Early life of Joseph Stalin
||This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (July 2009)|
Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union in the mid-20th century, was born on 18 December 1878 to a Georgian cobbler in Gori, Georgia. After not finishing his church-sponsored education, he embraced Marxism and became an avid follower of Vladimir Lenin. After being marked by Russian secret police for his activities, he became a full-time revolutionary and outlaw. He became one of the Bolsheviks' chief operatives in the Caucasus, organizing paramilitaries, spreading propaganda, raising money through bank robberies, and kidnappings and extortion. He was captured and exiled to Siberia numerous times, but often escaped. He became one of Lenin's closest associates, which helped him rise to the heights of power after the Russian Revolution.
Stalin was born as Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili (Georgian: იოსებ ბესარიონის ძე ჯუღაშვილი) in Gori in the Tiflis Governorate of the Russian Empire, to Besarion Jughashvili, a Georgian cobbler who owned his own workshop, and Ketevan Geladze, a Georgian who was born a serf. He was their fourth child; their three previous sons died in infancy.
Early childhood 
Initially, the Jughashvili family prospered, but Stalin's father became an alcoholic, which gradually led to his business failing and him becoming violently abusive to his wife and child. As their financial situation grew worse, Stalin's family moved homes at least nine times in Stalin's first ten years of life. His father beat his mother and himself so violently that Stalin once had blood in his urine for over a week. He later asked his mother "Why did you beat me so hard?", to which she replied "That's why you turned out so well."
The town where Stalin grew up was a violent and lawless place. It had only a small police force and a culture of violence that included gang warfare, organized street brawls and wrestling tournaments. Stalin was frequently involved in brawls with other children.
At the age of seven, Stalin fell ill with smallpox and his face was badly scarred by the disease. He later had photographs retouched to make his pockmarks less apparent. Stalin's native tongue was Georgian; he did not start learning Russian until he was eight or nine years old, and he never lost his strong Georgian accent.
At the age of ten, Stalin Received a scholarship to the Gori Theological School (Горийское Духовное Училище). His peers were mostly the sons of affluent priests, officials, and merchants. He and most of his classmates at Gori were Georgians and spoke mostly Georgian. However, at school they were forced to speak Russian, a policy set by Tsar Alexander III. Stalin was one of the best students in the class, earning top marks across the board. He became a very good choir singer and was often hired to sing at weddings. He also began to write poetry, something he would develop in later years.
Stalin's father had always wanted his son to be trained as a cobbler rather than be educated. He was infuriated when the boy was accepted into the school. In a drunken rage he smashed the windows of the local tavern, and later attacked the town police chief. Out of compassion for Stalin's mother, the police chief did not arrest Besarion, but told him to leave town. He moved to Tiflis where he found work in a shoe factory and left his family behind in Gori.
About the time Stalin began school, his left arm became disfigured. Stalin himself has given conflicting accounts as to the cause, either because of a blood poisoning or because of physical abuse. Whatever the cause, his left arm became a couple of inches shorter than his right; this injury would later exempt him from military service in World War I. At the age of 12, Stalin was struck again by a horse-drawn carriage and injured much more severely. He was taken to a hospital in Tiflis where he spent months in care. After he recovered, his father seized the boy and enrolled him as an apprentice cobbler at the shoe factory where he worked. When his mother – through the aid of contacts in the clergy and school staff – recovered the boy, his father cut off all financial support to his wife and son, leaving them to fend for themselves. Stalin returned to his school in Gori where he continued to excel. He graduated first in his class.
In 1894, at the age of 16, he enrolled at the Orthodox Seminary of Tiflis, to which he had been awarded a scholarship. The teachers at Tiflis Seminary were also determined to impose Russian language and culture on the Georgian students. Like many of his comrades, young Stalin reacted by being drawn to Georgian patriotism. For a time, he wrote Georgian poetry, for which he gained some fame.
