With a mission of peace: 10-year-old girl managed to bring closer the two superpowers
35 years ago, the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Yuri Andropov was invited to the USSR American schoolgirl Samantha Smith. What was interesting about Samantha and what I saw in our country — in the article TASS.
Samantha Smith — 10-year-old American girl who became famous worldwide after in 1982 wrote a letter to the head Soviet Yuri Andropov. In the letter she said she is worried about the possible outbreak of nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States. Her letter was published on 19 April 1983 in the newspaper “Pravda”, which was then the main newspaper in the country. Response from Andropov girl received 26 April, and it Yuri assured her peaceful intentions of the Soviet Union and invited guests.
“You know our country will meet with their peers, will visit the international camp of children in “Artek” of the sea. And you’ll see: in the Soviet Union for peace and friendship among peoples”, — wrote the girl Andropov, and in the summer of 1983 Samantha with her parents arrived in the USSR as a goodwill Ambassador.
Charging routine and Neptune festival
At the beginning of July for 11-year-old Samantha with mom Jane and father of Arthur, flew to the Soviet Union.
First, the family visited Moscow and Leningrad and then went to the Crimea — in the best Soviet pioneer camp “Artek”. Arriving, the girl immediately put on Artek’s shape — skirt with a garter belt, a blouse with the logo of “Artek” and the cap. The only difference from other children was the lack of a pioneer tie.
Samantha lived in normal housing camps “Sea”, although the program envisioned that it will be located in a separate room of the rest house “Ayu-Dag”, which is then of the Central Committee of the Komsomol. She said that she wants to live by routine, and all the other kids, campers. This meant that the day starts with exercise and Breakfast, and more — contests, among which was a contest of drawings on asphalt, dedicated to peace on Earth. Then there was the festival of Neptune, walking on the sea and much more.
Nikolai Chub, head of children’s Studio “Artekfilm”, has worked here for 40 years. He was a cameraman and remembers the arrival of Samantha Smith in Crimea.
Artek’s crew worked on the film “Capital childhood” dedicated to the 60th anniversary of Artek, which included some fragments involving Samantha.
A normal child, nothing from our boys and girls, it was not different, maybe more relaxed was that our boys were kept at first a little reserved.Nikolai Shareholdlocal children’s film Studio “Artekfilm”
Camp Samantha made friends with his friend from Leningrad Natalia Kashirina that spoke passable English. Asps says that the interview was not easy, required special permits and approvals, although she was open child. Crew decided to interview her friends from the center, but then suddenly appeared Smith said he also wants to hear what the conversation. They then together with Natasha sang the song “Let there always be sunshine!”, which was included in the film about “Artek”.
“I remember her extraordinary, some kind of Sunny, kind, lively and sincere smile, there was in it no stardom,” notes Asps.
And he remembered seeing Samantha from the camp on 13 July 1983 at the stele at the entrance to the “Artek”: children held hands and formed a circle. In the eyes of many, and most Samantha, too, was tears.
Natalia Batova for many years lived in the United States, and in 1983 worked in the American Department of the Union of Soviet societies of friendship. During a visit to the Smith family of the Soviet Union she was accompanied by Samantha and her parents as a translator and, as she says, never parted with them “from the ladder to the ladder” of the aircraft.
“If to speak about personal experience, for me this task was momentous: after meeting this girl, I wondered what I will devote my life. Samantha is an extraordinary child, and this was the background: her father was a Professor of literature and English language — taught her to speak correctly and to write, that’s why her letter made such an impression in Moscow, it very clearly as an adult, expressed his thoughts about the danger of war that existed in the early 80-ies,” — said the baht.
According to Natalia, all of whom had a chance to chat with Samantha, in one voice say that it is Sunny. But Batova notes that this immediacy and openness combined with her childish thoughtfulness and depth, and also very fast reaction to what is happening around.
“I’ve been friends with the mother of Samantha — Jane, we often remember Samantha and how she wrote her letter. Then there was a hard news report on TV that the Soviet Union threatened the world, the whole family watched it. Samantha asked parents about why the Russians want war, and they had invited her to ask this question to the Kremlin. She went to her room and wrote this letter,” says Batova.
Sandals for Samantha
Natalia Batova recalls the story, describing the spontaneity, liveliness and directness of Samantha Smith.
“We went to the Palace of pioneers on the Sparrow hills in Moscow. Going in the car, and she looks at my sandals and asked what size I am. Then he says: “And I have the same. Can I have it?” Sandals were on her heels and she liked, so she asked me to go to them for a meeting. So we did,” says the translator.
These sandals Samantha took with him to the U.S. and then, as mom loved to wear.