Nazilerin Esaretindeyken Yaşamını Kaybeden Josef Stalin’in Oğlu Yakov Cugaşvili’nin Trajik Hikayesi

Who Is Yakov Dzhugashvili, Son of Stalin, Who Lost His Life in the Captivity of the Nazis?

II. World War II was a terrible event that saw great destruction and tragedies. The war also gave rise to tragic human stories. Of course, some of these war-shaped stories never surfaced or were forgotten over the years. But some tragic stories have been remembered over the years, especially if one of the actors was a key figure in the war! The story of Josef Stalin, the tough leader of the Soviet Union during the war, and his eldest son, Yakov Dzhugashvili, has not been forgotten over the years! Yakov, who had difficulty in establishing a close relationship with his father from an early age, did not receive significant help from his father when he was captured by the Nazis! Whereas, if Stalin had felt a little love for his son, maybe he could have saved his life! Here’s what you need to know about Yakov Dzhugashvili, who died in a Nazi concentration camp.

Yakov Dzhugashvili was born in Georgia in 1907

His father was a poor and uninterested man! Yosif Visaryonovich Dzhugashvili wholeheartedly worked for the Bolshevik revolution, neglecting his family and Yakov. Yosif committed a bank robbery for the Bolshevik revolution the year his son was born. Thus, he managed to attract the attention of Lenin, who was the leader of the Bolsheviks, and began to take more roles in the communist movement. But the Tsarist police were after him! For this reason, Yosif Visaryonovich abducted his family to Baku, but he continued to work for the revolution. In this process, Yakov Dzhugashvili lost his mother before he was one year old. He was raised by his mother’s family and aunt during his infancy and childhood. Yosif Visaryonovich Dzhugashvili became one of the important figures of the Bolshevik movement and changed his name to Josef Stalin, which means “Man of Steel”.

Yakov did not see his father until he was 14 years old. Growing up himself devoid of paternal affection, Stalin was not very good at parenting.

That’s why most of Yakov’s time with Stalin was physically and emotionally violent! So much so that Josef Stalin did not even allow his son to change his surname to Stalin. Moreover, Yakov was growing up seeing that Stalin treated his children from his second wife better than he was! The Soviet leader was as cruel to his son as he was to his political opponents. At this point, some historians argue that Stalin’s anger towards his son stems from his resemblance to his mother. Continuing to mourn the death of his first wife and could not accept the death of the woman he loved, Stalin remembered the woman he loved in Yakov and was throwing tantrums against this situation. It’s hard to know how true this claim is, but there are dozens of proofs that Stalin made Yakov’s life hell!

The troubled father-son relationship led Yakov to attempt suicide in the late 1920s.

Because Yakov wanted to marry a woman named Zoya Gunina. Whereas Gunina was the daughter of an Orthodox priest, which was not acceptable to Stalin. Indeed, Stalin went into a fit of rage when the young couple announced his decision to marry. As Zoya Gunina walked away from Stalin in panic and fear, Yakov’s reaction was even more severe! Unable to calm down his father, the young man took his gun, aimed it at his own heart and fired! Fortunately, the bullet hit his lungs, not his heart. Some historians claim that after this incident, Stalin looked at his son and said something like “You couldn’t even do that”! Yakov, who was treated after the incident, survived the danger of life. However, his relationship with his father was bruised once again, never to heal again…

Yakov Dzhugashvili and Zoya Gunina got married despite Stalin’s opposition

But this marriage did not bring happiness to the young couple. Girls who were born died shortly after birth. The couple, whose relations deteriorated further after this incident, separated two years after their marriage.

Yakov joined the Red Army in 1941 at Stalin’s urging.

Yakov Dzhugashvili

However, before joining the army, he was working as an engineer. However, his father’s destiny was to become a soldier. After a short military training, his duty began and he was sent to the front with the rank of lieutenant…

Although Yakov Dzhugashvili was not really a soldier, Stalin wanted him to fight on the front line.

Yakov Dzhugashvili

Even when the Soviet leader sent his son off to the army, only the words “go and fight” spilled from his lips… However, the story of Yakov Dzhugashvili on the battlefield, who went to the front following Stalin’s orders, did not last long. In early July 1941, Dzhugashvili and his soldiers from the 20th army were captured by Nazi troops in Belarus. Some Soviet soldiers shared Djugashvili’s true identity with the Nazis. Thereupon, the young lieutenant tried to escape from the concentration camp to which he was taken, but was unsuccessful. Thus began the days of captivity of Stalin’s first child…

The Nazis saw Stalin’s son as a propaganda tool. That’s why they treated him pretty well.

Yakov Dzhugashvili

Photographs of Djugashvili were often featured in propaganda posters prepared for Soviet soldiers. It was said that Dzhugashvili was treated very well, and that they would be welcomed if they surrendered. German propaganda was pumping the lie that Yakov Dzhugashvili voluntarily laid down his arms and that he was quite happy with it. Moreover, at the beginning, Stalin also believed in this propaganda. He thought his son had betrayed his country. However, as he learned more about the incident, he realized that the Nazi propaganda was just a big lie.

Several rescue operations were carried out for Yakov Dzhugashvili, but these attempts were unsuccessful.

Yakov Dzhugashvili

Around the same time, Adolf Hitler offered Josef Stalin a deal. Exchange of German Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus and Yakov Dzhugashvili, captured by Soviet troops in the city of Stalingrad. However, the harsh leader of the Soviet Union did not accept this offer, saying that “marshals and lieutenants are not exchanged”. Thus, it became impossible for Djugashvili to escape from captivity. In addition, Dzhugashvili did not want to be a tool for the black propaganda of the Nazis and did not want to cooperate. As a result, the attitude towards him had also hardened.

He died in the concentration camp where he was held captive on April 14, 1943.

Yakov Dzhugashvili

However, different claims were made about how Djugashvili died at that time. Along with photographs of Djugashvili’s dead body, the Nazis declared that he had been killed while trying to escape from the camp. However, subsequent extensive investigations and autopsy revealed the possibility that Dzhugashvili might have already died before he was shot by the Nazis! So Yakov Dzhugashvili might have committed suicide after losing hope of escaping the concentration camp where he was held captive! Today, some experts think that Stalin’s refusal of Hitler’s offer may have driven Dzhugashvili to psychological destruction.

Josef Stalin received the news of his son’s death but had no knowledge of the details. He even promised a $250,000 reward to anyone in East Germany who would inform about this event after the war.

Yakov Dzhugashvili

However, he never knew the details of his son’s death. He only knew that his son had been shot by the Germans. It was also hidden from Stalin even though the allied states had a comprehensive report on this issue… Yakov Dzhugashvili was awarded the First Class Order of the Patriotic War in 1977…

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