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The only daughter of Joseph Stalin surprised the world when, on March 6, 1967, she walked into the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India, and asked for asylum.
The daughter of Stalin and his second wife, Nadezhda Sergeyevna Alliluyeva had enjoyed a relatively easy life in the Soviet Union since the death of her father. Her decision to leave her home country came after the death of her third husband, Brijesh Singh, an Indian Communist who at the time of his death was living in Moscow. Svetlana was able to get government permission to return his ashes to India, and it was there that she decided to leave her native home for good.
The United States granted her request for asylum with little delay, and Svetlana Alliluyeva arrived in New York City on April 21. She had brought with her the manuscript of a book of her reminiscences, which was published as Twenty Letters to a Friend in October. The book was an immediate best seller, and Stalin's only daughter was an instant American celebrity.
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