Stalin’s daughter was followed closely by the FBI after her defection to the United States in the 1960s, files release this week now show.
As the declassified FBI files show, Stalin’s daughter was the subject of close scrutiny after her high-profile defection. The agency sought details on how the defection of Lana Peters — known as Svetlana Alliluyeva before her defection — was affecting international relations.
The FBI file on Stalin’s daughter contained many memos and news articles from the late 1960s, The Associated Press reported. One was a 1967 memo that detailed a conversation with a confidential source that claimed Peters’ defection was having a “profound impact” on others considering such a move out of the USSR.
The 1967 defection of Stalin‘s daughter was an international incident, as she left after poor treatment of her husband by Soviet authorities.
After arriving in the United States, Stalin’s daughter published a book about her time in Soviet Russia. In the book she noted how her father was a distant and paranoid man.
Though she denounced the actions of Soviet Russia, the legacy of Stalin’s daughter was difficult to define, even for her. In a 1984 interview, she said:
‘”People say, ‘Stalin’s daughter, Stalin’s daughter, meaning I’m supposed to walk around with a rifle and shoot the Americans.
“Or they say, ‘No, she came here. She is an American citizen.’ That means I’m with a bomb against the others.
‘No, I’m neither one. I’m somewhere in between. That ‘somewhere in between’ they can’t understand.”
Stalin’s daughter was 42 when she defected in 1967, the BBC noted. Before leaving Soviet Russia, she lived in a flat in Moscow near the British Embassy, working as a researcher and translator.