Soviet Union: Svetlana Returns to Her Prison

Stalin's daughter goes home to the country she once vilified

Seventeen years ago, Joseph Stalin's daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva took a taxi in New Delhi to the U.S. embassy, where she asked American officials for asylum. The Soviets had allowed her to visit India in order to take home the ashes of her common-law husband, who had died of a respiratory disease. After asylum was granted, she flew to New York, where she greeted reporters at the airport with "Hello there, everybody." She explained her electrifying defection by declaring that in the U.S. she would seek "the self-expression that has been denied me so...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!