Svetlana Alliluyeva

I share a birthday with Stalin’s daughter, Svetlana Allilueyva. She was born exactly 20 years earlier than myself which would make her 85 next birthday. It seems like another age when she defected to the west. And it is indeed another age. At that time the Soviet Union & its satellites were much feared. These days there are loads of people from Russia, the other Soviet satellites & East & Central Europe in the West.  She kept going back between the Soviet Union & America & the UK & India. She could never be happy. Apart from the fact that she was the daughter of a really evil man she became a permanent exile. I, myself have been in a similar position, commuting between one place & another.

Nevertheless it is ironic that what happened to others finally happened to her. Millions suffered exile under Stalin, not to mention death in the Gulag, starvation etc. I know nothing about her present condition or her present state of mind. Maybe she has Alzheimers & now knows nothing of her former life. Maybe she has some trenchant opinions about life under her father. She certainly wouldn’t be the first person in the World to differ from her parents & take a different path. But what was that path? Was she a confirmed communist or something else? Presumably she was never happy, haunted by the past & fearful of the present.

It looks as though she is now in a retirement home in Wisconsin USA. I must confess that in fact I did think that she had died.

My father had no character faults. Obviously being human he did have other faults. It has made me reflect upon what it must be like to be the offspring of someone completely evil. It must be a terrible burden. Apart from anything else she must have worried many times in case she had inherited some of his traits. I am sure she didn’t. All accounts of her seem to suggest that she was a kind & decent person.

I am not writing this to suggest that because I share a birthday with her I should share some of her character traits or the nature of her personality. I don’t believe in that sort of thing at all. To me it is obvious that the date a person is born is purely coincidental. But she is an interesting person who found herself at the centre of events because of her parentage & then disassociated herself from what her father did.

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