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The old rumor that Prejevalsky fathered Joseph Stalin

   Was Prejevalsky really the father of Joseph Stalin?

Prejevalsky (also commonly spelled as Prjevalsky, Przhevalsky, Prezhevalsky - the English transliterations of a Russian transliteration of a Polish name) was unquestionably the greatest Russian explorer ever. He died in Karakol in today's Kyrgyzstan in 1888 and the city was renamed Przhevalsk in his honor.

Rumor has it that Prejevalsky was the real father of Joseph Stalin, the Soviet dictator, whose original name was Josef Djugashvili (Jugashvili). People say that Stalin looks similar to Prejevalsky (a fact one can hardly deny) who has been in Gori two years before the birth of Josef. G. A. Egnatashvili, who knew Stalin's family well, commented on the rumor, "Complete nonsense! I have also read somewhere about this. They say that Ekaterina Georgievna worked in the guest house where Prejevalsky stayed, and afterwards Prejevalsky paid Vissarin Djugashvili to marry her, in order to save her from shame... But she never worked in a guesthouse! She did laundry, worked as a maid and helped my grandfather with the household. I also know that there are lots of legends about Stalin's real father. So what if one and half years before Stalin was born Prejevalsky had been in Gori? ... Does that mean that he is his father? Nonsense! You know how strict it is in Georgia in this respect. And there is nothing you could really hide from the people, there are many people who live very long lives." (Loginov V. "Moy Stalin," Shpion, 1993 #2, pp. 39-40.)

Apparently, even during Stalin's lifetime there were rumors about this. One would have to assume that Stalin not only knew but encouraged those, otherwise he could have terminated hearsay in a bloody and efficient way.

Colonel Prejevalsky Josef Stalin
Prejevalsky on the left, Stalin on the right. There is definitely a resemblance here but that might just be the uniform and the mustache.

The life of Stalin
Foreign retirees in Manchuria
Prejevalsky's Exploration in Mongolia
The Third Asiatic Expedition in Mongolia
The Imperial Family of Russia 1
The Imperial Family of Russia 2
Waiting in Ulaan Baatar
My first trip to Tibet
The Expulsion of Count Tolstoi
Russian names in English

   Was Prejevalsky really the father of Joseph Stalin?

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