First Stalin Wife
Stalin first wife was Ekaterina Svanidze.
Born in Racha, in western Georgia, Svanidze eventually moved to Tiflis with her two sisters and brother. She worked as a seamstress.
Her brother Alexander was a confidant of Stalin, and introduced him to Svanidze in 1905.
They got married in 1906 and she gave birth to Yakov a few months later.
Stalin married his first wife, Ekaterina Svanidze, in 1906.
Stalin was frequently away from home, leaving Svanidze alone in a place where she did not know many people.
The stress of worrying about Stalin, as well as the isolation and warm climate took a toll on her health. Soon, Svanidze soon fell ill.
Stalin visited her once, and she died on 22 November 1907, three weeks after her return to Tiflis.
When she died, Stalin said “This creature softened my heart of stone.”
He left Tiflis and returned to Baku, abandoning 8-month-old Yakob to be raised by his Svanidze relatives.
Stalin would not return to visit his son for several years.
Yakov had a daughter, Galina, before fighting for the Red Army in the Second World War.
During war German Army captured him and later he committed suicide.
Stalin Second Wife
In 1918, with the Bolsheviks now having established power in Russia.
It had become increasingly important that Stalin, like his co-leaders, Lenin and Trotsky, should have a wife.
With his first, dutiful Georgian wife, Ekaterina, long dead Stalin entertained the idea of returning to Georgia to look for a second suitable bride.
But he discounted this idea as being impractical.
He felt that he needed the kind of wife able to mix socially with the intellectual elite of the new government.
While staying in Petrograd with his friend Sergey Alliluyev, Stalin found the solution to his problem in Alliluyev’s young daughter Nadezhda.
She was a meek, compliant girl who seemed, as yet, untainted.
She also had the right political pedigree, being the daughter of a fellow revolutionary.
Stalin soon prevailed on the sixteen-year-old Nadezhda.
She was no doubt star-struck by his reputation as being one of those who had made the revolution.
So she traveled to Moscow with him as his personal assistant at the Commissariat of Nationalities.
At some stage that summer Stalin and Nadezhda’s relationship became a sexual one, probably against her will.
They married in 1919 at the Tsaritsyn front, where Stalin had been sent to take charge of Bolshevik food supplies during the civil war.
Stalin Marital Discord
Five months later, the couple officially registered their marriage in Moscow.
Soon Nadezhda gave birth to a son,Vasily, followed by a daughter, Svetlana, in 1926.
Despite the birth of her children, Nadezhda had been keen to assert her independence.
She want to escape the stultifying life of a Party wife shut up in the Kremlin.
She had joined Lenin’s Secretariat as one of his assistants, where she developed a close relationship with both him and his wife.
After the birth of Svetlana, Nadezhda spent more and more time with the children and other members of her family.
Stalin now worked for longer and longer hours in his Kremlin office. Soon Nadezhda came to feel herself the neglected wife.
Violent fight—often aggravated by Stalin’s heavy drinking and rumors of his womanizing—began regularly to erupt between the couple.
In 1926, Nadezhda’s attempt to leave Stalin failed. She became increasingly isolated and depressed.
Bored and lonely and desperate to do something useful, Nadezhda enrolled as a chemistry student at Moscow’s new Industrial Academy in 1929.
On 8 November 1932, the day after a party in the Kremlin held to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the revolution, during which Stalin had flirted with the wife of a colleague.
Soon, he and Nadezhda had had an argument.
Later, Stalin found Nadezhda dead from a gunshot wound.
Immediately the cover-up of her suicide began; the Party announced her death, but not its circumstances.
Stalin told his children that she had died of appendicitis.
According to one close friend, Stalin had drunkenly alleged during their row at the party in the Kremlin just before her death that Nadezhda was in fact his own daughter.
Her mother, a Georgian, had indeed had lovers, including Stalin, around the time she conceived Nadezhda in 1901.
This insinuation, true or not, may well have unhinged Nadezhda in the final desperate hours leading up to her suicide.
In any event, with her mental state becoming increasingly unstable, it is likely, had she lived, that Stalin would have inevitably found it expedient to rid himself of her.
Stalin himself remained bitter and angry at her death, commenting, on the day of her funeral, that “she went away as an enemy.”
In terms of a propensity for fits of jealousy and fierce temper, Nadezhda had certainly been Stalin’s equal.
There had been plenty of talk about her histrionic behavior that she was a bit “mad” and wildly jealous over Stalin’s supposed relations with other women.
Funeral of Stalin Wife
Stalin mounted a grand state funeral with all due solemnity, featuring a Red Army band playing Chopin’s “Funeral March”, with all the leaders of the government walking five-abreast the half mile to the cemetery.”
Stalin, who had led the mourners, wearing grey not black, failed to appear at the graveside for Nadezhda’s burial.
Paranoid about possible assassination attacks, he had left the funeral cortege after covering only a short distance.
After her death, rumors began to circulate that Nadezhda had either been murdered by Stalin in a fit of rage, or by others on his orders, or that she had killed herself as a result of his increasingly intolerable behavior toward her.
Some more sensibly observed that Nadezhda, a passionate and committed socialist, was in fact profoundly disillusioned with Stalin as a political leader and with his policies, such as the collectivization program.
Although he later went through some ritual breast-beating over his neglect of her, in private he persisted in laying the blame, as he did with all his own shortcomings and failures, at the doors of others.
His first wife, Ekaterina continued to hold a real corner of stalin heart.
Occasional, flimsy rumors of other women after Nadezhda’s death have been circulated since, but Stalin never remarried.
He did, however, mete out his revenge on the Alliluyev family during the Great Terror.
Stalin sentenced Nadezhda’s sister Anna to ten years in prison in 1948.
Secret service shot Anna husband in 1938.
Her brother’s and uncle’s wives were both imprisoned, as was her nephew.