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“It was a time of continuous and glorious surprises, a time of great improvisation, a time of collective imagination. Suddenly people were once again able to be together” Václav Havel, November 21, 2016

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Have We Learned Any Lessons? An article written by Martin Palouš and David J. Kramer  25/02/20

Thirty years ago, on February 21, 1990, the new president of Czechoslovakia addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress in Washington, DC. Less than four months before, in a remarkable contrast to the position he had assumed as leader of his country, Vaclav Havel had been under arrest as a “subversive element” in his country under a Communist regime that was soon to come to a spectacular end. Continue reading here.


Conference Global Challenges to Liberal Thought  28/01/20

Dear guests, Due to organisational reasons on the side of our partner, we are obliged to postpone the conference "Global Challenges to Liberal Thought" on 31 January and 1 February to which you have registered. We will inform you about the new date in advance. We apologize for any inconvenience and we are looking forward to seeing you at some other event at our premises. Václav Havel Library Team


Support Hong Kong with 5 fingers raised!  10/12/19

On 10 December 2019, Human Rights Day, the Vaclav Havel Library is launching a Facebook happening to support the protesters in Hong Kong. We call upon everyone to upload their photographs with their 5 fingers raised under this Facebook event. More


It’s here again – the Velvet Weekend is coming!  06/11/19

Do you recall that time of euphoria? Thirty years ago when the Czech and Slovak nation united and said a clear NO to the Communist government? Let’s celebrate this round anniversary together and remember Václav Havel, the first democratically elected president of Czechoslovakia after 1989. More

Program for October 2019<>



  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 1, 2019, 19:00 – 21:00

Václav Havel’s tragicomedy about beer, human weakness and totalitarianism and more, as performed by the Holešov-based Divadelní studio Viktorka.

Jana Soprová wrote the following of the production in Divadelní noviny: “Directed by Konrád Popel, Roman Juráň as Sládek and Jakub Leška as Vaněk brought to the stage a jovial Moravian brew-master and a delicate intellectual, imbuing these most familiar characters with previously unseen colours. The erotic moment of Sládek’s desire, when alongside his beer drinking a fetching portrait of actress Jiřina Bohdalová fills his dreams, is reinforced. For his part, Vaněk acts out his discomfort by pouring beer into every available kind of vessel.”

International Conference in Honour of the Winner of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize

International Conference in Honour of the Winner of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize

  • Where: Prague Crossroads, St. Anna´s Church, Prague
  • When: October 2, 2019, 12:30 – 18:00
  • Organisers: Vaclav Havel Library, Prague & Charta 77 Foundation
  • Partners: Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Thirty years ago, on November 9, the Berlin Wall came down, and the last remains of the communist nightmare, that held Central and Eastern Europe in its grip, came down with it. This historic change seemed to have ushered in an era of openness, tolerance and mutual respect between people, countries and cultures. Thirty years later, however, the metaphor of walls has made a comeback in more than one sense. Tolerance gave way to bigotry, distrust and polarization between political opponents, lifestyles and social groups. Openness to others, be they migrants, minorities or religions, is under attack. And respect has been replaced by vulgar attacks, hoaxes and fabrications. Fundamental human liberties, be it freedom of expression, freedom of thought and freedom of choice, are no longer taken for granted in some countries of the West and are denied to hundreds of millions of people in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. The time has come for those of us who believe in the intrinsic value of human rights to paraphrase the famous appeal of Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev: “Tear down these walls.”


12.30 - 13.00 Registration

13.00 Conference Opening 

Michael Žantovský, Director of the VAclav Havel Library (Czech Republic)

13.10 - 13.30 Keynote speech

Yik Mo Wong, Human Rights Activist, Vice Convener of Civil Human Rights Front (Hong Kong)

13.30 - 14.45 Panel I: Discussion with 2019 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize Finalists

Enver Can, the representative of llham Tohti (China) - Uyghur Scientist and Economist, in prison since 2014, sentenced to life imprisonment
Jamshad Yorov, the brother of Buzurgmehr Yorov (Tajikistan) - Human Rights Lowyer, in prison since 2015, sentenced to 28 years
Youth Initiative for Human Rights (Balkan countries): Ivan Djuric - Program Director of YIHR Serbia

Chair: Michael Žantovský, Vaclav Havel Library (Czech Republic)

The ceremonial announcement of the laureate of this year’s prize will take place at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on 30 September.

14.45 - 15.00 Coffee Break

15.00 - 16.15 Panel II: Walls Old and New 


Bernard Guetta - Journalist (France)

Daniel Brössler - Journalist (Germany)

Mátyás Eörsi - Politician and Lawyer (Hungary)

Martin Milan Šimečka - Journalist (Slovakia)

Chair: Kateřina Šafaříková - Journalist, Respekt magazine (Czech Republic)

A new iron curtain seems to be emerging in the East. The unstable but open situation that emerged after the Russian occupation of Crimea and its support of the armed insurrection in Eastern Ukraine has been replaced by a situation which may more stable but impossible to change. Even some of the European institutions seem to give a priority to stability over change as witnessed by the return of Russia's voting rights by the Council of Europe. In this situation, hundreds of thousands of people are deprived of security, living standards and human rights. The rise of intolerance led to the reemergence of political violence and hate crimes in a number of European countries. The rising number of antisemitic attacks in France, the murders of the Slovak investigative journalist Kuciak and his girlfriend, the assassination of the mayors of Gdansk and Kassel, and even the smaller but disturbing incidents in our own country can no longer be seen as isolated incidents but as a part of an ominous trend. What can politicians do to stop it and what can the civil society do?

16.15 - 16.30 Coffee Break 

16.30 - 17.45 Panel IIl: The Invisible Walls 


Lyudmila Savchuk - Activist and Journalist (Russian Federation)  

Patrik Oksanen - Journalist and Editor (Sweden)

Lenka Bradáčová - Chief of the High Prosecutor’s Office (Czech Republic) 

Bob Kartous - Spokesman of Czech Elfs (Czech Republic) 

Chair: Tereza Engelová - Journalist and Presenter (Czech Republic)

In making up a mental picture of the world we increasingly depend on digital media for information, evidence and like-minded people. The right to a free access to information is one of the most important modern human rights. That right is undermined when information is increasingly replaced by propaganda, hoaxes and fabricated evidence. It is also undermined when strictures of political correctness curtail the open discourse which is the only known path to knowledge and understanding. How can the society prevent or at least reduce the damage done by the fabricators, propagandists and trolls without sacrificing the principles of free speech?

17.45 - 18.00 Closing remarks

Karel Schwarzenberg - Politician, Human Rights Defender (Czech Republic) 


A concert by the Zrní band as part of the project entitled Havel’s Children to Havel (,) organised in collaboration with the Václav Havel Library on the 30th anniversary of the fall of communism.

* Admission is free on the basis of registration until capacity has been met. For registration form go to:

So As Not To Lose Our Minds – Young People Between Palach and Charter 77

So As Not To Lose Our Minds – Young People Between Palach and Charter 77

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 3, 2019, 17:00 – 19:00

The testimonies of students from the period 1968–1977, i.e., “between Palach and the Charter”, put together as a collage of literary forms and narrative approaches in which each author offers their version of events according to their own memories and, in many cases, consciences. This represents a noteworthy mosaic of events from that time – small, humdrum and human, often carried out under the watch of cadre officers of all kinds –, as well as an exploration of the interior lives of young people in a period when the 1960s ethos was dying out and normalisation setting in.

