Stalin's daughter Lana Peters dies at 85

By Scott Bauer

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Nov. 28 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

Her father's legacy appeared to haunt her throughout her life, though she tried to live outside of the shadow of her father. She denounced his policies, which included sending millions into labor camps, but often said other Communist Party leaders shared the blame.

"I wish people could see what I've seen," Lana Parshina, who interviewed Peters for "Svetlana About Svetlana," said Monday. "She was very gracious and she was a great hostess. She was sensitive and could quote poetry and talk about various subjects. She was interested in what was going on in the world."

Charles E. Townsend, who was on faculty at Princeton University's Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures when Peters arrived in Princeton in 1967, said she wasn't very politically active.

"She was very pleasant," Townsend said. "Unassuming would be the word for her."

After living in Britain for two years, Peters returned to the Soviet Union with Olga in 1984 at age 58, saying she wanted to be reunited with her children. Her Soviet citizenship was restored, and she denounced her time in the U.S. and Britain, saying she never really had freedom. But more than a year later, she asked for and was given permission to leave after feuding with relatives. She returned to the U.S. and vowed never to go back to Russia.

She went into seclusion in the last decades of her life. Her survivors include her daughter Olga, who now goes by Chrese Evans and lives in Portland, Ore. A son, Josef, died in 2008 at age 63 in Moscow, according to media reports in Russia. Yekaterina (born in 1950), who goes by Katya, is a scientist who studies an active volcano in eastern Siberia.

"She was my only family," Evans, 40, told The Oregonian. "We were very close. It was a huge loss; I thought she was going to outlive me. She had a lot of friends, and a lot of people who really loved her."

Evans, who manages a boutique in Portland, Ore., said she grew up "kind of a normal kid" although she and her mother moved around the U.S. often.

She said in an email that her mother died at a Richland Center nursing home surrounded by loved ones.

Tom Stafford, owner of the funeral home in Richland Center, Wis., handling the arrangements, said no services were planned at this time, though one might be scheduled later.

Associated Press writer Ryan J. Foley, in Iowa City, Iowa, and Geoff Mulvihill in Philadelphia contributed to this report.

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