We can only imagine how difficult it would have been for anyone with the same bloodline as an evil dictator to try and establish a normal life long after their reign of terror ended. The apple of the eye of late former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, Svetlana Alliluyeva—his youngest and much-adored child—certainly went through different shades of turmoil, moving on from her past as a privileged Soviet princess after the fall of Stalin.
Born Olga Peters to Svetlana's third husband whom she met in the US, the (toy) gun-totting, smoking, tattooed bleach blonde in a mohawk can easily be mistaken as another aging hippie living her life in the United States of 'Murica. Who would have thought that this Tank Girl ringer is actually the living granddaughter of Josef freaking Stalin.
The 44-year-old Olga Peters, who renamed herself as Chrese Evans, is now residing in Portland, Oregon, living a life that's far beyond imagination of what her late grandfather would have envisioned for her had he stayed in his abused power.
Chrese is the youngest and only child of Svetlana, who renamed herself, Lana Peters, and American architect William Wesley Peters. Whilst the union did not last, Svetlana would then keep a very close relationship with her youngest. Svetlana passed away in 2011 at 85 from colon cancer. Until now, Chrese remembers her beloved mother in her social media by posting vintage photos of her and Svetlana all those years ago.
Svetlana liked to describe her daughter as “American as apple pie”. There's no doubt about it. One wouldn't find any trace of the iron-fisted dictator's likeness in her. Not in her ever-changing pixie haircut that had seen every color in the rainbow, nor in the tattoos that scattered her body. It seems like she took after her American side after all, despite the rocky relationship she had with her estranged father.
In her younger years, the British-educated Chrese was with her flight risk of a mother in every city they've moved to. She witnessed how hard it was for her mother to transition into a new life that does not involve her past. Chrese herself grew up a ‘kind of normal kid’ then later made the effort to chase her own pursuits, a life far away from any association with the Stalin name.
‘My mother's whole life has been about living this [her association with Stalin] down and trying to lead a new life of her own,’ Chrese told Daily Mail. ‘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.’
Svetlana may have lived a tumultuous life confronting her past, but she made sure that she carved a life for Chrese that won't be like anything of her own—as any loving mother would. ‘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 wanted me - she always wanted to protect me from the hardships that she had had to go through,’ Chrese shared.
‘We had a very special relationship... Sometimes, I was doing the parenting. Sometimes, she was.’
‘We were a little bit more of an equal partnership, sort of a super duo.'
Chrese supposedly runs her own antique shop these days in Portland, Oregon—her home for many years—and spending her days between switching to outrageous hairstyles and colors, completing her tattoo sleeves, and living it up with old friends.