Stalin's Only Daughter Dies in US at 85

Society » OBITUARIES | November 29, 2011, Tuesday // 11:47
Bulgaria: Stalin's Only Daughter Dies in US at 85 Svetlana Alliluyeva is pictured here with her father, whom she once called "a moral and spiritual monster". Photo by BBC

The only daughter of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, whose defection to the United States in 1967 shocked the communist party, has died of colon cancer, aged 85.

Svetlana Alliluyeva, also known as Lana Peters, passed away in the state of Wisconsin on 22 November, US officials have confirmed to BBC Russian.

Throughout her turbulent life, which included four marriages and two best-selling memoirs, Svetlana Alliluyeva complained she can not escape from the shadow of her father, who is deemed responsible for the deaths of millions of his countrymen.

"People say, 'Stalin's daughter, Stalin's daughter,' meaning I'm supposed to walk around with a rifle and shoot the Americans," she once said.

"Or they say, 'No, she came here. She is an American citizen.' That means I'm with a bomb against the others.

"No, I'm neither one. I'm somewhere in between. That 'somewhere in between' they can't understand."

She changed her name to Lana Peters upon marrying architect William Wesley Peters in the US.

In an interview in 1990 with the Independent newspaper, Peters said she had no money and was living with her daughter Olga in a rented house.

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Tags: communist, Union, Soviet, United States, Josef Stalin, Svetlana Alliluyeva, Lana Peters, US
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