Former classmates from the Vysočany Grammar School, including sculptor Martin Patřičný and writer Alexandr Popov, will discuss growing up in tough times, rebellion, conformism and the desire for love and freedom under the omnipresent supervision of the party and government.

Organised by the VHL in cooperation with publishers Galén and Nakladatelství Ondřej Fibich.

Silent Women

Silent Women

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 4, 2019, 19:00 – 21:00

Silent Women in an era of cultural transformation and information warfare.

The Silent Women forum is attempting to build a platform for women searching for answers to the questions of today’s modern era. An era in which all hitherto value concepts are subject to repeated scrutiny and challenge. Our aim is to support women in their efforts to acquire their own voice and vocabulary. Not via radical experiments but through calm, substantive discussion on the role of women in this turbulent period when ancient conflicts between the genders are misused and weaponised in hybrid war and propaganda. We want to lead a meaningful discussion, find paths forward and contribute via a calm, society-wide dialogue to the resolution of the tasks before us on the verge of a new century. The issue of women must not become a battlefield of the culture wars.

Panel I: The Abuse of Socially Sensitive Issues in Hybrid Warfare and Propaganda

Guests: Magda Vášáryová, ex-diplomat, chairwoman of Živena and founder of the think tank CEW21; Alexandra Alvarová, author of the book Průmysl lži (The Lie Industry) and a specialist in hybrid war, CEW21; Jakub Janda, head of the Kremlin Watch programme and director of the think tank European Values; and Roman Máca, journalist, writer, analyst with the European Values think tank.

Panel II: Women as “Wind of Change“

Guests: Diana Kinnert, German political scientist, entrepreneur, advisor of Angela Merkel, author of the book Die Zukunft sehe ich Schwarz; Margaret Hales, president of the European Union of Women; Albana Vokshi, MP in the Albanian Parliament; Jana Ciglerová, journalist and expert on the emancipation of women; and Erica M. Umbricht, president of the Swedish section of the EUW, security policy expert.

Discussion chaired by Jana Spekhorstová.

Home is Everywhere

Home is Everywhere

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 7, 2019, 19:00 – 21:00

The history of Central Europe in the memoirs of a famous journalist.

Barbara Coudenhove-Kalergi experienced countless key events in the region, including taking part in Pope John Paul II’s first visit to Poland, the establishment of independent unions in Gdansk in 1980, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the military conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. As Central and Eastern Europe correspondent of Austrian TV and radio station ORF she also experienced 1968 and the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia. In 2001 Václav Havel bestowed the Order of T.G. Masaryk on her in recognition of her support for democracy and human rights.

The autobiography Home is Everywhere, which has been issued in Czech by the Vyšehrad publishing house, will be introduced by the author in person.

Interpretation from German provided.

Debate with Respekt

Debate with Respekt

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 8, 2019, 19:00 – 21:00

Discussion between editors from the weekly Respekt and their guests on a topical issue.

Evenings with Reports: Poles and Czechs 30 Years Later / Us and Them

Evenings with Reports: Poles and Czechs 30 Years Later / Us and Them

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 9, 2019, 19:00 – 21:00

Though we live in free and wealthy countries, the trenches running through society are getting deeper. Social cohesion, compromise in the name of mutual interest and the art of listening to others are disappearing. We are fracturing into small (social) bubbles that reinforce their own truths and search for the enemy within. This problem besetting the whole Western world is also being felt keenly in the Czech Republic and Poland, impacting public debate, politics and our lives.

A discussion between the sociologists Michał Łuczewski and Daniel Prokop will be moderated by Petr Vizina.

For Central European countries 1989 represented both a new starting line and an entreaty to come to terms with many internal problems. Thirty years after the fall of communism, Polish and Czech journalists and figures from public life discuss the transformations in the two countries.

This anniversary series was co-created by the Václav Havel Library and the Polish Institute in Prague. Supported by the Czech-Polish Forum of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.

The debate will take place in Polish and Czech. Interpretation will be provided.

Jan Němec: The Possibilities of the Romance Novel

Jan Němec: The Possibilities of the Romance Novel

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 11, 2019, 19:30 – 22:00

On love and writing in an age of digital sorrow.

Why do people get together? What do we love about one another? And why in that case do we break up? The writer, the author of an acclaimed novel about František Drtikol, Dějiny světla (The History of Light), is bringing out a new book after six years, Možnosti milostného románu (The Possibilities of the Romance Novel). This extensive text at the intersection of romance novel and essay on writing will be one of the major releases from publishers Host this autumn.

Chaired by Petr Vizina.

Festival of Democracy at the Václav Havel Library

Festival of Democracy at the Václav Havel Library

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 13, 2019, 17:15 – 18:15

Come to the fourth edition of the Festival of Democracy. You will be celebrating with us civic activity as a fundamental pillar of freedom and democracy while also supporting public discussion across generations and the entire society. A society that 30 years ago unlocked the door to freedom and is today afraid of losing it. As this year we are recalling the events of 1989, we wish to revive the legacy of the Velvet Revolution, its values and aspirations. At the same time, however, we hope in this context to devote space to challenges to the common future that we hold in our hands – because we feel responsibility for the world in which we live. Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with Forum 2000. The event will take place in Czech and English; interpretation will not be provided.


Widely considered as the father of the modern Czech democracy, Havel is also seen as a thinker who believed that truth and moral conscience must prevail over lies and hatred. Havel's challenge was to become a canny politician while remaining a moral one, but he has always remained a figure of intellectual integrity with an acute sense of responsibility. Fundamentally, Havel was a man of ideas; an accomplished playwright who was pushed into the political sphere by taking his own ideas seriously and attempting to live up to them. This is what Havel termed “living in truth”. Havel was convinced that maintaining moral integrity was not a choice but a necessity. What is the philosophical and political legacy of Václav Havel 30 years after 1989? How can we understand Havel's ideas of democracy, responsibility and living in truth? What is his relevance for today's world?


John Keane, Author of The Life and Death of Democracy, Australia
Nyaradzo Mashayamombe, Executive Director, Tag A Life International Trust (Ta-LI), Zimbabwe
Tomáš Vrba, Chairman, Board of Directors, Forum 2000 Foundation, Czechia

Moderator: Ramin Jahanbegloo, Political Philosopher, Member, Program Council, Forum 2000 Foundation, Canada/Iran

Festival of Democracy at the Václav Havel Library

Festival of Democracy at the Václav Havel Library

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 14, 2019, 13:00 – 21:00

Come to the fourth edition of the Festival of Democracy. You will be celebrating with us civic activity as a fundamental pillar of freedom and democracy while also supporting public discussion across generations and the entire society. A society that 30 years ago unlocked the door to freedom and is today afraid of losing it. As this year we are recalling the events of 1989, we wish to revive the legacy of the Velvet Revolution, its values and aspirations. At the same time, however, we hope in this context to devote space to challenges to the common future that we hold in our hands – because we feel responsibility for the world in which we live. Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with Forum 2000. The event will take place in Czech and English; interpretation will not be provided.