During his time at the seminary, Stalin and numerous other students read forbidden literature that included Victor Hugo novels and revolutionary, including Marxist, material. He was caught and punished numerous times for this. He became an atheist in his first year. He insisted his peers call him "Koba", after the Robin Hood-like protagonist of the novel The Patricide by Alexander Kazbegi; he continued to use this pseudonym as a revolutionary. In August 1898, he joined the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, an organization from which the Bolsheviks would later form.
Shortly before the final exams, the Seminary abruptly raised school fees. Unable to pay, Stalin quit the seminary in 1899 and missed his exams, for which he was officially expelled. Shortly after leaving school, Stalin discovered the writings of Vladimir Lenin and decided to become a revolutionary.
Beginnings as a Marxist revolutionary 
Early adulthood in Tiflis 
After abandoning his priestly education, Stalin took a job as a clerk at the Tiflis Meteorological Observatory. Although the pay was relatively low (20 roubles a month), his workload was light, giving him plenty of time for revolutionary activities. He would organize strikes, lead demonstrations and give speeches. He soon caught the attention of the Tsar's secret police, the Okhranka.
On the night of 3 April 1901, the Okhranka arrested a number of SD Party leaders in Tiflis. Stalin was riding the tram to work when he spotted their agents waiting to ambush him outside the Observatory. He stayed on the tram and avoided capture. He went underground, becoming a full-time revolutionary, living off donations from friends, sympathizers and his Party. He began writing revolutionary articles for the Baku-based radical newspaper Brdzola ("Struggle").
Political organization beginnings 
In October, he fled to Batumi and got work at an oil refinery owned by the Rothschilds. In 1902, a fire broke out at the refinery, and it is strongly suspected Stalin was involved. The workers were entitled to a bonus for putting out the fire, but the manager suspected arson and refused to pay. In response, Stalin organized a series of strikes, which in turn led to arrests and street clashes with Cossacks. In one attempt to break their comrades out of prison, 13 strikers were killed when Cossacks intervened. Stalin distributed pamphlets portraying the dead as martyrs. On 18 April 1902, the authorities finally arrested Stalin at a secret meeting. At his trial, Stalin was acquitted of leading the riots due to lack of evidence, but was kept in custody whilst the authorities investigated his activities in Tiflis.
Joining the Bolsheviks 
Stalin ended up in the Siberian village of Novaya Uda on 9 December 1903. During this time, he heard that two rival factions within the Social-Democrats had formed: the Bolsheviks under Lenin and the Mensheviks under Julius Martov. Stalin, already an admirer, decided to join Lenin's group. He managed to obtain false papers and, on 17 January 1904, escaped Siberia by train, arriving back in Tiflis ten days later.
With no income, Stalin lived off his circle of friends. One of them introduced him to Lev Kamenev (then known as Lev Rosenfeld), his future co-ruler of the USSR after Lenin's death. At this time, Stalin favored a Georgian Social-Democratic party, which caused a rift with the majority who favored international Marxism. Threatened with expulsion, he was forced to write Credo, a paper renouncing his views (because this paper distanced himself from Lenin, when Stalin became ruler of the USSR, he tried to destroy all copies of this Credo, and many of those who had read it were shot). The following month, the Russo-Japanese War broke out between Japan and Russia. The war, which would eventually end in Russia's defeat, severely strained the Russian economy and caused a great deal of restlessness in Georgia. Stalin travelled across Georgia conducting political activity for his party. He also worked to undermine the Mensheviks through a campaign of slander and intrigue. These efforts brought him to Lenin's attention.
