Joseph Stalin's Son Yakov Is Born

Yakov Dzhugashvili had never been popular with his father, whom he held in dread.

Stalin disapproved of his choice of wife, Yulia Meltzer, a ballet dancer. When war broke out for the Russians in 1941 Yakov, a gentle man, in marked contrast to his father, had been sent to the front, as if to make the point that Stalin expected all Russians, no matter how influential or well connected they were, to share the nation’s burden of sacrifice. Yakov’s artillery unit had apparently been surrounded, and he was taken prisoner.

General Zhukov provided in his memoirs the following example of Stalin's brutal character. The German invaders captured Stalin's son, Yakov Dzhugashvili, in July 1941. When the war broke out, Yakov enlisted in the army to fight the Nazi invaders. 'Stalin' was the alias for Joseph Dzhugashvili since the pre-revolutionary time in the underground movement. The captors proposed to exchange Yakov for a German general taken prisoner by the Red Army. Stalin Categorically refused. He said to his daughter, Svetlana, 'War is war.'