When Lana Met Sergo

by Jay Nordlinger

On the homepage today, I conclude my (brief) tour of sons-in-law, inspired by the unusual relationship between President Trump and Jared Kushner. Every son-in-law, and every father-in-law, should have such a relationship! In today’s installment, I write mainly of dictatorships: the families of Stalin, Duvalier, Assad, and Saddam. I mention that Svetlana Stalin had three or four marriages, depending on how you count. (She herself would have said four. She lived with an Indian man, whom the Kremlin’s No. 1 at the time, Kosygin, forbade her to marry.)

Before any of these marriages occurred, Svetlana had the hots for Sergo Beria — yes, the son of Lavrenti, Stalin’s sadistic security chief. Sergo was married, but Svetlana tried to upend that marriage, unsuccessfully.

I note this in my “tour” today, but would like to add something, here on the Corner — quoting from my book on sons and daughters of dictators:

In the mid-1990s, Sergo Beria was interviewed by Andrew Higgins of the London Independent. Little Beria criticized Svetlana because she had turned against her father. He himself venerated Stalin, as he did his own father.

Par for the course (which makes Svetlana, for all her faults, outstanding, and morally courageous).

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