Personalities the Saga of Stalin's Little Sparrow

Svetlana's tormented journey from East to West and back again

Nearly 18 years ago, Joseph Stalin's only daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva, defected to the West bearing an astonishing message. At a New York City press conference that was televised around the world, and later in two books, the child of one of modern history's most brutal tyrants repudiated her father and Communism, while affirming her faith in God and freedom. Svetlana's defection was more than a propaganda coup for the West: it was a symbolic event in the moral imagination of millions of people. The child of the man who stood accused of having killed more people than Adolf Hitler had escaped...

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!