Svetlana Alliluyeva

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Flashguns play a staccato of warm light on Svetlana Alliluyeva in New York City on April 26, 1967. The 42-year-old daughter of the late soviet dictator Joseph Stalin gave news conference.

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Svetlana Alliluyeva, daughter of Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and Nadezhda Alliluyeva discusses her decision to defect from the Soviet Union.
She speaks of being overwhelmed by the press conference and requests that following this public appearance she be allowed privacy and the quiet life she desires.

She is questioned about her decision to turn away from communism and her current political views (though she states she has no political affiliations). She also talks about how her father's death affected her views on communism. She notes that five years earlier she was baptized in the Russian Orthodox Church.

She discusses her decision to leave her children knowing that she would likely never see them again.

She discusses her writing career.

Question regarding the suppression of the Jewish religion in Russia. She speaks of some universities and institutions favoring non-Jewish applicants.

Asked about her favorite modern American authors she mentions Hemingway and J. D. Salinger among her favorites, though she also states that in the Soviet Union they do not know much about the topic.

She states that there is a lot of Russian literature that is not printed.

She does not know if it will be possible for her to contact her children via the telephone.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 72280
Municipal archives id: T3501