13.00 – 14.30 | DEMOCRACY AND TRUTH

Values provide us with the motivation and means to orient our wants and decisions toward the future. If today we speak about a crisis or a breakdown of values, we understand that at risk, alongside values, are the integrity of mankind, the quality of interpersonal relationships and the achievements of civilisation. However, are we actually aware of what values are and what they are based on? Come and listen to this debate involving members of the dialogue-focused community WebDialog!

Panellists: theologian and sociologist Tomáš Halík, philosophers Miroslav Petříček and Václav Němec

Debate chair: Veronika Sedláčková

The debate is taking place in cooperation with the WebDialog Foundation.

During the post-socialist transition in the Czech Republic, public policies were aimed at tackling political corruption, with more or less success. However, according to various opinion polls, corruption is still cited as one of the most urgent issues that must be resolved. This demonstrates, that political corruption should be addressed beyond legal and institutional arrangements. Indeed, corruption is a relevant starting point to examine a society in terms of relationships between citizens and the state, expectations from office-holders, civil society engagement, and last but not least, evolution of societal values. What lessons can we draw from other transitioning countries such as Kosovo or Afghanistan? James Wasserstrom, currently anti-corruption officer in Afghanistan, will share his experience from these transitioning countries. From there we'll move on to a discussion about anti-corruption tools and methods where civil society can be engaged: rewarding and protecting whistleblowers, introducing innovative voting methods, or crowdfunding an online calculator that speeds up the prosecution of corrupt politicians. Finally, we would like to open a discussion about the contours of anti-corruption fight in the next 30 years. How will personal and societal values evolve, and how they will impact subjective judgements on corruption? Will we be more tolerant towards these transgressions, or on the contrary, condemnation of corrupt behaviours will get stronger? How to translate this moral condemnation into democratic practices? Can the anti-corruption endeavour unite the Czech society?

The panel will be composed of people involved in the fight against corruption: Jim Wasserstrom (USA) – anti-corruption officer at the US embassy in Kabul, Karel Janeček (CZ) – director of Institute H21, inventor of the Janecek voting method Ondřej Timčo (CZ) – researcher at Institute H21, specialist on corruption in Central and Eastern Europe Alexandre Reznikow (CZ/FR) – expert on ethics and human values at Eticia 21
Moderátor: Karel Škácha (CZ) – director of the Anticorruption Endowment

In cooperation with Anticorruption Endowment.


Talks between Václav Havel and Adam Michnik

They met for the first time in 1978 at a secret gathering on the peaks of the Krkonoše Mountains as enemies of the Communist regime. Less than 12 years later the playwright Václav Havel had become Czechoslovak (and later Czech) president and the journalist Adam Michnik was editor-in-chief of Poland’s biggest daily, Gazeta Wyborcza.

The illegal meeting of these two exceptional figures, linked by the idea of an effective and peaceful strategy to dismantle authoritarian regimes in Central Europe, led to a lifelong friendship. Over the two subsequent post-revolution decades they conducted a constant dialogue on how to build democracy, cultivate a free political culture and maintain their ideals in their countries. The conversations, in which Havel’s and Michnik’s views, different life experiences and humour collided, offer a penetrating testimony to a remarkable era. They are coming out in complete form, and in Czech, for the first time. Michael Žantovský will chair a talk with Adam Michnik and the book’s editor Tomáš Vrba.

Festival of Democracy at the Václav Havel Library

Festival of Democracy at the Václav Havel Library

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 15, 2019, 13:00 – 17:30

Come to the fourth edition of the Festival of Democracy. You will be celebrating with us civic activity as a fundamental pillar of freedom and democracy while also supporting public discussion across generations and the entire society. A society that 30 years ago unlocked the door to freedom and is today afraid of losing it. As this year we are recalling the events of 1989, we wish to revive the legacy of the Velvet Revolution, its values and aspirations. At the same time, however, we hope in this context to devote space to challenges to the common future that we hold in our hands – because we feel responsibility for the world in which we live. Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with Forum 2000. The event will take place in Czech and English; interpretation will not be provided.

13.00 – 14.30 | Between the Castle and StB Jailers: The Czech Bahá'í Community from the Austrian-Hungarian Empire Until 1989

The search for transcendence and spiritual values has always been closely associated with societal development in our lands. That was also the case in the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and particularly following the creation of Czechoslovakia. Prior to the ascent of Communist dictatorship in 1948, the diversity of spiritual and religious life in our country also found external expression. One spiritual current with a firm position in that mosaic was the Bahá'í faith, which influenced many figures in Czech intellectual circles and also interested the Czechoslovak presidents Masaryk and Beneš. Like other faith groups, Bahá'í was the target of persecution by the totalitarian system following the Communist coup.

Panellists: Kristýna Pilecká, lecturer on Bahá'í and faith at Charles University; Karel Tesař, diplomat and historian; Hana Sodeyfi, Austrian Slavic Studies scholar, interpreter and translator of Czech.

In cooperation with the Bahá'í Information Centre.

16.00 – 17.30 | Education and Democracy

Václav Havel and other leading figures of the Czech struggle for a democratic future deemed education to be the foundation for democracy. Today, 30 years after the introduction of democracy to the Czech Republic and 15 years after the Czech accession to the EU, the Czech educational system provides basic education for every citizen and performs well in international testing. On the other hand, education remains underfunded by the government, the teaching workforce is aging, and the content of education is prone to emphasizing the past, both events, and institutions, over contemporary knowledge and the challenges of tomorrow. How far has the Czech education come in fostering democracy, what are the solution to current challenges and how should education respond to major issues of tomorrow?

In cooperation with Europeum

The Velvet Revolution in the Eyes of the Children of 1950s Political Prisoners

The Velvet Revolution in the Eyes of the Children of 1950s Political Prisoners

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 15, 2019, 19:00 – 21:00

Did the lives of daughters and sons whose parents had been political prisoners in the 1950s change after November 1989? If so, how?

As children and young people they experienced persecution and discrimination on the part of the Communist totalitarian regime, feelings of injustice and humiliation, separation from their families and concern for the lives of their nearest and dearest and themselves. They frequently heard in their neighbourhoods and schools that they were “enemies of the state”. After 1989 their parents were rehabilitated and became national heroes. But did the events of November 1989 also provide moral, social and material recompense to the offspring of 1950s political prisoners?

These issues will be discussed by Ludmila Zouharová (daughter of Václav Švéda of the Mašín brothers group, who was shot escaping over the border, arrested and sentenced to death), Jaroslava Matoušková (daughter of Zdeněk Wünsch, a member of a Prague resistance group that planned a political coup after the Communist takeover of February 1948), František Brož (son a progressive farmer from the Jičín area who in 1951 had all his property confiscated before the family were forcibly moved to Ondrášov in North Moravia) and other children of 1950s political prisoners. The debate will be preceded by the screening of video testimonies from the group Daughters of the 1950s, who received a Gold Star in the European Commission’s Active European Remembrance programme.

Historian Jan Kalous from the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes will moderate.

