Nadezhda Alliluyeva

Nadezhda Sergeevna Alliluyeva (Russian: Наде́жда Серге́евна Аллилу́ева; 22 September [O.S. 9 September] 1901 – 9 November 1932) was the second wife of Joseph Stalin. Born in Baku to a revolutionary and friend of Stalin, she was raised in Saint Petersburg and knew Stalin from a young age. Married when she was 18 she had two children with Stalin. Alliluyeva worked as a secretary for Vladimir Lenin before attending university. Alliluyeva and Stalin's marriage was strained, and she contemplated leaving him on several occasions. Unhappy with the status quo, she ultimately shot herself the night of 9 November 1932.

Nadezhda Alliluyeva
Наде́жда Серге́евна Аллилу́ева
Nadezhda Sergeyevna Alliluyeva (1901–1932).jpg
Nadezhda Alliluyeva
Born22 September [O.S. 9 September] 1901
Died9 November 1932(1932-11-09) (aged 31)
Cause of deathGunshot (suicide)
Joseph Stalin (m. 1919)
ChildrenVasily Iosifovich Dzhugashvili (1921–1962)
Svetlana Alliluyeva (1926–2011)
Parent(s)Sergei Alliluyev (1866–1945) and Olga Alliluyeva


Alliluyeva's father, Sergei Alliluyev (1866–1945) was from a peasant family in Voronezh Oblast, and worked as a metal worker and then mechanic, eventually settling in the Caucasus.[1] He joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) in 1898, and became an active member in worker study circles; it was through these meetings he met Mikhail Kalinin and Ivan Fioletov, chief organizers of the party in the Caucasus.[2] Sergei had been arrested and exiled to Siberia, but by 1902 he had returned to the Caucasus.[3] In 1903 he met Ioseb Jughashvili (later known as Joseph Stalin) while helping to move a printing machine from Baku to Tiflis.[4]

Her mother, Olga Fedotenko (1877–1951), was the youngest of nine children of Evgeni Fedotenko and Magdelena Eicholz. Evgeni had Ukrainian ancestry on his father's side, while his mother was Georgian, and grew up speaking Georgian at home.[5] Magdalena came from a family of German settlers, and spoke German and Georgian at home, only learning Russian later in life.[6][7] Olga's father initially wanted her to marry one of his friend's sons, however she refused to accept the arrangement and left home at 14 to live with Sergei, joining him in Tiflis.[6][8] Alliluyeva was the youngest of four children, following Anna, Fyodor, and Pavel.[9]

Early lifeEdit

Alliluyeva was born in Baku.

Sergei Alliluyev was Russian but had found work and a second home in the Caucasus. During Stalin's time of exile, the Alliluyev family was a source of assistance and refuge, and in 1917, Stalin slept from time to time in their apartment.

After the revolution, Nadezhda worked as a confidential code clerk in Lenin's office. She eschewed fancy dress, makeup, and other trappings that she felt un-befitting for a proper Bolshevik.

The couple married in 1919, when Stalin was already a 40-year-old widower and father of one son (Yakov), born to Stalin's first wife (Kato) who died of typhus in 1907. Nadezhda and Joseph had two children together: Vasily, born in 1921, who became a fighter pilot (C.O. of 32 GIAP) at Stalingrad, and Svetlana, their daughter, born 1926.

According to her close friend, Polina Zhemchuzhina, the marriage was strained, and the two argued frequently.[citation needed] Stalin was unfaithful,[10] and Nadezdha suspected this.[11]


On 9 November 1932, after a public spat with Stalin at a party dinner, enraged at the government's collectivization policies on the peasantry, Nadezhda shot herself in her bedroom.[12] The official announcement was that Nadezhda died from appendicitis.[13]

Accounts of contemporaries and Stalin's letters indicate that he was much disturbed by the event.[14][15]

Svetlana, Nadezhda's daughter, defected to the US in 1967, where she eventually published her autobiography, which included recollections of her parents and their relationship.[16]

In popular cultureEdit

Alliluyeva was portrayed by Julia Ormond in the 1992 television film Stalin.[17]


  1. ^ Alliluyeva 1967, pp. 39–40
  2. ^ Alliluyeva 1967, p. 40
  3. ^ Richardson 1993, pp. 25–26
  4. ^ Richardson 1993, pp. 28–29
  5. ^ Alliluyeva 1967, p. 44
  6. ^ a b Alliluyeva 1967, p. 43
  7. ^ Richardson 1993, p. 44
  8. ^ Richardson 1993, p. 45
  9. ^ Alliluyeva 1967, p. 46
  10. ^ Montefiore 2003, p. 13; Khlevniuk 2015, p. 255.
  11. ^ Montefiore 2003, p. 12.
  12. ^ "Stalin's women". Sunday Times (UK). 29 June 2003. Archived from the original on 21 Nov 2003. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
  13. ^ V. Torolyansky. 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 during 1937.
  14. ^ 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 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 had much emotional ambivalence. Allilueva, Dvadtsat' pisem, 99–109.
    2. Allilueva, Dvadtsat' pisem, 23, 45.
    Rieber, Alfred J. (December 2001). "Stalin, Man of the Borderlands". The American Historical Review. 106 (5). doi:10.1086/ahr/106.5.1651. Archived from the original on 1 August 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
  15. ^ 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). June 29, 2003. pp. cover story. Archived from the original on 21 November 2003. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
  16. ^ Sullivan 2015, p. 327
  17. ^ Robert Duvall as Stalin, the Embodiment of Evil, John J. O'Connor, The New York Times, November 20, 1992


  • Allilueva, Svetlana (1967), Twenty Letters to a Friend, translated by Johnson, Priscilla, London: Hutchinson, ISBN 0-060-10099-0
  • Eckert, Astrid M. (2012), The Struggle for the Files: The Western Allies and the Return of German Archives after the Second World War, translated by Geyer, Dona, New York City: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-5218-8018-3
  • Kotkin, Stephen (2014), Stalin, Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878–1928, New York City: Penguin Press, ISBN 978-1-59420-379-4
  • Kotkin, Stephen (2017), Stalin, Volume 2: Waiting for Hitler, 1929–1941, New York City: Penguin Press, ISBN 978-1-59420-380-0
  • Kun, Miklós (2003), Stalin: An Unknown Portrait, translated by Bodóczky, Miklós; Hideg, Rachel; Higed, János; Vörös, Miklós, Budapest: Central European University Press, ISBN 963-9241-19-9
  • Montefiore, Simon Sebag (2003), Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, London: Phoenix, ISBN 978-0-7538-1766-7
  • Montefiore, Simon Sebag (2007), Young Stalin, London: Phoenix, ISBN 978-0-297-85068-7
  • Richardson, Rosamond (1993), The Long Shadow: Inside Stalin's Family, London: Little, Brown and Company, ISBN 0-316-90553-4
  • Sullivan, Rosemary (2015), Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva, Toronto: HarperCollins, ISBN 978-1-44341-442-5