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Man of Inspiration Human Rights through the Life and Work of Václav Havel

Human rights are universal and indivisible. Human freedom is also indivisible; if it is denied to anyone in the world, it is therefore denied, indirectly, to all people. This is why we cannot remain silent in the face of evil or violence; silence merely encourages them.

Václav Havel, Summer Meditations 1991

Václav Havel was one of the leading dissidents and human rights activists of the second part of the 20th century. His twenty year-long history of principled opposition to the totalitarian régime and his ability to make these human rights activities the guiding principles of his role as a politician constitute a powerful legacy and lesson for the present and the future in the never-ending struggle for human freedom, dignity and equality.

Michael Žantovský, Executive Director of Václav Havel Library

This project was created with support from following organizations:

  • Václav Havel Library
  • Rockefeller Brother Fund
  • US Embassy, Czech Republic
  • Fondation Zdenek et Michaela Bakala
  • Jan Barta

Archival materials provided by

  • Česká televize, Czech TV
About the project Lectures Presenters Guests About VH Contact
Lesson The Young Man

The Young Man

Happy Childhood - Communist Coup - Harsh Fiftees - Golden Sixtees (1936 - 1968)

Lesson The Dissident

The Dissident

Invasion - Normalisation - Letter to Gustáv Husák - Dissent (1968 - 1976)  

Lesson The Political Prisoner

The Political Prisoner

The Plastic People Band - Charter 77 - Imprisonments (1976 - 1983)

Lesson The Revolution Leader

The Revolution Leader

Perestroika - Few Sentences - Velvet Revolution (1983 -1989)

Lesson The President

The President

Human Rights in the World - Human Rigts at Home (1989 - 2003) 

Lesson The Citizen

The Citizen

Civil Society - Civil Responsibility (1989 - 2011)

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