Joseph Stalin Marries Ekaterina Svanidze
In about 1904 Stalin had married a pious Georgian girl, Ekaterina Svanidze.
She died some three years later and left a son, Jacob, whom his father treated with contempt, calling him a weakling after an unsuccessful suicide attempt in the late 1920s; when Jacob was taken prisoner by the Germans during World War II, Stalin refused a German offer to exchange his son.
Kato Svanidze (April 2, 1880 – December 5, 1907) was the Georgian first wife of Joseph Stalin. They were married in 1906.
Ekaterina, nicknamed Kato, was a tailor who worked for the ladies of the Russian army.
She had two sisters, Alexandra (nicknamed "Sashiko") and Maria ("Mariko"). She had at least one brother, but some sources claim she had more than one. Because her only known brother Alexander Svanidze spoke German and French and studied in Germany, it is unlikely that her family was poor. Alexander Svanidze was married to Maria Korona, a singer at the Tiflis Opera.
She married Joseph Stalin in 1906 and gave him a son, Yakov Dzhugashvili. She died of typhus in 1907. Much of her family (including her sister Mariko and brother Alexander) would later be executed during her husband's Great Terror.
Stalin would later state that other than his mother she may have been the only person he truly loved. At her funeral he told a friend that "with her died any human feeling in him."