Soviet dictator Joseph Stalins only daughter,Lana Peters,who had defected to the US while in India at the height of the Cold War,has died in obscurity at the age of 85.
Born Svetlana Alliluyeva,a name she changed later,Peters had denounced communism and moved to the US in the late 1960s. She died from colon cancer on November 22 in Wisconsin.
Her defection in 1967 caused an international furore and was partly motivated,among other things,by the poor treatment by Soviet authorities of Indian communist Brijesh Singh,with whom she had a relationship. She left the Soviet Union in 1966 for India,where she planned to leave the ashes of Singh who had died in the USSR.
Instead of returning to her country,she walked unannounced into the US embassy in New Delhi and asked for political asylum,shocking many.
Upon her arrival in New York City in 1967,she said,I have come here to seek the self-expression. Peters wrote her memoir Twenty Letters to a Friend,which was published within months of her arrival in the US and became a best-seller.
In the book,she recalled her father,who died in 1953,as a distant and paranoid man.