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Joseph Stalin

By Stephanie L. McKinney, PhD, Contributing Writer

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Nadya, Stalin's Wife
Picture of Joseph Stalin's second wife, Nadya.

Nadezhda Alliluyeva Stalin (1901-1932), the second wife of Joseph Stalin and mother of his children, Vassily and Svetlana. They married in 1919 and she killed herself on November 8th, 1932. (circa 1925)

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Stalin Marries Nadya

In 1919, Stalin married Nadezhda (Nadya) Alliluyeva, his secretary and fellow Bolshevik. Stalin had become close with Nadya's family, many of whom were active in the revolution and would go on to hold important positions under Stalin’s government. The young revolutionary captivated Nadya and together they would have two children, a son, Vasily, in 1921, and a daughter, Svetlana, in 1926.

Nadya Disagrees With Stalin

As carefully as Stalin controlled his public image, he could not escape the criticism of his wife, Nadya, one of the few bold enough to stand up to him. Nadya often protested his deadly policies and found herself at the receiving end of Stalin's verbal and physical abuse.

Nadya Commits Suicide

While their marriage began with mutual affection, Stalin's temperament and alleged affairs contributed greatly to Nadya's depression. After Stalin berated her particularly harshly at a dinner party, Nadya committed suicide on November 9, 1932.
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