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How Stalin became a Catholic

The dictator’s daughter Svetlana, who died last November, converted to the faith after a long correspondence with a priest

By on Friday, 17 February 2012

Tolstoy once remarked that we die as we live and that we can’t expect to die a good death except through living a good life. A friend has just sent me the obituary of Svetlana Stalin, daughter of the dictator, who died peacefully at a nursing home in Wisconsin on November 22 2011. This obituary, from the Christmas issue of The Catholic, published by a small community of religious from the Orkney Islands, describes the turbulent and often sad life of this woman, whose mother was driven to suicide by her father when she was six and whose father later brutally rejected her when she married without his consent.

Married three times, giving birth to three children, two of whom she became permanently estranged from, she lived in Cambridge for some years. It was there, in 1982, “on a cold December day, the feast of St Lucy… the decision to enter the Catholic Church came to me very naturally”, as she writes in her memoirs. This decision had been influenced by a long friendship/correspondence with an Italian Catholic priest and the support and kindness of a Catholic couple she had met in America.

Svetlana writes that after her conversion “Only now I understand the wonderful grace that the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist produce, no matter what day of the year, and even on a daily basis. Before, I was unwilling to forgive and repent, and I was never able to love my enemies. But I feel very different from before, since I attend Mass every day.

The Eucharist has given me life. The Sacrament of Penance with God whom… we abandon and betray each day, the sense of guilt and sadness that invades us then, all this makes it necessary to receive it frequently.” This woman, whose childhood had been blighted by the loss of her mother, adds “I was taken into the arms of the Blessed Virgin Mary…Who else could be my advocate but the Mother of Jesus? She suddenly drew me close to her…”

The obituary includes Svetlana’s recollection of the death of Stalin himself. It seems he suffered a stroke on the night of February 28 1953. She writes, “The death agony was terrible. He literally choked to death as we watched. At what seemed the very last moment he suddenly opened his eyes and cast a glance over everyone in the room. It was a terrible glance, insane or perhaps angry and full of fear of death. Then he suddenly lifted his left hand. The gesture was incomprehensible and full of menace…”

This description reminded me of another article, from the pages of a Communist publication, “Revolutionary Democracy”, which was given to me on the 45th anniversary of his death by an Indian friend and fervent admirer of Stalin, whom I had known from my Cambridge (where else?) student days. After reading this account I felt astonished that anyone, most especially my gentle, scholarly and humane friend, could possibly admire a man, whose associates – more accurate, for Stalin, than the word ‘friends’ – and personal doctors were so petrified of him, so paralysed with fear, that none of them dared to help him during the three days he lay helpless and semi-conscious after his stroke. Panic, intrigues and poisonous rumours accompanied his deathbed.

As a 7-year-old at the time of his death, I remember asking the nun teaching us that morning in primary school whether Stalin would go to hell. It seemed a reasonable question in my eyes. I can’t recall her response, but by any standards Stalin did not have what one might call “a good death”.

  • Parasum

    “…a man, whose associates – more accurate, for Stalin, than the word
    ‘friends’ – and personal doctors were so petrified of him, so paralysed
    with fear, that none of them dared to help him during the three days he
    lay helpless and semi-conscious after his stroke.”

    ## About the doctors – they had very good reason to be afraid for their lives, because of the (fabricated) “Doctors’ Plot”. To have applied the wrong medical measures would have been extremely dangerous:

    “Weinberg was the only member of his immediate family to survive the Nazi Holocaust. His father-in-law was executed as an enemy of the state in 1948, just as Weinberg attracted the ire of Soviet authorities through his opposition to Zhdanov’s attack on formalism during the Soviet Composers Union Congress. In early 1953, Weinberg was detained during the so-called “Doctor’s Plot” and readied for execution. Shostakovich intervened on Weinberg’s behalf with Lavrentii Beria, head of the NKVD, but the death of Stalin on March 5, 1953, earned Weinberg his freedom…”

  • Sszorin

    At the time of the “plot” there was an ongoing restructuring of the party and of the government form. “The doctors’ plot” was real, but not in way that has been presented to this day. The jewish clique that “inherited” the power after Stalin had been dispatched denounced “the plot” as “fabricated”. Do you think that it was in their interest to trumpet to the whole world what they were up to ? The philo-semitic mass media played this tune [to this day]. The Jews fooled Stalin; they preached, for decades, the dogmas of judeo-marxism, among the others the dogma of the necessity to abolish the “nations” and of the establishing the universal communistic republic. To that end they were at the forefront of the genocides of the peoples and of the nations of the Soviet Russia/Soviet union in order to eliminate “the nationalist” opposition to the jewish black utopia. After 1948 marxist Jews of the Soviet union hypocritically nailed their flag to the mast of Israel. They suddenly showed their true colours and exposed their true intentions. Internationalism and suppression of the national life for the goys, and support for and building the national life for the Jews/Israel. Stalin realized then how they fooled everybody. Initially supportive of Israel, Stalin started to turn 180 degrees, he was becoming hostile to the zionist project. Instead of becoming a soldier in “the cause of internationalism, socialism, anti-colonialist struggle of national liberations” [that was the standard jewish marxist rhetoric], as predicted and promised by the jewish “cadres”, Israel became the rabid pitbull of nationalism and racism and the aircraft carrier of the “international” finance and mega-usury. The jewish holy books prescribe killing of those harmful to “Israel”. As a powerful man that was becoming hostile to it, Stalin had to “go”. [ J.F.Kennedy. He wanted to strip Israel of the nuclear weapons and soon after he was dead]. That was the plot. At the end they succeeded in poisoning him.- .
    Lazar Kagan/Kaganovich, the man guilty of being personally responsible for the deaths of 20 million christians [he admits to it in his biography "Wolf of the Kremlin"] admits that Stalin was poisoned by his sister Rosa who was Stalin’s wife at the time.- . Oy-vey, even the semitic New York Times has to admit it. : .Also, there was a double whammy of the “pills” for the leader, the back-up simultaneous plan : . Enjoy the facts.

  • Cathalloftus

    There are people who know full well the evil of Stalin, and who still admire him – for his strength and/or his ruthlessness! 

  • tioedong

     Anti Semetism anyone? Such hate filled nonsense does not deserve to remain on a “catholic” newspaper, even as a comment.

  • Sszorin

    You are a racist because you consider Jews to be 100% holy, with no faults and evildoing at all and beyond criticism. Crimes of other people can be exposed but you want the world to be silent about the crimes of the Jews. You are a racist because you do not consider the victims of the jewish communism to be worthy of rememberance. Shame on you.

  • Matt Fry

     Shall we also recall the genocide of the Cathars while we are at it?