Taiwan Demystified

Taiwan Demystified

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 16, 2019, 19:00 – 21:00

The event will present Taiwan as a democratic country in a difficult geo-political position, and an important investment partner for the Czech Republic. It will clarify the current status of Taiwan in international relations, including its position on the “One China Principle ”. Other topics will include Cross-Straits Relations, cooperation with other countries, and some of the recent controversies in the Czech Republic, such as the much discussed Prague’s Sister City agreements.

Panelists: Joey Wang (Representative, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office), Szu-chien Hsu, RoC Deputy Foreign Minister, Ketty W. Chen (Vice-President, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy), Carl Gershman (President, National Endownment for Democracy), Martin Hála (Director, Sinopsis), Michael Žantovský (Executive Director of the Václav Havel Library).

Moderator: Kateřina Procházková (Sinopsis)

Getting the message across

Getting the message across

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 16, 2019, 13:45 – 17:30

The role of the foreign media in the build-up to the Velvet Revolution in 1989 was an important part of the dramatic events of the annus mirabilis. Through the reports and broadcasts of a small number of reporters based in Czechoslovakia the world had an opportunity to learn about the growing resistance to the communist regime from activists, eye-witnesses and observers. At the same time, citizens of Czechoslovakia became increasingly informed, largely thanks to foreign radio broadcasts, not only about the latest government decisions and the sorry state of the economy but also about various civil initiatives. From the beginning of 1989 the reporting of foreign journalists in Prague became an essential feature in the efforts of the opposition to the regime to organize and attract broader support. Foreign journalists also played an important part in covering the drama of the Velvet Revolution and conveying its significance to the Western and global audiences, and in reporting on the first steps of the new, democratic government. The special event in the Václav Havel Library will bring together some of the journalists who covered the events and their memories.

13.45 Registration

14.00 – 14.15 

Welcome reception at the Václav Havel Library: Michael Žantovský

Introduction: Jennifer Bachus, Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Prague

14.15 – 15.45 PANEL 1: Correspondents of Radio

Jolyon Naegele, former East Europe correspondent of the Voice of America
Martin Schulz, former editor of Radio Free Europe
Ross Johnson, former director of Radio Free Europe in Munich

Moderator: Jakub Szántó, former Czech TV Middle East correspondent and author

15.45 – 16.00 Coffee break

16.00 – 17.30 PANEL 2: Correspondents of Press

Alison Smale, former chief East Europe correspondent of Associated Press, outgoing UN Under-Secretary General for Global Communications
Colin McIntyre, former chief East Europe correspondent of Reuters, currently consultant to the Thomson Reuters Foundation
Michael Žantovský, former Prague correspondent of Reuters

Moderator: Jakub Szántó, former Czech TV Middle East correspondent and author

17.30 – 17.45 A glass of wine

The event takes place in cooperation with Radio Free Europe and with the kind financial support of the US Embassy in Prague.
The event will be held in English.
Admission is free on the basis of registration until capacity has been met. For registration form go to:

A Ross Johnson is a History and Public Policy  Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Senior Adviser at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.  Johnson was a senior executive of RFE/RL from 1988 to 2002, serving as director  of Radio Free Europe, director of the RFE/RL Research Institute, and acting president and counselor of RFE/RL. He was research fellow at the Hoover Institution from 2003 to 2016 and  senior staff member of the RAND Corporation from 1969 to 1988, where he specialized in East European and Soviet  security issues. Since 2002 he has advised RFE/RL on the preservation of its archives, including those of the Czechoslovak Service.

Colin McIntyre, who has Australian-British citizenship, studied French and German at Cambridge before joining Reuters in 1967. After brief spells in Brussels and Vienna he was appointed East Berlin correspondent in September 1968. In 1971 he spent a year in Prague before returning to East Berlin. After a spell in London he spent two years as Jakarta correspondent, during which he covered the end of the Vietnam War in Saigon and events in Cambodia and Laos. He returned to East Europe as news editor and Vienna-based Prague correspondent in 1979, followed by four years in Dublin reporting the troubles in Northern Ireland, then a spell as UK Political Correspondent reporting parliament, until returning to Vienna as Chief Correspondent East Europe in 1987.Back in London in 1991, he spent the next 10 years between London and Belgrade covering the break-up of Yugoslavia. After retirement in 2001 he worked as a consultant for the Reuters Foundation, training journalists around the world.

Jolyon Naegele, born in New York City in 1955, studied IR, focusing on Soviet bloc (BA 1976 from CCNY, MA 1978 SAIS/JHU); Czech language at SSEES/UL (1974-75). VOA correspondent 1984-94, covered decline and collapse of Communist rule in Eastern Europe, the disintegration of the USSR and Yugoslavia and Czechoslovak's "velvet divorce". Senior editor and analyst for West Balkan affairs at RFE/RL in Prague (1996-2003). From 2003, held political affairs posts at UNMIK, including chief political affairs officer from 2007 until his retirement from the UN in 2017. Since then, he has been researching the files of the Czechoslovak secret police (StB).

Martin Schulz Born in 1954 in Pribram, he graduated from the grammar school in Prague 7. He was not allowed to study at university for political reasons. From 1974 he tried his hand at several professions, such as a lorry driver, stagehand at the Divadlo na Vinohradech theatre, manual worker and first aid crew member. In December 1982 he moved to Germany. From 1983 he worked for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Munich on an external basis and from 1988 as a regular employee.
In 1995 he returned to the Czech Republic and later worked as the deputy director of the Czech broadcasting section of RFE. He has been collaborating with the Czechoslovak and then Czech TV since 1990 as a script writer, director and presenterof features entitled Na hrane and Snezi.

Alison Smale was born in 1955 in London and has some 40 years’ experience as a journalist and, most recently, as Undersecretary General for Global Communications at the United Nations. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in German and Politics from Bristol University, a Masters in Journalism from Stanford University and an honorary doctorate from Bristol. She ran The Associated Press coverage of central and eastern Europe from 1987-98, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia and the 1990s wars in the Balkans. After 9/11, she was deputy foreign editor at The New York Times and oversaw coverage of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. She then spent nine years in Paris as editor of the International Herald Tribune, the first and only woman to hold that post. From 2013-17, Alison was the Berlin bureau chief for The New York Times.

Jakub Szanto (*1977) is a Czech TV reporter. From 1999 he worked as editor in the foreign newsroom and later as its director at TV Nova, a private station. Since 2006 he has been a member of the foreign newsroom of Czech TV. In 2013–2018 he was its correspondent in the Near East. In the last decade he has covered the Chechnya conflict, the Israeli–Palestinian wars, the revolutions and coups in the Ukraine and Turkey, the Arab Spring conflicts, Somali pirates and other events in the Near East, Africa and post-Soviet countries. He is a laureate of the Journalist Prize, Peroutka Prize and the ‘Magnesia litera’ literary prize. He is married to the scriptwriter Lenka Szanto; they have two children.

Michael Žantovský is a director of the Václav Havel Library and formerly Czech ambassador to the United Kingdom, Israel and the United States. He has worked as a psychologist, translator, journalist and lyricist. He is the author of the biography Václav Havel: A Life. In November 1989 he co-founded Civic Forum and in January 1990 became the press secretary and spokesman of President Václav Havel. He is deputy chairman of the board of trustees of Aspen Institute Central Europe, a member of the programme board of the Forum 2000 conference and a member of the board of trustees of the Václav Havel Library Foundation in New York.

