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A shadow man. Translator suhodrev spent 30 years next to world leaders
Material posted: Publication date: 17-05-2014

Died legendary translator, became literally "a witness of the era".

Five minutes to illegal

About how to solve the world's destiny, most people on the planet know little. In the best case, the details of the various negotiations and agreements make public in a few decades, in the worst — ever.

The loop is extremely narrow. The powerful of this world do not like it when their secrets become known to others.

But in almost all negotiations, with rare exception, near the head of state, Minister or other senior person should "shadow man" — translator. He always knows more than others, but, like the priest, holds the great secrets of the world in itself.

Viktor suhodrev — a true legend in the world of translators. For three decades he was there with representatives of the top Soviet leadership, acting as personal interpreter of Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev, Alexei Kosygin, Mikhail Gorbachev.

After the end of his career translator suhodrev, he wrote memoirs, where he told many interesting episodes from his professional biography. But the big mystery remained a mystery — as he said himself, Victor M., "for the interpreter, the man who hears and knows much, it is important to stop in time not to blurt out too much".

It all started in 1939, when six-year-old Victor suhodrev went with my mother to Britain. The boy's mother worked in the trade representation of the people's Commissariat of foreign trade of the USSR, and her young son were surrounded by people speaking a foreign language.

In children learning languages faster and easier, and Viti, apparently, woke up and natural abilities. Be that as it may, but for eight years the boy was confident in translating spoken language at the request of adults.

Beginning in 1941, the war had extended a business trip mom Victor until 1945, and by the time of return to the USSR he spoke English as naturally as Russian.

His fate could have been completely different. Victor's father was the scout-the illegal immigrant, who has worked 10 years in USA. It was assumed that with him in America will be and family, but in these plans of war intervened.

After in 1956, Victor suhodrev graduated from the Military Institute of foreign languages, colleagues of the father, the intelligence officers had wanted to attract him to work in intelligence. However, Victor's father thwarted these intentions: "over my dead body!"

The translator, as a sapper, wrong only once

Interestingly, in the Institute of foreign languages Victor suhodrev studied French, not the English Department to improve his knowledge of English, the University simply could not.

A young graduate came to work at the foreign Ministry. Such persons, as he, speak English almost at the level of the native language, in the USSR there were only a few, and it is not surprising that Sukhodrev almost immediately identified in personal interpreters for executives.

On the first day of the young Sukhodrev had to accompany Khrushchev on a long informal conversation with the Chargé d'affaires of India. Suchodrev brilliantly, and at the same time and noted that Khrushchev is not "man's portrait", but a very normal man, and turn it scary.

Since then suchodrev is becoming almost indispensable, sometimes everyday for several hours. Profession personal interpreter policy high grade is akin to the profession of minesweeper is wrong only once. Suchodrev their own kind is not allowed.

In addition to excellent language skills, the interpreter is required and knowledge of the subject in question. That is why Sukhodrev had in advance to understand the peculiarities of the technical characteristics of nuclear missiles and other weapons, as well as many other specific issues which were discussed at the talks.

"Kuz'kina mother" and "burial" of America

Needless to say, about these issues suhodrev in his memoirs, talked sparingly, so to speak, within what is permitted. But a lot and were willing to talk about human relations between politicians and various funny situations.

Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev, who was able to talk for hours, was extremely "problem customer" because of the imagery of his speech. Many Russian expressions that he used, it was extremely difficult to translate into English without distorting the meaning.

When in 1959 at the American exhibition in Sokolniki Nikita Khrushchev for the first time promised to show Americans "gruel", Sukhodrev was not there — he worked in Geneva with the foreign Minister of the USSR Andrei Gromyko. Translator, replaced him, confused, and so Americans have learned about a certain "mother of Kuzma".

Next time suhodrev already had homework in case of "Kuz'kina mother", but then suddenly surprised by Khrushchev himself. "What do you bother with translation?" — he asked, — "Just say: we're going to show you something you've never seen!"

But with another famous phrase of Khrushchev, "We will bury you!" do nothing. Suchodrev recalled that the Americans, the Soviet leader never forgave.

The nightmare of the translator is not only shaped it, but also all sorts of jokes and anecdotes. Translate them without losing the humorous component is very difficult, and if the opposite side does not even smile, it may spoil the atmosphere of the talks. Suchodrev was told that he had to crawl out of my skin, using the facial expressions and gestures to amuse foreigners translating the humor of the Soviet leaders. But here he coped confidently.

Great race and a break with Brezhnev

The longest was the work of Victor Sukhodrev with Leonid Brezhnev. In 1973 suhodrev has become a participant in the episode, which was even recreated in Hollywood. At camp David, the country residence of American presidents, on the talks between Brezhnev and U.S. President Richard Nixon, the owner decided to make a gift to the guest and handed him the keys to a luxury car "Lincoln continental". Brezhnev, a fan of cars, happily sat down behind the wheel, inviting along with a Nixon and translator. And then the Soviet leader in an unknown vehicle staged a race on an unfamiliar site. Moreover, Brezhnev, that is, squeezed the maximum. Nixon reminisced about that trip with horror, suhodrev — with the calmness of the present Soviet person. Actually Brezhnev was a brilliant driver, so the trip ended safely, though, and shocked the American leader.

As mentioned suhodrev, he had to work actually with two Brezhnevite — young and active in the beginning, the sick and infirm at the end. In recent years Brezhnev has not actually conducted an independent conversations, but only read from notes prepared text, and the translator, to follow the situation, depending on the flow of conversation had on-the-go adjustments to the text, striking out the unnecessary.

The earlier Brezhnev was a real playboy, and even on trips to the USA he spent the nights with lovely stewardesses of his plane. Americans diligently pretended that nothing much is happening, the interpreter, of course, too.

More of a shock to foreigners could see how suhodrev during the negotiations smokes and blowing smoke in the face of Brezhnev. The fact that the doctors forbade Leonid Ilyich Smoking, and he asked the translator could at least breathe smoke him in the face, to somehow feel the "forbidden fruit".

General translator

Suchodrev was actually introduced in the world politics of Mikhail Gorbachev, working on his famous talks with Margaret Thatcher, after which she said: "this man can be dealt with!" I think, a brilliant English Victor Suhodrev played here not last role.

Personal interpreter of the powerful ever, and nothing they didn't ask. For his entire career he had one gift from the leader — Leonid Brezhnev handed Suhodrev Swiss watch "omega", which served as the translator faithfully for the rest of your life.

Hobby Victor Suhodrev was picking up pipes. His collection includes dozens of unique rarities. For example, one of the tubes, is by the famous Dunhill company, was presented to him by Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who himself was a famous collector tubes.

Victor suhodrev has retired from the diplomatic service in the rank of extraordinary and Plenipotentiary envoy of the first class. That rank equal to military rank the General-the Colonel, failed to achieve more than one translator.

In one interview he said, "I Feel myself a part of Soviet history? To be modest, then no, but based on what I saw and know, probably, Yes. Not everyone will agree, fall is..."

Victor M. Sukhodrev not began on may 16, 2014.

Andrew Sidorchyk


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