Friday, December 23, 2011

Václav Havel, R.I.P.

On December 18th, Václav Havel passed away at the age of 75. This is a very sad time for many Czechs because he was the dissident writer who became the first president of a post-communist Czechoslovakia.

After the 1968 invasion, his plays were banned and he became more politically active. He was jailed multiple times and remained under constant surveillance by the secret police. He was put in prison from May 1979 to February 1983.

After the Velvet Revolution, he became the ninth and final president of Czechoslovakia, from 1989-1992, and the first president of the Czech Republic, from 1993-2003.

He was a long-time chain smoker and was diagnosed with lung cancer in December 1996.

He will long be remembered as a great man who stood up to tyranny and injustice. There have been three official days of morning from Wednesday to Friday and candlelight memorials took place throughout the Czech Republic. I wonder if there were also memorials taking place in Slovakia?

Here's a video I found out on YouTube.


Note:  On Friday, October 5, 2012, the Prague airport was renamed Václav Havel Airport.

1 comment:

  1. I am so proud of how America represented itself at the funeral of the "Ghandi of Central Europe." Imagine, a former President, the current Secretary of State, and a former Secretary of State. Not only that, but the former Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, addressed the Czechs in their own language. These three American officials weren't just representing the country, they honestly and deeply cared about the man. Oh, and who did the Russians send? No one.