On 22 January 1905, Stalin was in Baku when Cossacks attacked a mass demonstration of workers, killing 200. This was part of a series of events which sparked off the Russian Revolution of 1905. Riots, peasant uprisings and ethnic massacres swept the Russian Empire. In February, ethnic Azeris and Armenians were slaughtering each other in the streets of Baku. Commanding a squad of armed Bolsheviks, Stalin ran protection rackets to raise party funds and stole printing equipment. Afterward, he headed west, where he continued to campaign against the Mensheviks, who enjoyed overwhelming support in Georgia. In the mining town of Chiatura, both Stalin and the Mensheviks competed for the support of the miners; they chose Jughashvili, preferring his plain and concise manner of speaking to the flamboyant oratory of the Menshevik speaker. From Chiatura, Stalin organized and armed Bolshevik militias across Georgia. With them, he ran protection rackets among the wealthy and waged guerrilla warfare on Cossacks, policemen and the Okhranka. Later that year, in the townhouse in which he had moved in Tiflis, he met Ekaterina Svanidze, who would become his first wife.
Meeting Lenin and early politics 
In December 1905, Stalin and two other activists were elected to represent the Caucasus at the next Bolshevik conference, which took place in Tampere, Finland. There, on 7 January 1906, Stalin met Lenin in person for the first time. Although Stalin was impressed by Lenin's personality and intellect, he was not afraid to contradict him. He objected to Lenin's proposal that they take part in elections to the recently formed Russian parliament, the Duma. At the conference he also met Yemelyan Yaroslavsky, his future propaganda chief, and Solomon Lozovsky, his future Deputy Foreign Commissar. After the conference, Stalin returned to Georgia, where Cossack troops were brutally trying to reconquer the rebellious region for the Tsar. In Tiflis, Stalin and the Mensheviks plotted the assassination of Major General Fyodor Gryaznov, which was carried out at the end of January 1906. Stalin continued to raise money for the Bolsheviks through extortion, bank robberies and hold-ups.
In April 1906, Stalin attended the Fourth Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. At the conference, he met Kliment Voroshilov, his future Defence Commissar and First Marshal; Felix Dzerzhinsky, future founder of the Cheka; and Grigory Zinoviev, with whom he would share power after Lenin's death. The Congress, in which the Bolsheviks were outnumbered, voted to ban bank robberies. This upset Lenin, who needed the bank robberies to raise money.
Stalin married Ekaterina Svanidze on 28 July 1906. On 31 March 1907, she gave birth to Stalin's first child, Yakov. Stalin and Lenin both attended the Fifth Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in London in 1907. This Congress consolidated the supremacy of Lenin's Bolshevik faction and debated strategy for communist revolution in Russia. Here, Stalin first met Leon Trotsky in person; Stalin immediately came to hate him, calling him "pretty but useless". After the conference, Stalin would begin to switch his focus away from Georgia, which was rife with feuding and dominated by the Mensheviks, to Russia, and he began writing in Russian.
1907 Tiflis bank robbery 
After returning to Tiflis, Stalin organized the robbing of a large delivery of money to the Imperial Bank on 26 June 1907. Stalin's gang ambushed the armed convoy in Yerevan Square with gunfire and homemade bombs. Around 40 people were killed, but all of Stalin's gang managed to escape alive with 250,000 roubles (about US$3.4 million in modern terms). Stalin and his family fled Tiflis two days later. A henchman delivered the money to Lenin in Finland, who then fled with it to Geneva. The Mensheviks, who had banned bank robberies (and did not get to share in the loot), were outraged. Stalin escaped expulsion, though the affair would cause him trouble for years to come.
Return to Baku 
Stalin's family moved to Baku. Whilst Stalin continued his revolutionary activities, his wife fell ill from Baku's pollution, heat, stress and malnutrition. She contracted typhus and died on 5 December 1907. Stalin was overcome with grief and retreated into mourning for several months. The loss also hardened him; he told a friend: "with her died my last warm feelings for humanity". He abandoned his son, Yakov, who was raised by his deceased wife's family.
