In 1938, While The Purges Are Underway In The Soviet Union, Svetlana Stalin Issues "An Order" To Her Father, Joseph Stalin
Note, dated December 13, 1938, with inscription from Stalin on a playful note from his daughter Svetlana, or "Setanka" as he called her. During this bloody period of Stalin's purges of the government and military, the ruthless dictator takes time to accept orders from his daughter. She writes at the top, "Papa! The order about wearing your overcoat is still in effect. You must obey! The Owner - Setanka." At the bottom, Stalin replies: "To be obeyed. The Secretary J. Stalin."
Stalin had a son, Yakov, from a previous marriage, and he and Alliluyeva had two more children, a boy named Vasily and Svetlana, who was Stalin’s favorite. Throughout her youth, they played a game in which she would send short letters to him, bossing him about: “I order you to take me to the theatre”; “I order you to let me go to the movies.” He would write back: “I obey,” “I submit,” or “It will be done.” He called her “my little housekeeper,” and signed off, “From Setanka-Housekeeper’s wretched Secretary, the poor peasant.”