Skip to main content

The Papers of Svetlana Alliluyeva

Reference Code: GBR/0014/ALIU

Scope and Contents

Includes: typescripts of Alliluyeva's later memoirs; letters to her friend Jane, Lady Renfrew; a memoir by Lady Renfrew of Alliluyeva's years in Cambridge.


  • Creation: 1984 - 2012


Conditions Governing Access

The majority of the papers are open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge, though Alliluyeva's letters to Lady Renfrew remain closed.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

Svetlana Alliluyeva was born on 28 February 1926, the youngest child and only daughter of Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and Nadezhda Alliluyeva, Stalin's second wife. When she was 17, Alliluyeva married a fellow student at Moscow University, Grigory Morozov, having one son, Iosif, in 1945. The couple divorced in 1947, and Alliluyeva remarried in 1949, to one of Stalin's associates, Yuri Zhdanov. The couple had one daughter, Yekaterina, in 1950, but divorced shortly afterwards. From 1963 until his death in 1966, Alliluyeva lived with the Indian Communist politician Brajesh Singh, then between 1970 and 1973, while living in the United States, she was married to the American architect William Wesley Peters, with whom she had a daughter, Olga.

After her father's death in 1953, Alliluyeva had worked as a lecturer and translator in Moscow, but following the death of Brajesh Singh, she was allowed to travel to India to return his ashes to his family. While in India, in March 1967, she approached the American Ambassador, and defected to the United States. Once there, she wrote the autobiographical books "Twenty Letters to a Friend" (1967) and "Only One Year" (1969), and later, "The Faraway Music" (1984).

Alliluyeva left the United States in 1982 and moved to Cambridge, where she befriended Lady Renfrew. She then briefly returned to live in the Soviet Union in 1984, before going back to the United States two years later. In the 1990s she settled in Britain once again for some years, before she went back to live in the United States until her death on 22 November 2011.


2 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

A copy of this finding aid is available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from Lady Renfrew in April 2016.


This collection was catalogued by Katharine Thomson of Churchill Archives Centre in April 2016.


Alliluyeva, Svetlana Iosifovna, 1926-2011, afterwards Lana Peters, daughter of Joseph Stalin

2016-04-20 09:57:26.403000+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087