The former Head of Belarusian schools in Vilnia and Navahradak, member of the International Academy of Astronautics, matematician, chemist and physicist whose works made it possible to perform the first human flight to the Moon draws general admiration.
Barys Kit has not been filmed and interviewed over last years; at the time present the brilliant scientist lives in a senior home in Germany.
After graduation from Physics and Mathematics Faculty of Vilnia (Vilnius) University in 1933 he worked as a teacher at Vilnia Belarusian Lyceum. In 1939 Kit returned to Belarus and became the Principal of Navahradak Belarusian High School there and later a superintendent of a large school system district. Hundreds of elementary schools and several dozen high schools were opened in the region within a year due to Kit’s direct participation.
During the German occupation of Belarus (1941–1944) Kit managed to found teachers’ colleges in Maladzechna and Pastavy which were then closed by the Soviet authorities. He was suspected of cooperation with partisans, which was used as a reason for his arrested. Having spent a month in prison he was saved by his former pupils, Adam Dasyukevich and Kastus Kasyak.
In 1948 Kit emigrated to the United States where he began his scientific activities in the field of astronautics. For 25 years he worked in the American space research program taking part in all the American space research projects, including mathematical support of the mission to the Moon.
He has never stopped thinking about his Motherland, Barys Kit told Belsat TV. “I’ve always dreamt of returning home and working for the sake of free Belarus. I belong here: my father is Belarusian; I grew up there. One can progress on condition of being free otherwise one just does something without any progress,” he stressed.
Barys Kit is 103 (!) years old; he revealed us his secret of longevity: “Never stop thinking and moving! And love your country!”
According to the nurses, the senior managed to retain his vivacity and sense of humour. “He is constantly in love! He keeps falling in love with nurses, female employees, ward maids who take care of him,” Halina Astoich, an assistant at the senior home, says.
Craving for another visit to his home country Barys Kit is agog for any news from Belarus.