Spring 2006 (14.1)
Links with Baku
Stalin was in Baku in the early 1900s
where he was involved in rallying the oil workers to strike against
the oil field owners. In fact, during those years he was even
jailed in Bayil Prison in Baku.
Stalin's second wife, Nadezhda
Alliluyeva with daughter Svetlana, 1927. Nadezhda committed suicide
in 1932 at age 31.
In addition, there is a family link according to his daughter
Svetlana, who later tried to distance herself from her father
and eventually caused a furor by defecting to the United States
(1967). Svetlana's mother committed suicide (1932) when she realized
that Stalin was not the man she thought she married, and she
realized that he would never give her a divorce.
"My father had known the Alliluyevs for a long time, since
the end of the 1890s. He loved and respected them both, and they
felt the same way toward him. In his reminiscences my grandfather
has dealt at length with their early meetings, which had to do
with the underground workers' circles."
"There is a family legend that as a young man my father
rescued my mother [Nadezhda] from drowning. It happened in Baku
when she was two years old. She was playing on the shore and
fell in. He is said to have gone in after her and fished her
out. Years later my mother met my father again. She was a schoolgirl
of 16 by that time, and he an old friend of the family, a 38-year-old
revolutionary, just back from exile in Siberia. Maybe the fact
that he had rescued her seemed significant to her, for she was
a romantic - full of feeling and imagination."
From "Twenty Letters to a Friend" by Svetlana Alliluyeva,
(Stalin's daughter). Harper & Row: New York, 1967, p. 47.
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