When Stalin resumed his activities, he organized more strikes and agitation, this time focusing on the Muslim Azeri and Persian workers in Baku. He helped found a Muslim Bolshevik group called Hummet, and also supported the Persian Constitutional Revolution with manpower and weapons, and even visited Persia to organize partisans. Stalin ordered the murders of many Black Hundreds (radical supporters of the Tsar) and conducted protection rackets and ransom kidnappings against the oil tycoons of Baku. He also conducted counterfeiting operations and robberies. He befriended criminal gangs, and used them to obstruct the Mensheviks. Stalin's gangsterism upset the Bolshevik intelligentsia, but he was too influential and indispensable to oppose.
The Okhranka tracked down and arrested Stalin on 7 April 1908. After seven months in prison, he was sentenced to two years' exile. He arrived in the village of Solvychegodsk in early March 1909. After seven months in exile, he disguised himself as a woman and escaped on a train to St Petersburg. He returned to Baku in late July.
Bolshevik politics and exiles 
Spy hunting and exile 
The Bolsheviks were on the verge of collapse due to Okhranka activity within the Empire and infighting among the intelligentsia abroad. In desperation, he advocated a reconciliation with the Mensheviks (which Lenin opposed). He demanded the creation of a Russian Bureau to run the Social-Democratic Party from within the Empire, to which he was appointed. Stalin soon realized the Bolsheviks had been heavily infiltrated by Tsarist spies. He initiated a hunt for the traitors, but failed to root out any real spies - as revealed by Okhranka records - and caused much disarray in the Party.
On 5 April 1910 Stalin was yet again arrested by the Okhranka. He was banned from the Caucasus for five years and sentenced to complete his previous exile in Solvychegodsk. He was deported back there in September. In early 1911, Stalin's friends tried to sneak him some money to help his escape, but the fellow exile who was supposed to deliver the money instead kept it for himself (Stalin had the man shot in 1937), and he was forced to return to Solvychegodsk. During his exile, he had an affair with his landlady, Maria Kuzakova, with whom he fathered a son, Constantine. Stalin was released on 1 July 1911, while Maria was still pregnant. Stalin moved to Vologda in late July, where he had been ordered to reside for two months.
In January 1912, at the Prague Party Conference, Lenin led his Bolshevik faction out of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, founding the separate Bolshevik Party. A Central Committee was elected, but when some of its members returned to Russia, they were arrested by the Okhranka, having been secretly betrayed by fellow CC member Roman Malinovsky, an Okhranka spy. To fill the void, Lenin and Grigory Zinoviev coopted Stalin as a member of the Central Committee. When Stalin was informed of this, he left Vologda in late February.
Creating Pravda and further exile 
Stalin moved to Saint Petersburg in March 1912, lodging with Kavtaradze, maths tutor to the Alliluyev sisters. He took control of the Bolshevik weekly newspaper Zvezda. Stalin had been assigned to convert Zvezda into a daily and rename it Pravda. Initially, Stalin ran Zvezda from the home of Bolshevik Duma deputy Poletaev who was also a poet and was immune from arrest. The first issue of Pravda was published in 3 rooms on 5 May. It was legal at first even though its editor-in-chief, Stalin, was not. Another founder Vyacheslav Molotov whose old friend, Victor Tikhomirnov, was the son of a Kazan capitalist and funded Pravda with his inheritance.
Shortly afterwards, the Okhranka caught up with him again. On July 2, 1912 he was again exiled to Siberia for three years, this time to the small village of Narym. He escaped just thirty-eight days after arriving; this was his shortest exile. He returned to Saint Petersburg in September.
Stalin renewed his efforts to reconcile the Bolsheviks with the Mensheviks in the hope of salvaging the then struggling Marxist movement. He published editorials in Pravda advocating reconciliation, and secretly met with Menshevik leaders Jordania and Jibladze on several occasions. He turned down 47 of Lenin's articles, reaffirming his willingness to disagree with Lenin. This angered Lenin, who twice summoned Stalin to Kraków to argue policy. On the second visit at the end of 1912, Stalin was replaced by Sverdlov as editor-in-chief of Pravda, but was made senior leader of the Russian Bureau of the Bolshevik Party, and paid 2 roubles a day. Lenin also asked Stalin to write an essay laying out the Bolshevik position on national minorities.
