Dedicated to the 100 million victims of communism worldwide.
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National Exhibit
National Exhibit
Václav Havel

The tenth and the last president of Czechoslovakia (1989-1992) and the first president of the Czech Republic (1993-2005) was born in 1936 into a Prague family of prominent intellectuals and entrepreneurs (founders, i.e., of movie studios in the country). His background stigmatized Havel as a product of an “exploitative class,” and the Communists prevented his access to higher education. He experienced various assignments such as a chemical laboratory assistant and theater stage hand. He soon proved his talent as a dramatist, who wrote over 20 plays and nonfiction works. During the 1960‘s some of his plays were produced with great success abroad.

After the 1968 Soviet invasion, Havel evolved into an outspoken courageous dissident and was instrumental in drafting the important human rights manifesto known as Charter 77. His courage led to several prison terms, the longest four years.

A recipient of many honors and awards, Havel’s popularity abroad surpassed that at home. Havel considers his most important accomplishment as president his contribution to the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact.

After the Slovaks issued their Declaration of Independence, he resigned in July 1992 as president of the federation.

In 1996 he was diagnosed of lung cancer. In 1998 Havel was reelected president and his term ended in 2003. Though not in good health he continues as a private person to be involved in a number of laudable human rights activities.

Click for sources of the victims of communism

Location:  Central Europe
Capital:  Prague
Communist Rule:  1948-1989
Status:  31.12.92 - Dissolution
Victims of Communism:
65 000