The Underground and Czechoslovakia in the Years 1976–1981

The Underground and Czechoslovakia in the Years 1976–1981

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 17, 2019, 10:00 – 17:00

The period covered by the fifth international conference on the Czech underground was not selected randomly. The normalisation regime’s first mass campaign against the underground community began in 1976. It ended with the uniting of a fragmented opposition around a common platform, Charter 77. Paradoxically, it took the Communist regime itself to politicise and popularise the underground.

Many young people, on the verge of adulthood, learned about the existence of long-haired rebels from the widespread smear campaign and soon swelled their ranks. A confrontational phase of the Cold War was reflected in an increased crackdown on the domestic opposition. At the turn of the 1980s the Communist regime launched a second drive against the underground that culminated in the nationwide operation “Satan”, targeted against the underground magazine Vokno, first published in 1979. “Satan” was preceded by the regional operation “Sabat” aimed at destroying the underground in North Bohemia, specifically its connection to the Prague centre of Charter 77. It remains little known that, apart from in Prague, the greatest number of Charter 77 signatories were actually from the underground. These people created the spine of the movement. The period 1976–1981 represents the peak, integrating phase of the Czech underground, whose spiritual leader was Ivan Martin Jirous. Other typical aspects of this period clearly include the phenomenon of “country houses”, islands of freedom where there was a vibrant cultural life, under the watchful eye of the State Security.

These and many more, often unjustly overlooked aspects will be the focus of this conference bringing together leading domestic and international experts.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library and the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes.

More than Words

More than Words

  • Where: Frankfurt Book Fair, Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1, Frankfurt am Main
  • When: October 18, 2019, 12:00 – 14:00

This year’s edition of the biggest international book fair will take place from October 16 to 20. Alongside a stand presenting the Czech Republic, which will be honouring Václav Havel, Havel’s famous speech Words on Words will also be remembered.

In October 1989 Václav Havel received the Peace Prize of the German Booksellers Association, which he was unable to accept in person. The speech he wrote on that occasion dedicated to the power of words and their responsible usage is no less topical today.

Can we learn from history? What kind of power do words possess?

Discussion guests: Alexander Alexejewitsch Drozdow, Hans Maier Michael Žantovský

Evening with Pierre Michon, Laureate of 2019 Franz Kafka Prize

Evening with Pierre Michon, Laureate of 2019 Franz Kafka Prize

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 21, 2019, 18:00 – 20:00

Meeting with novelist Pierre Michon, laureate of the prestigious Franz Kafka Prize, which recognises exceptional literary work by major modern authors, for 2019. Michon received the Prix France Culture for his very first book (Vies minuscules, Gallimard 1984), while he also earned one of France’s most important awards, the Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française, for his book Les Onze, as well as being presented with the Petrarca-Preis, Prix Décembre and Prix Marguerite-Yourcenar.

The evening will be introduced by  Jovanka Šotolová.

The event will include simultaneous translation from French to Czech and vice versa.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library and the Institut français in Prague in cooperation with the Franz Kafka Society and publishers Paseka.

Morozov, Němec – The Power of the Powerful, or The Power of the Powerless

Morozov, Němec – The Power of the Powerful, or The Power of the Powerless

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 23, 2019, 17:00 – 19:00

Russia and Europe from the perspective of 2024. A philosophical dialogue of the generations.

Presidential elections will be held in the Czech Republic and Russia in, respectively, 2023 and 2024. What will the mood be in both societies at that time? Can Czech citizens break the Zeman-Babiš alliance and what route will Russia take to reinforcing Putinism? And what is the role of Putinism in the Czech Republic and the whole of Europe today?

Political scientist Alexandr Morozov and philosopher Václav Němec will take part in the debate.

Moderated by Karel Svoboda.

Interpretation into Czech provided.

Lost in Translation V

Lost in Translation V

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 23, 2019, 19:00 – 21:00

Another round table organised jointly by the Václav Havel Library and the Czech Literary Translators’ Guild, this time entitled The influence of English on Czech: Where does enrichment end and contamination begin?

The discussion will focus on the adoption of language elements from English, not just words but frequently also elements of grammar. It will explore the benefits of this influence but also its invasive or even parasitic form in an effort to determine at least roughly the line beyond which a mother tongue is no longer enriched but polluted. Last but not least, we will consider how to approach Anglicisms in literary texts, including translations.

Václav Havel Editions Live

Václav Havel Editions Live

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 24, 2019, 19:00 – 21:00

Presentation of a translation series and discussion with its authors

The Václav Havel Editions build on the intellectual legacy of a philosopher, dramatics, dissident and president whose name the series bears. It presents various perspectives from leading figures from the Central European sphere in the fields of contemporary philosophy, sociology, art, culture, architecture and the latest general history.

Guests: Miroslav Petříček, Karel Hvížďala, Matěj Spurný and others.

The debate will be chaired by radio and TV presenter Jakub Železný.

Jiří Stivín will provide musical accompaniment.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library and publishers Nakladatelství Karolinum.

The Velvet Revolution After Thirty Years

The Velvet Revolution After Thirty Years

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 30, 2019, 17:00 – 19:00

Daniel Kroupa, Monika MacDonagh-Pajerová, Jolyon Naegele and Jan Sokol will return in conversations with Olga Sommerová and Petr Placák to the events of the Velvet Revolution. The focus will not be on the recollections of direct participants but on the recent history and values that have formed us and continue to do so.

Via interviews and rich accompanying photographs we will follow the path to the Velvet Revolution and the dramatic events at the end of 1989, and also consider what the change brought us and what kind of world we are creating together.

Well-known names representing various generations, professions and opinions will present a multi-dimensional overview of our lived history and the responsibility we bear toward them and future generations.

Chaired by Jáchym Topol.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with the Karolinum publishing house.

Memorial to Three Resistances in Lošany

Memorial to Three Resistances in Lošany

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 30, 2019, 20:00 – 22:00

The debate will focus on the form of the Memorial to Three Resistances in Lošany on the family farm of General Major Josef Mašín. How should Czechoslovakia’s three resistance movements in the 20th century be commemorated? How has remembrance culture changed in this area in the past? What were the international inspirations for the architectural plan for the Lošany memorial?

Guests: architect Tomáš Hradečný and writer and publisher Jiří Padevět.

Historian Petr Blažek will moderate.

Havel in America

Havel in America

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 31, 2019, 17:00 – 19:00

The authors of the book Havel v Americe (Havel in America), Lenka Kabrhelová and Rosamund Johnston, will discuss the intellectual legacy of Václav Havel in the United States with Petr Pithart and other guests.

The book delivers the testimonies of politicians Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright, historian Timothy Snyder and singer Suzanne Vega, who knew the Czech president very well. How do they perceive the role of Václav Havel? What do they find inspirational about Havel’s philosophy? And can his ideas speak to today’s divided society? The book will be “baptised” after the panel discussion.

The debate will be moderated by Czech Radio journalist Jan Bumba.

