Stalin’s youth

Stalin's motherHow did Stalin cope with a violent alcoholic father?

“My Soso was a very sensitive child,” said Stalin’s mother.

“As soon as he heard the sound of his father singing balaam-balaam from the street, he’d immediately run to me asking if he could go to our neighbours’ until his father fell asleep.”

Following his rise she often lived in a Tsarist palace in the Caucasus, but she occupied only one tiny room and died in 1937. [story]

Young Stalin” by Simon Sebag Montefiore reveals how Stalin became Stalin, based on new evidence discovered in archives across the former USSR.

A video is available narrated by Stalin’s longtime bodyguard, I Was Stalin’s Bodyguard. I failed to convince CBS News to broadcast parts of the unusual tape during the period when the USSR was beginning to fall.

The elderly bodyguard reveals some of Stalin’s odd behavior, including special pots that a worried Stalin would padlock while cooking – even with his mother in the room!