Interviewer: What kind of person was Allilueva (Stalin’s wife)? They say she wasn’t quite normal.
Molotov: She looked sane enough. Nerves and so forth – that could be. But you couldn’t consider her abnormal. Needless to say, her suicide had a bad effect.
Interviewer: Why did she shoot herself? Was Stalin treating her that badly?
Molotov: He wasn’t treating her badly, but there may have been some jealousy.
Interviewer: Was he unfaithful to her? Someone at work?
Molotov: He wasn’t unfaithful, but a person like her could be influenced.
Interviewer: People keep talking about a letter she left. They say that besides Stalin, only Molotov read it.
Molotov: A letter she left? First I’ve heard about it. Mmm, what things people make up.
Interviewer: So, jealousy is the most probable cause of Allilueva’s death?
Molotov: Of course, jealousy. But, to me, she had no reason for it. The was a lady barber to whom he (Stalin) used to go for a shave. That displeased his wife. A very jealous person. Why? She was so young. . .
We had a big party at Voroshilov’s place after the November 7 celebration in 1932. Stalin made a tiny ball of bread and, in front of everyone, threw it at Egorov’s wife. I saw this, but paid no attention to it. Perhaps this played a part.
I think Allilueva was a bit irrational at the time. This had such an effect on her that she couldn’t control herself. She left the party with my wife, Polina Semenovna. They took a walk around the Kremlin. It was late at night, and she complained to my wife that she didn’t like this, didn’t like that. . . About the lady barber. . . Why Stalin had flirted at the party. . . In fact he had drunk a bit, it was simply a joke, nothing special. But this troubled her.
She was jealous of him. . . She shot herself that night. Polina Semenovna condemned her act. She would say, “Nadia was wrong. She left him at such a difficult time!”
What do I remember? Stalin picked up the pistol she had used and said it was a toy, that it had only been fired once a year. It was a gift. I think a brother in law gave it to her. . .
“I was a bad husband. I had no time to take her to the movies,” Stalin said.
People started a rumor that he had killed her. I had never seen him cry before, but at Allilueva’s coffin I saw tears running down his cheeks.
Molotov Remembers, pp. 172-73.