Václav Havel died on 18 December at the age of 75 at his country home in Hrádeček.
Who was Václav Havel?
If you do not know anything about this great man, I suggest you read further his biography on Wikipedia.
I read this sad news from BBC this morning. Havel was a a former Czech leader but the role as a playwright made him well known when he was young. He was also an essayist, poet and dissident.
Havel soon lost his freedom after Warsaw Pact invaded Prague (Josef Koudelka’s photo album Invasion Prague 68 covers the arrival of the tanks and army in Prague, published by Thames & Hudson, London, 2008) in 1968.
Havel was a passionate supporter of non-violence and his motto was “truth and love must prevail over lies and hate.” I have only read a few pages of Havel’s book To the Castle and Back (2006), a memoir written during his presidency. In the preface of the book, you could sense how humble and honest this person was by these lines:
“I let these passages stand because they belong to the flavour and the fabrics of the times, and because I wanted to remind readers that I was not taking part in routine changes of government; we were building a new democratic country, as it were, from the ground up.”
After becoming a leading figure in Velvet Revolution, Havel became Czech’s first president from a dissident in 1989.
Yes, how can we forget 1989? So many events in this year cannot be wiped out from our mind. There were so much agony and pain in other parts of the world in contrary to the success of people’s power in Czecho-Slovakia.

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