Organised in cooperation with publishers Host and the Václav Havel Library Foundation in New York.

What is freedom?

What is freedom?

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 31, 2019, 20:00 – 22:00

Panel discussion featuring Velvet Revolution participants and today’s youth

How are we to view the events surrounding the Velvet Revolution 30years ago? What did the direct participants experience? How did those constructing the new handle the first wave of freedom? And what do today’s young people know about things then? All of this will be discussed by our three guests.

After the revolution Miloslav Běťák put his energies into reviving the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren’s Diaconia and for 10 years headed the first and only permanent Diaconia hospice in Valašské Meziříčí. Michal Vogl was studying electrical engineering at the time of the revolution. Those events and his activism led to him also study theology and he is now an Evangelical pastor; alongside religion he has taught computers at an elementary school and publishes a regional magazine. Kristýna Drápalová wasn’t even born in 1989. Today she is a student and activist.

Moderated by Adam Šůra, editor-in-chief of the quarterly Paměť a dějiny.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library and the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren.

Havel Channel

Ve zkušebním provozu jsme na začátku května 2020 spustili televizní kanál, jehož smyslem je naplňovat poslání Knihovny VH moderními technologiemi, bez ohledu na hranice a nouzové stavy všeho druhu. V tuto chvíli probíhá výběr a testování vhodných formátů. Vzniká rovněž základní programové schéma, jehož páteř budou tvořit debaty, vzdělávací projekty, rozhovory, záznamy akcí a v neposlední řadě archivní záběry s Václavem Havlem. Oficiální spuštění televize je plánováno na září 2020.

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Publications / E-shop

The central focus of the Library’s publishing programme is the life and work of Václav Havel, his family and close collaborators and friends. For clarity, the programme is divided into six series: Václav Havel Library Notebooks, Václav Havel Library Editions, Student Line, Talks from Lány, Václav Havel Documents, Works of Pavel Juráček and Václav Havel Library Conferences. Titles that cannot be incorporated into any of the given series but which are nonetheless important for the Library’s publishing activities are issued independently, outside the series framework.

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Václav Havel European Dialogues

The Václav Havel European Dialogues is an international project that aims to initiate and stimulate a discussion about issues determining the direction of contemporary Europe while referring to the European spiritual legacy of Václav Havel. This idea takes its main inspiration from Václav Havel’s essay “Power of the Powerless”. More than other similarly focused projects, the Václav Havel European Dialogues aims to offer the “powerless” a platform to express themselves and in so doing to boost their position within Europe.

The Václav Havel European Dialogues is planned as a long-term project and involves cooperation with other organisations in various European cities. Individual meetings, which take the form of a conference, are targeted primarily at secondary and third-level students, as well as specialists and members of the public interested in European issues.


Václav Havel Human Rights Prize

The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize is awarded each year by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation to reward outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights in Europe and beyond.

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Václav Havel

Václav Havel
* 5. 10. 1936 Praha
† 18. 12. 2011 Hrádeček u Trutnova

Václav Havel grew up
in a well-known, wealthy entrepreneurial
and intellectual family.
Václav Havel completed primary schooling. Because
of his "bourgeois" background, options for
higher education were limited.
Václav Havel worked as a chemical laboratory technician
while attending evening classes at a high school
from which he graduated in 1954.
Václav Havel studied at the
Economics Faculty of the Czech
Technical University in Prague.
Václav Havel began working at Prague's Theatre on
the Balustrade, first as a stagehand and later as
an assistant director and literary manager.
Havel´s first play The Garden
Party was staged at Prague's
Theatre on the Balustrade.
Václav Havel
married Olga
VH finished studies at at the
Theatre Faculty of the Academy of
Performing Arts in Prague .
Václav Havel played an active role in
democratization and renewal of culture during the
era of reforms, known as Prague Spring.
Havel's work were banned in Czechoslovakia. He
moved from Prague to the country, continued
his activities against the Communist regime.
Václav Havel worked as a manual laborer
at a local brewery near Hrádeček in
the north of the Czech Republic.
Václav Havel wrote an open
letter to President Gustav Husak,
criticizing the government.
Václav Havel co-founded the Charter 77
human rights initiative and was one
of its first spokesmen.
Václav Havel co-founded The
Committee for the Defense
of the Unjustly Prosecuted.
Václav Havel was imprisoned several times
for his beliefs, his longest prison
term lasting from 1979 to 1983.
Václav Havel emerged as one of the
leaders of the November opposition movement, also
known as the Velvet Revolution.
Václav Havel is elected
President of Czechoslovakia on
December 29.
Václav Havel is elected, after the
dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the first President
of the Czech Republic.
On January
27, Olga
Havlova died.
Václav Havel married Dagmar Veskrnova,
a popular and acclaimed Czech theatrical,
television and movie actress.
Václav Havel enabled the entry of
the Czech Republic into the North
Atlantic Treat Organisation (NATO).
Václav Havel left office after
his second term as Czech
president ended on 2 February 2003.
Foundation of Václav
Havel Library in
The Czech Republic became the 35th
member State of the Council of
Europe on 30 June 1993.
Václav Havel directed
a film adaptation of
his play Leaving.
Václav Havel died at his
summer house Hrádeček in the
north of the Czech Republic.
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Educational projects


Man of inspiration

This six-part series of educational videos introduces young viewers to the most important events in Czechoslovak history in the second half of the 20th century, with an accent on the human rights struggle. It is presented by singer and TV moderator Emma Smetana and choreographer and producer Yemi. The presenters of the English versions are native speakers.


Year of Revolution

The year of the Velvet Revolution from the perspective of young YouTubers. A series of seven video lessons aimed at elementary and secondary schools mapping the revolutionary year from January to December 1989 and introducing viewers to key moments in totalitarian Czechoslovakia’s transformation into a democratic country.


Read Havel

A collection of short videos in which well-known young people in Czech public life present iconic and lesser-known texts by Václav Havel.


Václav Havel here and now

A travelling series of discussions about VH and more with Michael Žantovský, intended for secondary school students, libraries and arts centres.


Best Student Essay Competition

One of the key genres of Václav Havel’s work is essays – on literary, artistic, social, political, and spiritual topics. His essays, such as the The Power of the Powerless and A Word About Words, have become classic texts of Czech literature; they have been translated into tens of languages, and are among the few truly world-famous works of Czech culture. This is also why it is necessary to keep cultivating the essay genre in the Czech language – not in the sense of imitating Václav Havel’s writing, but in the spirit of his courage to name unpleasant problems and search for unconventional solutions to them. For this reason, the Václav Havel Library is announcing the next year of the literary competition for secondary students: the Václav Havel Library Prize for Best Student Essay.


Václav Havel´s Bookshelves

The Václav Havel Little Libraries are a key new Václav Havel Library project aimed at establishing a nationwide network of elementary and secondary schools that, with the support of the VHL, will spread the legacy of Václav Havel among their pupils and students. The aim of the Little Libraries is to create in schools (on the model of the existing Václav Havel’s Places) book shelves on which the schools will gather both texts by Václav Havel and texts closely linked to him. They may also contain other written materials, audio and video recordings and photographs.


Lets rock!

