?” he called, tossing an orange peel at her. Other anecdotes report that he flicked cigarettes at her from across the dinner table. “Hey you! Have a drink!” “My name isn’t ‘hey’!” she retorted, and she stormed out screaming: “Shut up! Shut up!” Molotov’s wife Polina followed her out and calmed her down. When they said good night she seemed “perfectly calm."
    1. Extracted from Stalin: The Court Of The Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore
    "Stalin's women". Sunday Times (UK): pp. cover story. June 29, 2003. Retrieved 2007-03-26.  
  3. ^ Joseph Stalin Biography 1 of 2 at YouTube (requires Adobe Flash)
  4. ^ V. Topolyansky. Blow from the past. (Russian: В. Торолянский. Сквозняк из прошлого.) Novaya Gazeta/InaPress. Moscow. 2006. ISBN 5-87135-183-2. The false report was signed by Kremlin's doctors Obrosov and Pogosyants. Obrosov was executed by a firing squad in 1937.
  5. ^ He mourned the loss of Nadezhda but also blamed her in bursts of self-pity: "The children will forget her in a few days, but me she has crippled for life."1 2 The death of his wife deprived him of a real and symbolic center to his kinship group. He virtually abandoned Zubalovo and became a wanderer again, shifting his residence from place to place
    1. "Dnevnik . . . Svanidze," 177. Characteristically, Stalin's reaction was to rage at the world exactly as he had done when his first wife died. Iremaschwili, Stalin, 40–41. His ritualistic mourning of Nadezhda was filled with emotional ambivalence. Allilueva, Dvadtsat' pisem, 99–109.
    2. Allilueva, Dvadtsat' pisem, 23, 45.
    RIEBER, ALFRED J. (2001-12). "Stalin, Man of the Borderlands". The American Historical Review 106 (5). Retrieved 2007-03-26.  
  6. ^ AMONG the first relatives to arrive were Zhenya and her husband Pavel, who was Nadya’s brother. They were shocked not only by the death of a sister but by the sight of Stalin himself, who had never seemed so vulnerable. He threatened suicide and asked Zhenya: “What’s missing in me?” She temporarily moved in to watch over him. One night she heard screeching and found him lying on a sofa in the half-light, spitting at the wall, which was dripping with trails of saliva
    1. Extracted from Stalin: The Court Of The Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore
    "Stalin's women". Sunday Times (UK): pp. cover story. June 29, 2003. Retrieved 2007-03-26.  


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