The life of Joseph Stalin’s eldest son – Yakov Dzhugashvili – has been shrouded in much mystery, particularly with regard to his death. Much of this misunderstanding was deliberately generated by the Western powers during the US-inspired Cold War. This form of disinformation strove to incorrectly present Soviet Communism as being synonymous with German Nazism, Joseph Stalin to be a dictator like Adolf Hitler, and the Soviet populace to be ‘imprisoned’ in their own worker’s paradise. The important point to remember about this type of ‘official’ and ‘ahistorical’ assessment was to propagate derision, uncertainty and confusion at every opportunity, and thoroughly discredit Soviet Socialism at every turn. The fact that this is not logical or truthful was irrelevant to the capitalist system, which viewed its ‘corrupt’ academia as being a means of ‘self-defence’ against the threat of a potential Socialist Revolution. Just as the Nazi Germans blamed the USSR for the atrocity carried-out by German troops at Katyn (a false narrative that has now main-streamed not only in the West, but also modern Russia), the Nazi Germans deployed what might be referred to today as a ‘psychological operation’ against the leader of the Soviet Union during the early stages of Hitler’s invasion of the USSR in July, 1941 and thereafter.
The English language Wikipedia page dealing with this subject, rather predictably follows the Western generated ‘myth’, as do some researchers in modern (capitalist) Russia, but recent Russian language research reveals a very different story.
The Nazi German Myth (Still Perpetuated by the West)
Captain Yakov Dzhugashvili was an officer in the Soviet Artillery that took part in the Battle of Smolensk. This was a hard fought battle that ended with a Nazi German victory. On July 16th, 1941, Nazi German troops were assessing the battlefield, the unconscious body of Yakov Dzhugashvili was discovered. The Nazi German story is that this man identified himself as Stalin’s son and added that he did not have his ‘official’ identification because he had swapped IDs with another Soviet soldier. Yakov Dzhugashvili apparently stated that he did not agree with his father’s political views, and advised all Soviet people to ‘surrender’ to the Nazi German occupiers and help over-throw the Soviet State. The Nazi Germans stated that later, they offered to exchange Yakov Dzhugashvili for Field Marshal Paulus (the German General that had surrendered German forces to the Soviets at Stalingrad), but Stalin refused on the grounds that a Field Marshall cannot be exchanged for an ordinary soldier. Stalin is further reported to have said that his son should have had the courage to shoot himself before falling into the hands of the Nazi Germans. Nazi German propaganda concluded this story by stating that in April, 1943, whilst housed in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, Yakov Dzhugashvili was shot dead by a Guard when he made a run for the wire. Below are the photographs used by the Nazi Germans to perpetuate this myth:
Yakov Dzhugashvili Did Not Surrender
In 2016, the Russian language ‘e-news’ site published an online article entitled ‘Сыновья уходят в бой: как воевали дети Сталина’, or ‘Stalin’s Sons Go Off to do Battle’, which gathers together and logically assessed all the available evidence regarding Yakov Dzhugashvili. Despite all kinds of statements being attributed to Joseph Stalin about the alleged capture of his son, in fact there are no official records in the Soviet Archive that make any reference to being captured, or Stalin making any comment of such an occurrence either publicly or privately. This suggests that although the Nazi German myth was taken seriously in the West prior to 1991, it was unknown as a story in the USSR, until after its collapse in 1991. After the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the new ‘capitalist’ Russia was quick to import all kinds of anti-Soviet propaganda from the West, with the Nazi German myth of the capture of Yakov Dzhugashvili being prominent amongst them. This myth is important for the anti-Soviet lobby as it apparently demonstrates the ‘uncaring’ and ‘dictatorial’ nature of Joseph Stalin, and the fact that he was so unpopular that even his eldest son hated him. None of this is true. The photographs the Nazi Germans used look nothing like Yakov Dzhugashvili, and this must be because the Nazi Germans did not know what he really looked like, and had not recovered his dead body after the Battle of Smolensk – and if they had – perhaps the wounds were so appalling that his facial structure could not be discerned. Obviously in an attempt to palm-off a bad lookalike for Yakov Dzhugashvili, the Nazi Germans would have had to destroy the ‘real’ body to prevent awkward questions at a later date.
Two weeks after the Battle of Smolensk, Beria handed Stalin a copy of the above flyer allegedly featuring the news of the capture of his eldest son Yakov Dzhugashvili – effectively stating that he had chosen to ‘surrender’ to Nazi German forces because he disagreed with Socialism. Stalin apparently had no idea who the man was pictured on the flyer and automatically knew that Yakov Dzhugashvili was loyal to the Soviet Union and would never have voluntarily chosen surrender, or made any statement denigrating his father. In fact, Stalin’s adopted son Artem Sergeev, led a guerilla group of Soviet fighters behind enemy lines for the duration of the war, and reported that he had discovered and destroyed a crude printing press used by the Nazi Germans for anti-Soviet propaganda, in the Smolensk area. The decision to ‘propagandise’ the alleged ‘capture’ of Yakov Dzhugashvili appears to have been a ‘local’ Nazi German decision, that gathered a momentum as an ever expanding urban legend, as time went on. As Soviet casualties were appalling, many bodies could not be properly identified or even recovered – Yakov Dzhugashvili could have suffered this fate (as did millions of other Soviet men and women). Another alternative mentioned in Russian language sources is that Yakov Dzhugashvili stayed behind to destroy his artillery guns, to stop them falling into Nazi German hands, and in so doing blew himself up to avoid capture. Whatever the case, it certainty seems that Stalin was under the impression early on, that his eldest son had bravely died fighting in the Battle of Smolensk. However, despite this assessment of the situation, Stalin ordered Soviet Intelligence to carry-out a more thorough investigation and its was confirmed that Yakov Dzhugashvili had died bravely on the battlefield, and had not fallen into Nazi German hands, betrayed his father, or been taken to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. In fact it is thought that the ‘actor’ employed to play Yakov Dzhugashvili may well have been ‘shot’ in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, when the Nazi Germans no longer had any need for him in 1943 (according to Artem Sergeev). During the US-inspired Cold War, the West resurrected this Nazi German myth as a means to discredit Stalin and the Soviet achievement of defeating Germany Nazism during the Great Patriotic War (1941-45), which saw the deaths of between 27- 40 million Soviet men, women and children.
English Language Reference:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakov_Dzhugashvili (Perpetuates the ‘myth’ of Yakov Dzhugashvili surrendering to the Nazi Germans)
Russian Language References:
http://e-news.pro/history/106059-synovya-uhodyat-v-boy-kak-voevali-deti-stalina.html (Exposes the ‘myth’ of Yakov Dzhugashvili surrendering to the Nazi Germans)
http://secrets-world.com/interesting/7557-syn-stalina-yakov-dzhugashvili.html (Conveys the ‘myth’ of Yakov Dzhugashvili surrendering to the Nazi Germans – including the photographs used at the time to perpetuate this hoax)
http://proslogogu.ru/dzhugashvili-yakov-iosifovich/ (Conveys a more complete biographical background for Yakov Dzhugashvili, whilst casting doubt on the ‘myth’ of his demise)