Famous Marriages Joseph Stalin and Nadya Alliluyev Part 2

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


Joseph Stalin and Nadya Alliluyev

Wedding: Stalin's wedding was so private that most Soviet citizens learned of the marriage only after he became a widower for the second time. The marriage took place on Mar. 24, 1919, in a Moscow registry office. There were no guests, just the two witnesses required by law. Nothing is known of the couple's honeymoon, except that they moved into a small house in the Kremlin that had been used as servants' quarters during the days of the czars.

Happily Ever After: Since their social life was reportedly quite limited, the couple spent a lot of time together--and quarreled almost constantly. Nadya in no way resembled Stalin's submissive first wife. She bridled when her husband used foul language in her presence, and Stalin reacted to this by deliberately spewing obscenities in front of dinner guests to enrage her. Feeling obligated to develop her mind, Nadya studied chemistry, specializing in synthetic fibers. She quickly learned from fellow students the terrible truth about Stalinism. When she confronted her husband with stories of mass executions and cannibalism in starving villages, Stalin flew into a rage. He cursed her, saw to it that her talkative classmates were arrested, and became even more firmly entrenched in his antistudent attitudes. By 1926 Nadya could no longer stomach her husband's personality or politics, so she packed up their two children (a son named Vasily, born in 1920, and a daughter named Svetlana, born in 1926) and returned to her parents' home in Leningrad. Stalin eventually talked her into returning, but the couple had few moments of happiness together after this separation.

On the evening of Nov. 8, 1932, at a banquet honoring the 15th anniversary of the Revolution, Stalin made a point of crudely addressing his wife in front of the celebrants. She left the room saying, "Don't you 'Hey, you' me." After pouring out her frustrations to her close friend Pauline Molotov, Nadya went into her room and shot herself in the head with a Walther revolver given to her by her brother Pavel.

The death affected Stalin enormously. Not only did he consider the suicide a personal affront, but Nadya had made serious political accusations against her husband in the suicide note she left. Sixteen years later Stalin had Nadya's sister, her sister-in-law, and her friend Pauline Molotov arrested for "knowing too much" about the suicide.

According to their daughter, Svetlana, "My mother's death, which my father had taken as a personal betrayal, deprived his soul of the last vestiges of human warmth."

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