Snowdrop cold war. 35 years to visit Samantha Smith in the USSR
These are words from a book that an American girl wrote many years ago.
It is unlikely that today's teenagers know something about Samantha Smith. And once she was the most famous child in the world. Without exaggeration.
35 years have passed since then, but that image has not yet been erased from the memory of the middle and older generation.
Soviet children could not even think about writing a letter to a Western political leader asking them to think about establishing friendly relations between the two states that were in a state of cold war.
More surprising for every young citizen of the USSR was that a ten-year-old girl from a small town in Maine wrote a letter to General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Yuri Andropov, and even more surprisingly, Yury Andropov gave her an answer, and young Samantha received an invitation from him to visit the Soviet Union.
The content of Samantha Smith’s letter was printed several times in Soviet newspapers. In her letter, she was worried that a nuclear war would not start between our countries, and asked the Soviet leadership to respond what it was going to do to prevent a war between the US and the USSR.
From where, then, was it known that this was far from her first letter to the political leaders of the world, that Samantha had previously written to leaders of other countries, including the royal persons. Therefore, then Soviet children (and not only children) were truly surprised by the act of a young American woman, reading literally to the holes “Pioneer Truth”, which kept a real “chronicle” of events connected with Samantha.
In the middle of the 1983 summer vacation of the year (July 7) Samantha Smith and her parents flew to Moscow, literally crowds of people met them at the airport. During the two weeks that the Smith family spent in the USSR, Samantha visited Moscow, Leningrad, and spent several days in the Artek Young Pioneer Camp.
During these few days, Samantha became a world celebrity and without exaggeration - a real heroine for Soviet boys and girls.
"Samantha Smith is a symbol of the friendship of all children in the world. She is a fighter for world peace." These are the slogans of the 1983 of the year.
She was imitated, she was loved, she had a great correspondence with children from all over the world, the main place in which was occupied by correspondence with children from the Soviet Union.
Samantha was simultaneously called the little ambassador of the world and an instrument of propaganda. Of course, it didn’t go without propaganda, but it turned out that Samantha played into the hands of both superpowers: she charmed the Soviet people with her American immediacy and showed the human face of the USSR to the Americans.
In the early eighties, the threat of global conflict was more real than ever. This is hard not to admit. The Soviet Union was accused of having aggressive plans to seize territories of other countries using military force. The following were used as typical arguments: Soviet Tanks standing near Berlin, in Warsaw, in Czechoslovakia, in the south of Europe, Moscow sent troops to Afghanistan.
In 1981, a convinced anti-communist Ronald Reagan, who threatens to send Marxism-Leninism to landfill, becomes President of the United States storiesand in the Soviet Union at about the same time, the former KGB head Yury Andropov came to power, who did not intend to make concessions in relations with the West.
The situation is heating up to the limit, both countries are intensifying the arms race. Two superpowers urgently need detente. And here, the letter of a young American woman is published very opportunely.
At that time, it seemed that Samantha’s trip was almost a joint Soviet-American operation bridges.
Samantha's parents also held the opinion that both states tried to use their daughter in psychological warfare, but their peoples only benefited from this. Thanks to Samantha’s trip, they showed for the first time on television in the United States how Soviet children play, and in the Soviet Union they saw that there are families tooliving daily chores.
But the sudden death of the most famous girl only confirmed the conspiracy theory.
25 August 1985, Samantha and her father return from the UK, while landing at Augusta airport the plane crashes. In the accident accident crash units.
Later in the USSR there will be a version in the journalistic environment that the reason is the pro-Soviet statements of Samantha, which went against US policy.
After returning home, Samantha often gave interviews, expressed her opinion that the Soviet people should not be afraid, that the same children live in the USSR, they also want to be friends. The girl grew, got wiser. She became too independent in her judgments. The image of the enemy, created in America about the Soviet Union, was partially destroyed thanks largely to the very trip of Samantha to Russia.
According to another version, in the death of Samantha they saw a “trace of the KGB and the CIA” - allegedly the special services wanted to complete the operation in this way. A few months before the tragedy, Mikhail Gorbachev, who set himself up as a politician who was too open to a peaceful dialogue with the United States, became the new leader of the Soviet Union, and the two countries found themselves no longer needed mediators.
There is no evidence of these versions, of course, but it was too difficult for people on both sides of the ocean to believe that the life of an 13-year-old girl could be interrupted so early and so tragically - without any intricate intrigues.
After the death of Samantha in the Soviet Union, they tried to make sure that the memory of her and her noble mission was not erased by the goodwill ambassador.
In the pioneer camp "Sea" was opened the avenue named after Samantha Smith and a memorial stele. Her name is an asteroid discovered by the Crimean astronomer L. Cherny, and her name is also assigned to the mountain peak in the Caucasus, a seagoing ship, and a Yakut diamond. The streets named after Samantha Smith are in settlements of Buryatia and the Bryansk region.
Today, when military conflicts do not stop on our planet, and again they speak about the danger of a big war, it is possible that the immediate Children diplomacy, which without a propaganda attack could say to modern politicians: “The world is the main thing that we have, take care of it”.
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