After Kraków, Stalin spent several weeks in Vienna with a wealthy Bolshevik couple he met with Lenin in Kraków. While there he met for the first time Nikolai Bukharin, who would become a leading politician in the future Soviet government. They continued to discuss the issue of nationalities. Stalin completed his essay on the topic, entitled "Marxism and the National Question", which was published in March 1913.
Return and another exile 
Stalin returned to Saint Petersburg in February 1913. During this time, many Bolsheviks, including almost the entire Central Committee, had been arrested by the Okhranka, having been betrayed by Roman Malinovsky, a high-ranking Bolshevik who for years had been an Okhranka spy and agent provocateur. That month, an article had been published that outed Malinovsky as a spy, but the Bolsheviks dismissed it as Menshevik libel (ironically, Lenin and Stalin were his strongest defenders). On 8 March Malinovsky persuaded Stalin to attend a Bolshevik fundraising ball, which was raided by the Okhranka.
Stalin was condemned to four years in the remote Siberian province of Turukhansk. He was eventually joined by Kamenev and several other Bolshevik exiles. He spent six months in the small hamlet of Kostino on the Yenisei River. After learning that Stalin was planning an escape (he had received money and supplies from his comrades), the authorities moved him north to Kureika, a hamlet on the edge of the Arctic Circle. There, he lived the life of a hunter-gatherer, having learned fishing and hunting from local Siberian tribesmen. While there he began a 2-year affair with Lidia Pereprygina, then aged 13, with whom he fathered two children. The first died in infancy; the second, named Alexander, was born in April 1917.
In late 1916, Stalin was conscripted into the army. He was taken to Krasnoyarsk in February 1917, but the medical examiner there found him unfit for service due to his damaged left arm (a childhood injury). He spent his last four months of exile in the village of Achinsk.
Name and aliases 
Stalin's first name is also transliterated as "Iosif". His original surname, ჯუღაშვილი, is transliterated as "Jughashvili" or J̌uḡašvili. The Russian transliteration is "Джугашвили", which is in turn transliterated into English as "Dzhugashvili" and "Djugashvili"; -შვილი ("-shvili") is a Georgian suffix meaning "child" or "son".
Neo-Nazi and other anti-Semitic sources have claimed that "Dzhuga" or "Jugha" means "Jew" in Georgian and hence "Dzhugashvili" literally means "Jew-son" or son of a Jew. This, however, is incorrect as the word for "Jew" in Georgian is "ebraeli" (ებრაელი).
An article in the newspaper Pravda in 1988 claimed the word derives from the Old Georgian for "steel" which might be the reason for his adoption of the name Stalin. Сталин ("Stalin") is derived from combining the Russian сталь ("stal"), "steel", with the possessive suffix -ин ("-in"), a formula used by many other Bolsheviks, including Lenin.
According to theories Mihail Vayskopf  version, it is the Ossetian for "herd of sheep"; the surname "Jugayev" is common among Ossetians, and before the revolution the names in South Ossetia were traditionally written with the Georgian suffix, especially among Christianized Ossetians. Allusions to the hypothesis of Ossetian ethnicity of Stalin are present in the important Stalin Epigram by Osip Mandelstam:
- ..When he has an execution it's a special treat,
- ..And the Ossetian chest swells (Translation by A. S. Kline).
Like other Bolsheviks, he became commonly known by one of his revolutionary noms de guerre, of which "Stalin" was only the last. During his education in Tiflis, he picked up the nickname "Koba", the Robin Hood-like protagonist from the 1883 novel The Patricide by Alexander Kazbegi. This became his favorite nickname throughout his revolutionary life. Stalin continued to use Koba as his Party name in the underground world of the RSDLP. During conversations, Vladimir Lenin called Stalin "Koba". Among his friends he was sometimes known by his childhood nickname "Soso" – a Georgian diminutive form of the name Iosif (Ioseb).