Are your students (whether at elementary, arts-focused elementary or secondary schools) interested in history? Do you have a theatre or film club at your school, or are you teaching young people who “just” like to act? If so, we cordially invite you to join the Václav Havel Library in celebrating in a creative manner the centenary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia with the theatre-education project Tomorrow!


Guided tour – Havel In A Nutshell

The Václav Havel Library’s permanent exhibition Havel In A Nutshell introduces pupils and students the life of Václav Havel through a collage of photographs and quotations. Touch screens make use of detailed information and sound recordings to place individual chapters – family, theatre, dissent and presidency – in a broad cultural-historical context, while a large interactive map creates a tangible sense of Václav Havel’s global “footsteps”.


Václav Havel – a Czech myth, or Havel in a Nutshell

This interactive workshop lasting for about 180 minutes takes place in the “Havel in a Nutshell” exhibition hall. Primary and secondary school students are divided into groups within which they deal with various “research” projects. Students work with selected texts and are provided with particular books. The workshop is related not only to the teaching of Czech history, but also to personal, literary, artistic and media training, and increasing student’s democratic consciousness as citizens.


Workshop: The Audience

An interactive 90 minutes’ workshop for secondary school’s students deals with Havel´s well known play The Audience.


Workshop: The Life Story of Vaclav Havel

An interactive 90 minutes’ workshop for primary school pupils (6 – 12 years) brings the ideas and work of Václav Havel on human rights and civil society to children through Havel´s book for children Pizh'duks.



Havel in a nutshell

The Václav Havel Library’s permanent exhibition brings Václav Havel’s story to life via a collage of photographs and quotations. Touchscreens place individual chapters of his life in the broader cultural and historical context, while a large-scale interactive map allows visitors to gain a tangible sense of Václav Havel’s global “footsteps”.  


Oldřich Škácha – Occupation 1968

A collection of photographs by Oldřich Škácha from the Václav Havel Library’s collection.


The Faces of Resistance

Pavel Hroch’s online photographic exhibition captures the stories of those who, across several decades of Czechoslovak history, stood up to evil, inhumanity, oppression and coarseness and who at certain moments displayed courage, will to freedom, love of those around them and common sense.


Via the East to the West

In autumn 1989, Prague was flooded with citizens from the German Democratic Republic. For them, the Czechoslovak capital was to be a transfer station on the journey to freedom, to the western part of their country, whose division was symbolised by the Berlin Wall. One of the main reasons for the sudden growth in the number of refugees was the fear that the GDR would close its borders with Czechoslovakia, the only country East German citizens could enter without a visa, ahead of 40th anniversary celebrations of its foundation.


With a Passion for Freedom

Pavel Hroch’s photographs capture the revolutionary period springing from November 1989 as well as the era of transformation, the start of the 1990s, when things happened in Czechoslovakia that had previously been impossible and unimaginable, a period of joy and carnivalesque festivity, a period of visions, hopes and a great and perhaps somewhat naïve belief in the future. Twenty-five years later, the photographs hold a mirror up to the manner in which those dreams and visions have been realised and to where we find ourselves today.



Story of Václav Havel’s final play and first film (1988–2011)


August invasion of Hrádeček

A meeting of the children of dissidents and others who shared recollections of Václav Havel. The exhibition is a colourful collage of photographs, audio recordings – from talks by individual participants on the subject “My life with Václav Havel”, to a concert by Monika Načeva and Michal Pavlíček – and unique archival materials.


Za dobu svého trvání Knihovna Václava Havla připravila a uspořádala desítky výstav. Část z nich – přibližující nejen život a dílo Václava Havla, ale též nejrůznější kulturní, historické a společenské fenomény českých zemí 2. poloviny 20. století – se stala součástí jejího archivu. Nyní bychom je rádi prostřednictvím tohoto digitálního depozitáře nabídli dalším vzdělávacím a kulturním institucím (školám, knihovnám, klubům…) k bezplatnému využití.  

  • 03/09/19 – 30/09/19foyer knihovny Petra Bezruče v Opavě, 1. patro
  • 03/09/19 – 26/10/19Opava, Galerie Hřivnáč
  • 09/2019Štěpánek Netolický House, Třeboň
  • 01/10/19 – 30/10/19
  • 21/10/19 – 31/12/19Městská knihovna, Žamberk
  • 30/10/19 – 30/11/19Kinský Château, Valašské Meziříčí
  • 10/2019Vysoké Mýto
  • 01/11/19 – 31/12/19Městská knihovna Písek
  • 01/11/19 – 30/11/19
  • 01/11/19 – 02/12/19
  • 01/11/19 – 30/11/19
  • 01/11/19 – 29/11/19Městské kulturní středisko, Dobřany
  • 01/11/19 – 30/11/19SSJS, Tábor
  • 01/11/19 – 30/11/19SSJS, Tábor
  • 01/11/19 – 30/11/19Gymnázium a Střední odborná škola ekonomická, Sedlčany
  • 01/11/19 – 30/11/19Gymnázium a Střední odborná škola ekonomická, Sedlčany
  • 01/11/19 – 29/11/19Základní umělecká škola, Teplice
  • 01/11/19 – 30/11/19Střední průmyslová škola na Proseku, Praha
  • 01/11/19 – 30/11/19Střední průmyslová škola na Proseku, Praha
  • 01/11/19 – 31/12/20České centrum v Sofii, Bulharsko
  • 01/11/19 – 02/12/19Pečky
  • 01/11/19 – 29/02/20OA a SOSŽE v Žatci
  • 04/11/19 – 10/01/20Municipal Library, Ústí nad Orlicí
  • 10/11/19 – 17/11/19Pětašedesátka, Úvaly
  • 11/11/19 – 08/12/19
  • 11/11/19 – 29/11/19Střední škola letecké a výpočetní techniky, Odolena Voda
  • 11/11/19 – 30/06/20Gymnázuim, základní škola a mateřská škola Hello, Ostrava
  • 11/11/19 – 30/11/19ZŠ a MŠ Velký Újezd
  • 14/11/19 – 19/11/19SŠŽTS, Šumperk
  • 15/11/19 – 01/02/201st International School of Ostrava
  • 15/11/19 – 30/11/19Nadační fond ZUŠ Alfréda Radoka, Valašské Meziříčí
  • 17/11/19
  • 17/11/19TJ Sokol, Brozany
  • 11/2019
  • 11/2019
  • 03/01/20 – 21/01/201. Základní škola Hořovice
  • 01/2020Gymnázium Jana Palacha, Mělník
  • 01/2020
  • 01/2020 – 02/2020
  • 02/03/20 – 30/09/20SPŠ akademika Heyrovského, Ostrava
  • 02/03/20 – 23/03/20Gymnázium Jana Keplera, Praha
  • 02/03/20 – 31/03/201st International School of Ostrava
  • 02/03/20 – 20/03/20
  • 24/03/20 – 30/04/20Gymnázium Jana Keplera, Praha
  • 01/09/20 – 31/10/20Městská knihovna Ústí nad Orlicí
  • 01/09/20 – 30/09/20
  • 01/11/20 – 31/12/20
  • 02/11/20 – 02/12/202.11. – 2. 12. 2020
  • 12/11/20 – 01/12/20
  • 01/11/21 – 30/01/22
  • 30/11/21 – 05/01/22










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Archive / Documentation centre / Research projects

Dokumentační centrum

The Václav Havel Library is gradually gathering, digitizing, and making accessible written materials, photographs, sound recordings and other materials linked to the person of Václav Havel.

