Chrese Evans, Joseph Stalin’s granddaughter: a study of a woman conflicted with her family legacy and whose strived to lead her own unique life.
Making her tabloid foray is tattoo ensconced woman Chrese Evans of Portland, Oregon who happens to be the granddaughter of one of the badass dictators of the 20th century, Joseph Stalin.
A self confessed badass herself, British educated, Chrese Evans, now 44, insists she’s American pie as can be and far removed from her family legacy, the former iron hand ruler of the now defunct Soviet Union.
For those of the millennial set, and shy on history, millions were killed during Chrese Evan’s grandfather’s brutal rein which ran from 1929 to 1953, when he ruled with an iron first as he transformed the USSR into a military superpower and then some.
A report from the UK’s Express describes the 44 year old chanteuse as a Buddhist who runs an antique store and the daughter of Stalin’s only daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva who defected from the Soviet Union in 1996, marrying Evan’s future father, architect William Wesley Peters and soon after changing her name to Lana Peters.
The sole child of her mother’s third marriage to Peters and the youngest of Alliluyeva’s three children, Evans was born Olga but later went on to change her name. Can you guess why?
Soberingly the daughter tells of her mother only being married to her father for three years and dying five years ago, aged 85 to colon cancer.
Acknowledging the lifetime angst her mother went on to feel over her despot grandfather’s legacy, the daughter attempts to present a portrait that seldom few come to know.
Tells the granddaughter via the dailymail: ‘Of course, she abhors what Stalin did,’
‘But there was a period when so many people held her responsible for his actions that she actually started to think maybe it was true. It’s so unjust.’
Adds the daughter who retains unbridled admiration of her mother: ‘She was always proud of me, when I hadn’t even really accomplished anything, the unconditional love, which I haven’t felt from anybody else, ever, because she was my mother, and that warmth of a friendship, which I probably will look for, for the rest of my life in other people.’
Tellingly, Evans tells of her mother shielding her from being constantly confronted with her grandfather’s bloody reign of terror.
Told Evans via PBS last year: ‘It wasn’t a part of my past at all, until I was a young teenager, because she kept me very, very sheltered from it,’ said Evans.
‘She always called me American as apple pie.
‘She wanted me – she always wanted to protect me from the hardships that she had had to go through.
‘We had a very special relationship, once I had become probably a young teenager.
‘Sometimes, I was doing the parenting. Sometimes, she was.
‘We were a little bit more of an equal partnership, sort of a super duo.’
While she may acknowledge her controversial family legacy, Evans is certainly not shy when comes to showing off her own unique style and attitude.
A regular user of social media, Joseph Stalin’s granddaughter has come to maintain a very active social media presence.
Fun and favorite postings include Evans posing with a machine gun (that ought to make granddad happy…) along with a bullet belt slung over her shoulder. Of course there are images of Chrese relishing in her favorite homemade Russian soups too.
Writes the granddaughter under one posting: ‘Borscht from scratch. Love making it, feels like Mom was right next to me.’
Having worked a stint with the IRS (could you imagine?), Evans tells of eventually leaving to start her own business.
Told Stalin’s granddaughter via the dailymail: ‘One had the prospect of excitement, the other one was cool.’
But it’s her comments when asked what’s she’s most absorbed from her upbringing that surprises the most.
Asked what part of her mother is most in her, the daughter said: ‘She had incredible faith.
‘And I didn’t really develop that sense of faith until actually after she passed away and that sense of her being with me.
‘I have a sense of accomplishment that I didn’t have before that I know that she left with me.
‘She was always proud of me, when I hadn’t even really accomplished anything, the unconditional love, which I haven’t felt from anybody else, ever, because she was my mother, and that warmth of a friendship, which I probably will look for, for the rest of my life in other people.
‘But I know that it’s possible.’
Having come to terms with her family legacy its perhaps her lifestyle acknowledgement that most surprises the outsider.
While her grandfather may have fought for the notion of the proletarian (did he really?) and the collective good, Chrese Evans concedes being anything but a Communist sympathizer or having even ever visited Russia, when she tells these days she’s very much a resigned bourgeoisie thank you very much. Indeed.