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Peter Carl Faberge

Peter Carl Faberge was a world famous master jeweler and head of the ‘House of Faberge’ in Imperial Russia in the waning days of the Russian Empire.

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On this day: Russia in a click

9 November

On November 9, 1932, Stalin’s wife, Nadezhda Allilueva, committed suicide, and until the present day, the mystery of her death still remains unsolved.

When Allilueva’s body was revealed in her room with gunshot wounds, the doctors were forced to certify that Allilueva died of appendicitis, but all of them refused to do it, and were all executed a few years later. When the next day, Pravda, the Communist Party sounding-board, published a minimalist obituary, saying that “an active and devoted member of the Communist Party Nadezhda Allilueva passed away,” there was no mention of what the cause of her death might have been.

There are several theories as to what drove Allilueva to kill herself or whether it actually was a suicide. One of them was that Allilueva couldn’t tolerate Stalin’s immoral lifestyle among his old Georgian gang. The marriage was very complicated. She was 22 years Stalin’s junior, and had married him at the age of 17. In a letter she’d written to him, she confessed she could no longer see Stalin going down and debasing himself as a leader and staining his authority with his unsavory behavior. Several times she tried to leave him and take the children with her, but was always forced to come back.

People from their close circle constantly saw her unhappy and showing signs of the pressure her ominous husband had put on her. She was well aware of the policies he pursued, which negatively told on her psychological condition. Added to that was Stalin’s frivolous lifestyle, with drinking, partying, and women. She had to tolerate his incredible rudeness toward her and blatant violence toward the children. All these factors put together could provide good reasons for her to end her life.

The version about her suicide was supported by Allilueva’s close circle and by Stalin’s daughter, Svetlana, who recalled that, “Father was devastated by what had happened? He was devastated because he didn’t understand: why? Why did she practically stab him in the back? He was smart enough to realize that suicides always think of ‘punishing’ someone – ‘here, how does that make you feel?’ He knew that alright, he was just wondering why? Why was he punished so severely?”

Besides, many Muscovites who witnessed Allilueva’s funeral, confessed that they saw him walking after the casket, and anyone could come up and touch him – so senseless and aloof he seemed.

According to the official version, Stalin never came to Allilueva’s grave, but as one of his personal security guards recalled, Stalin did come to the cemetery late at night and spent hours quietly sitting on her grave stone.

There are also suggestions that Allilueva was either killed by Stalin himself, or per Stalin’s order, with jealousy named as the major reason, but there is no documented proof to that.

A clinical version tells that Allilueva suffered a serious brain disease, and even received treatments abroad, which unfortunately were unsuccessful. It could have been terrible headaches that tortured her most of the time and she ended them by ending her life.

Still, none of the versions have acquired sufficient proof and are doubtful ever to be conclusively determined.