  • 52968 records in total
  • 15303 of events in the VH's life
  • 2994 of VH's texts
  • 2086 of photos 
  • 280of videos
  • 558of audios
  • 6523of letters
  • 14722of texts about VH
  • 6627 of books
  • 27210of bibliography records

Access to the database of the VHL’s archives is free and possible after registering as a user. Accessing archival materials that exist in an unreadable form is only possible at the reading room of the Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, 110 00 Prague 1, every Tuesday (except state holidays) from 9:00 to 17:00, or by prior appointment.

We will be glad to answer your queries at


Vladimir Hanzel's revolution

Collage of recollections, images and sound recordings from Vladimír Hanzel, President Václav Havel’s personal secretary, bringing the feverish atmosphere of the Velvet Revolution to life.


Václav Havel Interviews

A database of all accessible interviews given to print media outlets by the dramatist, writer and political activist Václav Havel between the 1960s and 1989. The resulting collection documents the extraordinary life story of an individual, as well as capturing a specific picture of modern Czechoslovak history at a time when being a free-thinker was more likely to lead to jail than an official public post.


Pavel Juráček Archive

The Pavel Juráček Archive arose in February 2014 when his son Marek Juráček handed over six banana boxes and a typewriter case from his father’s estate to the Václav Havel Library. Thousands of pages of manuscripts, typescripts, photographs, documents and personal and official correspondence are gradually being classified and digitalised. The result of this work should be not only to map the life and work of one of the key figures of the New Wave of Czechoslovak film in the 1960s, but also to make his literary works accessible in the book series The Works of Pavel Juráček.

The aim of the Václav Havel Library is to ensure that Pavel Juráček finds a place in the broader cultural consciousness and to notionally build on the deep friendship he shared with Václav Havel. Soon after Juráček’s death in 1989 Havel said of him: “Pavel was a friend of mine whom I liked very much. He was one of the most sensitive and gentle people I have known – that’s why I cannot write more about him.”  

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All about Library

The Václav Havel Library collects, researches, disseminates, promotes and advocates the spiritual, literary and political legacy of a great figure of modern Czech history - the author, playwright, thinker, human rights defender and Czechoslovak and Czech president. It also focuses on people, events and phenomena related to the legacy of Václav Havel and strives to place them in the context of the times and of the present.

From August 2014, the Václav Havel Library is located at the address Ostrovní 13, Prague 1. The building’s ground-floor spaces is dedicated to an exhibition "Václav Havel or Havel in a nutshell" and used for VHL club events – all kinds of seminars, readings, exhibitions, lectures, concerts and theatre performances. The Library’s offices, archive, constantly expanding library, and reading room are located on the first floor.

The main aims of the Václav Havel Library include

  • Organizing archival, archival-research, documentary, museum and library activities focused on the work of Vaclav Havel and documents or objects related to his activities, and carries out professional analysis of their influence on the life and self-reflection of society
  • Serving, in a suitable manner, such as through exhibitions, the purpose of education and popularisation functions, thus presenting to the public the historical significance of the fight for human rights and freedoms in the totalitarian period and the formation of civil society during the establishment of democracy
  • Organizing scientific research and publication activities in its areas of interest
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Staňte se členy Klubu přátel Knihovny Václava Havla

„Domnívám se, že se nám daří naplňovat vizi Václava Havla, jenž při založení Knihovny prohlásil, že má smysl jedině jako živoucí organismus, který zaujímá své nepřehlédnutelné místo v celku veřejného a politického života. Vnímáme to jako závazek a inspiraci do budoucna. Rádi bychom využili záznamů ze stovek našich akcí ve vlastním kanálu internetové televize, rozšířili publikační program, připravili další e-learningové série, začali pořádat workshopy pro učitele… To vše si však vyžádá nemalé finanční prostředky. Proto jsme se rozhodli obrátit na naše návštěvníky a příznivce s prosbou o podporu.“ – Michael Žantovský

Pomozte nám inspirovat své okolí i Vy!
Přijdete se k nám a staňte se členem Klubu přátel Knihovny VH!


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Váš příspěvek nám pomůže s vývojem vzdělávacích miniserií, audivizuálních projektů, přípravou mezinárodních konferencí...

Support us

Financial donations

If you would like to support the work of the Václav Havel Library or its specific activities or projects by means of a financial donation you can do so via the VHL’s PayPal account

Or by bank transfer to:

ČSOB a. s., Na Poříčí 24, 115 20 Praha 1

  • Crown account number 7077 7077 / 0300 CZK
  • Euro account number 7755 7755 / 0300 EUR
  • Dollar account number 7747 7747 / 0300 USD

If an individual makes a donation of over CZK 1,000, or if a company makes a donation of over CZK 2,000, in one calendar year we will create for you a donation contract confirming the amount of the donation involved; the donor can use this to reduce their tax base in compliance with the law on taxation. For more information, contact us.

Donors with US citizenship can support us through the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation New York.

Donations and loans to the VHL archive

The Václav Havel Library administers an archive of written materials, documents, photographs, video recordings and other materials related to the life and work of Václav Havel. The archive is predominantly digital in form. If you or somebody close to you is the owner of original texts, photographs, speeches or other works produced by Václav Havel we would appreciate it greatly if you contacted us. We will oversee the digitalisation of these documents and place them in our digital archive. If you would like to keep possession of such documents or items, we will return them in perfect condition.  

If a copy or original is donated to the Václav Havel Library, the terms of donation and use will in all cases be agreed with the owner. The names of all donors or owners will be listed alongside the documentary materials in question.


We offer short and long-term internships at the Václav Havel Library to Czech and foreign students. Interns are particularly welcomed in the fields of library studies and archival science, arts management, journalism, Czech Studies and other areas of the humanities.

We welcome knowledge of English (German and French are also a plus), while knowledge of Czech is an advantage for foreign interns.

Internships range in duration from six weeks to one year, while it is possible to agree on individual duration depending on the requirements of schools. On completion of the internship, the participant receives a certificate with an appraisal. Internships take place on the basis of prior agreement with applicants and dates must be agreed around two months in advance. Václav Havel Library internships are unpaid and we do not cover transport or accommodation costs.

If you are interested in an internship at the Václav Havel Library, contact us at the email address:

Media and promotion cooperation with the VHL

The Václav Havel Library welcomes the mutual exchange of links and the publication of our banners and information about our events. For more information, contact us directly.


The Václav Havel Library welcomes volunteers who would like to assist in our work.  

Bakala PhilanthropyRockefeller Brothers FundJan BartaAsiana GroupMoneta Money BankThe Vaclav Havel Library FoundationNadace Charty 77Sekyra FoudationVŠEMRicohP3chemTechsoup ČRNewton MediaHlavní město PrahaMinisterstvo kultury ČRMinisterstvo zahraničních věcí ČRUS EmbassyStátní fond kultury