Stalin is also reported to have used at least a dozen other nicknames, pseudonyms and aliases such as "Josef Besoshvili"; "Ivanov"; "A. Ivanovich"; "Soselo" (a youthful nickname), "K. Kato"; "G. Nizheradze"; "Chizhikov" or "Chizhnikov"; "Petrov"; "Vissarionovich"; "Vassilyi". Directly following World War II, as the Soviets were negotiating with the Allies, Stalin often sent directions to Molotov as "Druzhkov".
Date of birth 
For a long time, the date of birth of Stalin was falsified. Although there is an inconsistency among published sources about Stalin's year and date of birth, Iosif Dzhugashvili is found in the records of the Uspensky Church in Gori, Georgia as born on 18 December (Old Style: 6 December) 1878. This birth date is maintained in his School Leaving Certificate, his extensive tsarist Russia police file, a police arrest record from 18 April 1902 which gave his age as 23 years, and all other surviving pre-Revolution documents. As late as 1921, Stalin himself listed his birthday as 18 December 1878 in a curriculum vitae in his own handwriting. However, after his coming to power in 1922, Stalin changed the date to 21 December [O.S. 9 December] 1879. That became the day his birthday was celebrated in the Soviet Union.
Rumored real fathers 
|This section requires expansion. (September 2010)|
Rumours of being an Okhranka agent 
Stalin's apparent ease in escaping from Tsarist persecution and very light sentences bore rumours of him being an Okhranka agent. His efforts in 1909 to root out traitors caused much strife within the party; some accused him of doing this deliberately on the orders of the Okhranka. The Menshevik Razhden Arsenidze accused Stalin of betraying comrades he didn't like to the Okhranka. The prominent Bolshevik Stepan Shahumyan directly accused Stalin of being an Okhranka agent in 1916. According to his personal secretary Olga Shatunovskaya, these opinions were shared by Stanislav Kosior, Iona Yakir and other prominent Bolsheviks. The rumours were reinforced by being published in the Soviet Union memoirs of Domenty Vadachkory who wrote Stalin used an Okhranka badge (supposedly stolen) to help him escape exile. It also appears suspicious that Stalin played down the number of his escapes from prisons and exiles. Still there was no hard evidence of Stalin collaboration with the Okhranka were found and a few alleged reports from Stalin to the Okhranka published by media appear to be forgeries.
Historian Simon Sebag Montefiore, found that in all surviving Okhranka records Stalin is described as a revolutionary and never a spy. Montefiore argues Stalin escaped from his exiles so frequently because the exile system was not secure: an exile only needed money and false papers to escape the village where he was settled, and thousands did. Stalin also had spies of his own in the Okhranka, warning him of their actions. In 1956, the magazine Life published a letter by Colonel Ermin, head of the Tiflis Okhranka, that said Stalin was an agent, but it has since been shown to be a forgery. In his 1967 biography of Stalin, Edward Ellis Smith argued that Stalin was an Okhranka agent by citing his suspicious ability to escape from Okhranka dragnets, travel unimpeded, and rabble-rouse full-time with no apparent source of income. One such example was the raid that occurred on the night of April 3, 1901, when nearly everyone of importance in the Socialist-Democratic movement in Tiflis was arrested, except for Stalin, who was apparently "enjoying the balmy spring air, and in one of his to-hell-with-the-revolution moods, [which] is too impossible for serious consideration." Montefiore, however, wrote that Stalin spotted Okhranka agents waiting for him outside his place of employment whilst he was riding a tram; he stayed on the tram and immediately went into hiding.
