Stalin suffered a cerebral hemorrhage while he was alone in his quarters. This was after a drinking dinner party that had lasted until nearly dawn. He was found paralyzed the next day and unable to speak. He remained in this condition for three days until he died.
Joseph Stalin died in an atmosphere of fear and paranoia which he had created. His doctors, his "attachments" (attendants), and his family were all filled with dread. The doctors' hands trembled when they attended him. Deputy Prime Minister Beria, the closest to Stalin of his inner circle, would appear gleeful when Stalin looked near dead; but then when Stalin would regain consciousness Beria would run to kiss his hand. The rest of his surrounding "attachments" feared for their own safety, that they would be blamed. His drunken son shouted accusations through the hall. His daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva, describes his death thus:
"'Father was dying horribly and hard.. His face went dark and changed... his features were becoming unrecognisable. The last hours were nothing but a slow strangulation. The lack of oxygen became acute. The death agony was horrible. God grants an easy death only to the just. He literally choked to death while we watched. At what seemed like the very last moment he suddenly opened his eyes and cast a glance over everyone in the room. It was a terrible glance, a horrid look, insane or perhaps angry and full of the fear of death. ..Then something incomprehensible and terrible happened that to this day I can’t forget. He suddenly lifted his left hand, and sort of either pointed up somewhere, or shook his finger at us all, as though he were pointing to something above and bringing down a curse on us all. The gesture was incomprehensible and full of menace. The next moment, after a final effort, the spirit wrenched itself free of the flesh."
Svetlana's description of the death bed scene is in her book.
Apparently there is good reason to suspect that Stalin was murdered. Officially the cause of death was a brain hemorrhage. But he also vomited blood. The hemorrhages could have been caused by a certain tasteless rat poison that causes hemorrhaging and weakening of the blood vessels which in turn causes strokes.
Also extremely suspicious is that the night he had the stroke, he reportedly told his "attachments" to not bother to guard him that night - for them to go to sleep. The directive was passed to the guards through the main attendant, the only one to actually hear Stalin give the order. This was the first time ever anyone had heard of such an order from Stalin. And it was entirely out of character for Stalin who usually taunted the guards to keep them fearful of falling asleep.
Just prior to Stalin's death he and Beria, the closest to him of his inner circle, had begun to plan a new purge, which would have removed most of the older party leaders such as Molotov from their positions. The Molotovs, husband and wife, survived only because of the Leader's death. Yet they both went on praising him for the rest of their days. According to Molotov, his wife 'not only never spoke ill of Stalin, she couldn't bear to hear anyone else speak ill of him.'
It's a remarkable fact that masses of people felt bereft at the great dictator's demise. Hundreds of people were crushed to death at his funeral.
Three years later in 1956, at a closed session of the Twentieth Party Congress, Khrushchev made a 4-hour speech about Stalin's crimes and his "cult of personality."
From Joanna's Notepad:
More of the same as above, Google Search: STALIN, "DEATH AGONY"
Selected sites from other Google Searches:
Heterodox, but still informative
Stalin Murder Evidence