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Olga Havlova
Dagmar Havlova
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Vaclav Havel
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Olga Havlova

11. 7. 1933 Prague
27. 1. 1996 Prague
first wife of the President of the Republic

Olga Havlová

After the election of Václav Havel as Head of State in December 1989, she became the first public figure after the fall of the communist regime to devote her time to helping her fellow citizens in the form of charitable activities. Inspired by the work of the "The Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Oppressed", she founded the "The Committee of Good Will" in April 1990. The activities of this group concentrated on helping the physically and mentally handicapped. Her concern awakened a feeling of solidarity for handicapped fellow citizens, which were, until then, virtually ignored by the communist government.

On the 27th of January, 1996, Olga Havlová succumbed to a long, severe illness. The endless procession of people who came to the Prague Castle to pay their respects served as an unofficial display of admiration to her untiring efforts, which were often performed in an inhospitable environment.

For her dramatic contributions and for the production of the "Original Videojournal", she received the Czech Literary Fund Award in 1989. For her charitable work, she was named Norway's Woman of the Year 1991, and received similar honors for her work with children, such as the "Baroness in the Land of All Times" award in the Netherlands. In 1997, she was posthumously given the Order of Tomas Garrigue Masaryk for her outstanding service to democracy and human rights.