Svetlana Stalina died as Lana Peters, of colon cancer at the age of 85 in Richland Center, Wisconsin. Of her father Joseph Stalin, she said “he broke my life.”
“Wherever I go,” she said, “here, or Switzerland, or India, or wherever — Australia, some island — I always will be a political prisoner of my father’s name.”
Asked if she thought Stalin loved her, Peters said yes, adding, “I looked like his mother.”
“He was a very simple man,” she told the paper. “Very rude. Very cruel. There was nothing in him that was complicated. He was very simple with us. He loved me and he wanted me to be with him and become an educated Marxist.”
Known as “the little princess” of the Kremlin, she was a child celebrity in the Soviet Union, where thousands of babies were named Svetlana in her honor.
Stalin showered his daughter with presents and called her his “little sparrow,” but became abusive and distant in her teenage years when he was consumed by World War II, the Times reported.
At 17, she fell in love with an older man — a Jewish writer and filmmaker — and a disapproving Stalin had him sent to a labor camp in Siberia.
Svetlana changed her name twice. After her mother died she took her maiden name and became Svetlana Alliluyeva after her father died in 1953. Later she married American architect William Wesley Peters and became Lana Peters. The marriage was short-lived.
She escaped the Soviet Union through India, reaching the US Embassy in 1967. She was granted political asylum. Being the daughter of Joseph Stalin would seriously screw with my mind and yours, I guess, as it did with this woman who lived a life in misery, some of it self-induced.
Peters returned to Moscow in November 1984 — where she denounced the West and said she had been a pet of the CIA — after officials began to rehabilitate Stalin’s legacy and allowed her to communicate with the children she left behind.
She returned to the United States in April 1986 and disavowed her anti-Western statements. Friends told the Times she spent much of her life wandering from the United States to England, France and even a convent in Switzerland.
She died Lana Peters, living with her daughter, Olga, broke after receiving $2.5 million for a book when she first landed in the U.S. I wonder if she was ever grateful for the generosity of United States of America? Read the entire story here, and many thanks to a new publication, MN News Hound. Browse around there – lots of interesting reading.
Sveltlana Stalina – Lana Peters, Dies (video)