This week in a small Wisconsin town, Josef Stalin’s daughter died (as Lana Peters) of colon cancer at 85. Born in 1926, Svetlana Stalina was the only surviving child of Stalin; he doted on her as a young girl. But all was not wonderful as the daughter of the Russian dictator; her mother killed herself in 1932, her father made her romantic relationships almost impossible, which culminated in a series of tragic marriages and relationships.

After her father’s death, Svetlana’s life grew more difficult in Russia and she eventually defected to the United States. She arrived in New York in 1967 and over the next few years published two popular memoirs. She married again, this time to an American architect William Wesley Peters. The couple had a daughter, but divorced within three years. After her divorce, Lana Peters as she was now known, lived a nomadic life including a brief return to Moscow, a stint in California, England, and Wisconsin.

Peters always felt she lived in her father’s shadow, “Wherever I go,” she said, “here, or Switzerland, or India, or wherever. Australia. Some island. I will always be a political prisoner of my father’s name.”

More about Svetlana…

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