Soviets Told Stalin Drove Wife to Suicide

United Press International

Soviets were told publicly for the first time today that dictator Josef Stalin’s boorish behavior drove his second wife to commit suicide.

Soviet citizens have long known privately that Stalin’s wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva, died of bullet wounds on a night in November, 1932, but rumors of murder or suicide after a violent argument with Stalin had never been officially confirmed.

The confirmation came in the newspaper Moscovsky Komsomolets.


Alliluyeva was married to Stalin in 1918, the year after the Bolshevik Revolution catapulted the 39-year-old Georgian to national prominence. His first wife had died.

The widely circulated story at the time was that Alliluyeva had protested the suffering of the population under Stalin’s policy of relentlessly squeezing the standard of living to finance his goal of creating heavy industry.

Stalin replied by heaping abuse on her. She returned to their apartment in the Kremlin and shot herself.

The daughter of Stalin and Alliluyeva--Svetlana Alliluyeva--defected to the West in 1967, only to make a spectacular return to the Soviet Union in 1984, followed by a redefection a year later.