Famous Marriages Joseph Stalin and Nadya Alliluyev Part 1

About the marriage between Russian leader Joseph Stalin and Nadya Alliluyev, history of their courtship.


Joseph Stalin and Nadya Alliluyev

Courtship: Arrested in early 1908 for his revolutionary activities, the man who came to be known as Joseph Stalin soon became a prison escapee, and the first person to shelter him was Sergei Alliluyev, whose daughter Nadezhda--called Nadya--was to become Stalin's bride 11 years later. Stalin's first wife, Ekaterina Svanidze, had died of tuberculosis in 1907. He probably met Nadya in the spring of 1912, when he took all the Alliluyev children on a rollicking sledge drive through the Russian countryside. The 10-year-old girl was reportedly intoxicated by the big man's revolutionary fame and charmed by his good-natured, buffoonish jokes and commentary.

After the Revolution, in 1918, Stalin--then the peoples' commissioner of nationalities--moved his commissariat to Moscow and started courting Nadya. A stunning 16-year-old beauty, Nadya was working as a confidential code clerk in Lenin's private office in Moscow. She and Stalin had recently met again in Tsaritsyn (later Stalingrad, now Volgograd), where both had been sent on official duties. She was accompanied by a chaperon, but Stalin, a bit drunk one night, made some rather bold advances. Nadya was not displeased apparently, for the two became a couple soon after Stalin's return to the Kremlin.

Love, however, seemed to have little to do with it. Twice Nadya's age, with a coarse, pockmarked face and rough manners, Stalin was no young girl's dream; but then Nadya was a disciplined, tough-minded revolutionary who was enthralled by Stalin's tactics of power. For Stalin's part, Nadya was not only beautiful but valuable; she frequently helped his political career by giving him secret messages which she had decoded for her boss, Lenin.

When the Alliluyevs found out about the romance, they were furiously opposed to it, knowing how cruel Stalin could be. But by this time it was too late, in more ways than one. Several factors-among them a party awash with a rare Georgian wine called Kakhetinsk, a love song about a delicate apple tree destroyed by a hurricane's passionate embrace, and a private apartment free from chaperons--combined one night to cause young Nadya to surrender her innocent body to the Russian hero. She became pregnant. According to her friend Natalia Trushina, "As a true Communist, Nadya's father had always upheld the principle of free love in a free socialist society," but when Sergei Alliluyev found out his daughter was pregnant, "he reacted as any bourgeois father would." And so Stalin and Nadya were wed.

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