Joseph Stalin's Son Yakov Dzhugashvili Commits Suicide
THE truth behind the mysterious death of Stalin's son, Yakov Dzhugashvili, in a German concentration camp has finally been unravelled by Russian historians.
For years German propagandists misled historians into believing that Dzhugashvili was shot by guards as he tried to escape from Sacksenhausen, where he was imprisoned. Now it has been disclosed that the Russian artillery lieutenant was so overcome by shame at the news of his father's massacre of 15,000 Poles at Katyn in 1940 that he committed suicide by flinging himself on to the camp's electric fence.
Dzhugashvili served as an artillery officer in the Red Army and was captured in the early stages of the German invasion of USSR at the Battle of Smolensk. The Germans later offered to exchange Yakov for Friedrich Paulus, the German Field Marshal captured by the Soviets after the Battle of Stalingrad, but Stalin turned the offer down, allegedly saying "I will not trade a Marshal for a Lieutenant". There was another proposition as well, that Hitler wanted to exchange Yakov for his nephew Leo Raubal; this proposition was not accepted either.