A speculation exists, that some Bolshevisks were in fact double agents. Since there was no practical way for the revolutionaries to avoid eventual infiltration of their ranks by the Okhranka provocateurs, the leaders secretly allowed some to become agents in order to gain more benefits for their cause than they had to trade in. A possible example of this was Roman Malinovsky, who was exposed beyond any doubt to have been a provocateur, yet he returned to Russia from abroad after the October Revolution in hopes of being acquitted. And Lenin was very reluctant at believing the evidence, saying the release of it might have been intended by the Okhranka to play the Bolsheviks against one another (which it indeed might have been, if they had figured out Malinovsky's real loyalties). However, faced with the consequences of admitting such a shady practice and the possibility of exposing other such double agents who remained valuable to the party, Lenin had to give up and Malinovsky was shot.
- Simon Sebag Montefiore. Young Stalin. 2007. ISBN 978-0-297-85068-7
- Ludwig, Arnold M., King of the Mountain: The Nature of Political Leadership, University Press of Kentucky, 2002, ISBN 0-8131-9068-1 p.152
- Montefiore, Young Stalin, p. 26
- Brackman, Roman. The secret file of Joseph Stalin: a hidden life. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
- Montefiore, Young Stalin, p. 28, chapter 2
- Famous interview with Journalist Emil Ludwig
- Montefiore, Young Stalin, p. 54, chapter 6
- Montefiore, Young Stalin, p. 61, chapter 7
- Montefiore. Young Stalin. pg 69
- Montefiore, Young Stalin, p. 77 - Stalin's complicity is implied in the memoirs of Constantine Kandelaki, a Social-Democrat and colleague of Stalin in Batumi at the time.
- Montefiore, Young Stalin, p. 100
- Montefiore, Young Stalin, p. 101
- Montefiore, Young Stalin, p. 111
- Montefiore. Young Stalin. pg 125
- Los Angeles Herald, 31st January 1906
- Montefiore. Young Stalin. pg 135
- Gould, Mark (24 October 2004). "Luxury beckons for East End's house of history". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2008-07-19.
- Montefiore, Young Stalin, p. 148
- Montefiore, Young Stalin, p. 167, chapt. 22
- Montefiore. Young Stalin. pg 171
- Montefiore. Young Stalin. pg 177
- Montefiore. Young Stalin. pg 182
- Montefiore, Young Stalin, p. 185, chapt. 25
- Montefiore, Young Stalin, p. 196, chapter 26
- Montefiore. Young Stalin. pg 198
- Robert Service. Stalin: A Biography. 2004. ISBN 978-0-330-41913-0
- Montefiore, Young Stalin, chapter 28
- Montefiore, Young Stalin, p. 261, chapter 37
- Предки Сталина (Russian)
- "ИМЯ СТАЛИН" (Russian)
- Rayfield, p.18.
- Montefiore, Simon. "Epilogue". Young Stalin (paperback ) (2007 Costa biography winner edition ed.). Britain: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 395. ISBN 0-297-85068-7.
- "Prominent figures". State and Power in Russia. Retrieved 2008-07-19.
- "Was Prejevalsky really the father of Joseph Stalin?". Logoi.com. Retrieved 2008-10-19.
- Edvard Radzinsky Stalin Chapter Thirteenth provocateur  (Russian)
- Агент Охранки или провокатор по призванию? by Sergey Zemlyanoy Nezavisimaya Gazeta 3 July 2002 (Russian)
- Тайные грабежи Сталина крышевал Ленин Komsomolskaya Pravda 13 November 2008
- СТАЛИН - АГЕНТ ОХРАНКИ: ЗА И ПРОТИВ by A. Ostrovsky (Russian)
- Roman Brackman The secret file of Joseph Stalin: a hidden life 466 pages Published by Routledge, 2001 ISBN 0-7146-5050-1 ISBN 9780714650500
- Montefiore, Young Stalin, p. 188, chapter 25
- Smith, Edward Ellis.The Young Stalin. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1967. pg 77.
- Montefiore, Simon Sebag (2007), Young Stalin, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, ISBN 978-0-297-85068-7
- Trotsky's biography of Stalin