Where Are Stalin's Descendants Now?

Joseph Stalin was a dictator who led the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics between 1929 and 1953, History reports. The infamous leader was known for being ruthless and violent. According to Stanford University, it is impossible to determine the precise number of people he killed, but he is believed to be responsible for millions of deaths.

Stalin died after suffering a stroke in 1953. According to the Library of Congress, he didn't receive immediate care because people near him thought he was drunk. "He was on the floor, and they brought him [up] on the sofa," said Sergei Khrushchev, professor at Brown University and son of Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader who replaced Stalin. The dictator received a state funeral, and four days of national mourning were declared. Stalin was buried in Lenin's mausoleum in Moscow, where he remained until 1961 when his body was buried near the Kremlin walls (via History). His death left a vacuum in Soviet leadership.

Stalin was married twice and had three children. Unsurprisingly, their lives changed dramatically after his death. While some of their descendants were proud of the former leader, others tried to hide their connection to the dictator.

Stalin was married twice

Yekaterina (Kato) Svanidze was Joseph Stalin's first wife, and she died of typhus when she was 22 years old. Her aunt raised their child, Yakov Dzhugashvili, who would meet his father when he was 14 years old when he moved to Moscow to live with him. However, the pair didn't get along, and many people tried to uncover the reason. Ultimately, some concluded that the boy made Stalin remember his first wife (via Russian Beyond). Nevertheless, the child had a troubled life.

Stalin's second wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva — the mother of Svetlana Alliluyeva and Vasily — also had a tragic death. According to UPI, she died of "bullets wounds" in 1932, and many people believe she committed suicide after a serious discussion with Stalin. Curiously, her brother died under suspicious circumstances a few days after Alliluyeva, and her family would suffer in the coming years (via The Famous People).

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

What happened to Stalin's children?

According to History of Yesterday, Yakov Dzhugashvili, Joseph Stalin's oldest son, was captured during World War II and sent to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1941. The Nazis were not aware they caught the leader's son, although they later used his capture to bolster their propaganda. While some sources say Stalin didn't try to save his son and was indifferent, others say he tried to organize two rescue missions. Eventually, his son committed suicide by electrifying himself on a perimeter fence in the Nazi camp in 1943 (via The Independent). He left behind two children.

Stalin's son Vasily became a pilot and an influential man in the USSR. After his father died, things changed — he was banned from the army, sent to prison twice, and exiled to Kazan (via Russia Beyond). According to The Vintage News, he died of alcoholism in 1942, a few days before his 41st birthday.

Svetlana Alliluyeva was Stalin's only daughter, and once she said that she "always hated Soviet Russia," per Russia Beyond. Although she recalls her father's tenderness when she was a child, things changed when she grew up, and he tried to control her life. After his death, Alliluyeva dreamed about leaving the country. When her husband died, she was granted permission to travel to India to pour his ashes at the Ganges. But she used the opportunity to go to the U.S. embassy and move to America, leaving two children behind. She wrote some books, got married again, and died in 2011 at age 85.

Stalin had many grandchildren

Joseph Stalin has many grandchildren, and they have different opinions about their grandfather. Yakov Dzhugashvili's son, Yevgeny Dzhugashvili, was passionate about Stalin's legacy and spent most of his life defending his grandfather. According to BBC, he died in 2016 at age 80.

Stalin's son Vasily eventually had his own child, Alexander Burdonsky, who became a famous theatre director in Russia. He said that no one would wish to have his childhood, and he had to change his name to pursue a career in arts. In one of the few moments he spoke about Stalin, he said: "I saw him during the May and November parades from the stands. I only saw him close-up ... lying in state (via BBC)." He died in 2017 at age 75.

Stalin also has an American granddaughter named Chrese Evans. "Stalin for me was one of the three people who won the Second World War — Churchill, Roosevelt, and him. Then my mother asked me to listen to her. This is when I found out about his crimes," she said, via Express.

According to Business Insider, Joseph Stalin's great-grandson, Jacob Jugashvili, is an artist in Georgia. He used to be ashamed of his family, but now he feels proud.