Bronislava, a doctor, was of Jewish Lithuanian descent and previously married to a lawyer. She had two children, Galya by her first husband and Natalya by Poskrebyshev.
In 1937 she visited Stalin alone to plead for the life of her arrested brother, who was connected through marriage to Leon Trotsky. Despite rumours of an ensuing affair between Stalin and Bronislava, this appeal failed. In 1939 she appealed to Beria, now responsible for the NKVD, and she was arrested. She had previously rejected his advances. She was imprisoned but shot in November 1941. She is buried in a mass grave near Moscow.
Her husband continued to work as Stalin's secretary until he was dismissed shortly before Stalin's death in 1953.