Stalin's daughter returns to Moscow years after defecting


MOSCOW -- Svetlana Alliluyeva, the daughter of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin who denounced her father as a 'moral and spiritual monster' when she defected to the West in 1967, has returned to Moscow, Tass said Friday.

The official Soviet news agency said the Soviet parliament had restored the 58-year-old Svetlana's Soviet citizenship granted citizenship to her American-born daughter Olga, 13, who returned with her from Britain.


The announcement came hours after the principal of Olga's private Quaker school in England said Svetlana telephoned him Oct. 22 to say she was going back to Moscow. He said Olga failed to return from a mid-term break.

In a brief dispatch, Tass said the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet 'has considered and complied with a request made by S.I. Alliluyeva, who has returned to Moscow, for restoring her to the citizenship of the U.S.S.R. as well as for granting Soviet citizenship to Alliluyeva's daughter Olga.'


Svetlana uses her mother's maiden name, Alliluyeva. She never used her father's name, Djugashvili, or his pseudonym, Stalin.

Svetlana's spectacular defection to the West came in 1967 at the height of the Cold War. While visiting New Delhi, she decided she could not return to her rigid life in her homeland and sought asylum at the U.S. Embassy there.

Svetlana then went to the United States, where she spent 15 years. She married an architect, William Peters, in 1970 and lived in Scottsdale, Ariz., where the couple had Olga, their only child. She had two other children from two previous marriages in the Soviet Union.

The only surviving member of Stalin's immediate family, Svetlana initially enjoyed the freedom offered in the West but later began to feel exploited by the press and dissatisfied with her suburban lifestyle.

'It was disappointing that I didn't meet the kind of intellectual, highly educated people who were my friends in Moscow,' she said. 'My friends there belonged to literary circles or the Bolshoi Ballet or were artists or cinema people.

'In America, I ended up living the life of a suburban housewife, which is not at all what I wanted.'

She divorced Peters in 1973 and moved to England in 1982 for Olga's education, settling in the university city of Cambridge not far from her daughter's boarding school.


Her books '20 Letters to a Friend' and 'Only One Year' detailed life with her father, who she described as a 'moral and spiritual monster.'

The writings, the first from inside the Kremlin clique, gave a chilling picture of Stalin's corrupt lust for absolute power, the sumptuous, sterile lives of the Soviet elite and the baseless arrests and executions which engulfed even Stalin's in-laws.

Svetlana burned her Soviet passport in 1968 'so that no one could ever get the idea that I might return to Moscow,' she said. She was stripped of her Soviet citizenship in 1969 for 'misconduct defaming the title of citizen.'

Svetlana recently appeared unhappy and expressed longings to return home.

'I have not seen my son and daughter for 17 years and I have a grandson and granddaughter whom I have never seen,' she said in an interview with the Daily Mail in London. 'Sometimes it's an almost superhuman effort not to drop everything and run and get a ticket to go and see them.'

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