ARTEK (Crimea), July 6. /TASS/. Modern children live in the world without borders, which is completely different from the world Samantha Smith lived in, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.
In the early 1980’s Samantha Smith, a 10-year-old American girl, became a symbol of public diplomacy in the Cold War. In 1982 she wrote a letter to Soviet leader Yuri Andropov asking him if the USSR really wanted to conquer the United States. Andropov invited the girl and her family to the Soviet Union. She visited Moscow, Leningrad and the Artek summer camp. In 1985 she was killed in a plane crush [sic - JB].
"This story [of Samantha Smith] had two sides. It was bright, interesting, sensational, but also tragic. It showed how the world was split, how far from each other the two poles were. Today we live in a completely different world, which is based on completely different ideology," said Zakharova who is currently visiting Artek.
Children from different countries are spending vacation in the Artek summer camp and this number is growing, the camp’s head Aleksey Kasprzhak said. "This year we are planning to receive about 1,600 people including children from the United States," he added.
A Princeton PhD, was a US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United." Affiliated with Georgetown University for over ten years, he shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."