From the archives


One More Version, or a Fact

From the archives of a Moscow nobleman

I would like to share with our readers a story told by a Moscow nobleman who spent many years researching libraries and archives; eventually, he described these events in a novella that I read in the seventies, a novella dedicated to… well, you will find that out soon enough.

Unfortunately, the exact text of the novella escapes me now, but I will still try to convey its content s as close to the original as I possibly can. It should be obvious that this novella could not have been published in Moscow at the time of its creation. I am pretty sure that it remained unpublished, which is what made me all the more anxious to meet Edward Radzinsky, who wrote a fundamental piece of research about the author. Much to my chagrin, Edward Radzinsky never made it to Boston, and I have decided to familiarize our readers with the story, which they can later compare to the historical findings of E. Radzinsky.

Let us turn to the events of the late 19th century described in the novella, particularly, 1878-1879 – the year Joseph Stalin was born. At that time the famous traveler Przhewalski was 39 years old, and he was already named the honorable member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. In middle of one of his trips to Georgia, Nikolai Mikhailovich received an invitation from a Georgian count to visit his home, where Przewalski happened to meet a charming young relative of the princess. Our honorary member fell deeply in love with the girl… and very soon after this meeting, the princess found it necessary to marry off her newly pregnant niece. While our hero is off traveling, an alcoholic shoemaker Vissarion Dzhugashvili was offered a young new wife, the future mother of "the Great Leader,” the shoemaker was completely unaware of his bride’s delicate condition.

A short while later, our ardent lover comes back to the prince’s mansion, where he was informed of the changes in his beloved’s life style. Thanks to some simple calculations and a few hints from the princess, Przewalski realizes he now has a son.

Stalin’s permanent feud with his mother is well known; perhaps, one of the reasons for his hatred had been the postal money orders that arrived regularly in her name and had allowed Stalin to receive a decent primary education.

Close resemblance between Stalin and Przewalski is frequently noted, especially thanks to a well-known monument of the great traveler that can be found in the town in Central Asia that carries his name. The author of the novella experimented with comparing the death masks; the resemblance left no doubts.

And yet, these are not the only facts the story tells. The novella also describes the circumstances under which Joseph Dzhugashvili joined the Bolshevik party. Occupied by sea piracy, Stalin became of the few survivors of yet another robbery and a sole owner of the stolen treasure. Moving the loot to the mountains, Stalin met a young shepherd. Without harming the child, he let him go. For many years afterwards, he looked for him and having found the boy, Stalin’s villainous arm struck him, as he has done many times before.

Stalin found the boy many years later among the members of a Georgian dance group that performed in Moscow at the concert dedicated to the Great Leader’s birthday. After that day, no one had ever seen that young dzhigit, who disappeared inside the Kremlin walls without a trace.

The money gained as a result of the piracy operations was partially transferred to the Communist Party. Stalin became a member of the Communist Party in 1898. That is when the career of the Great Tyrant had taken off – a participant in the Caucasian Revolution in 1905-07, member of the Russian Bureau of the Central Committee in 1912-1913, staff member at such newspapers as "Zvezda" and "Pravda, the People's Commissar for Ethnic Issues in 1917, and finally member of the Central Committee, Politburo and Central Committee, and a General Secretary in 1922.


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