Wolfsonian-FIU Library

Playwright, poet, essayist, dissident, human rights activist, and statesman are but a few of the monikers that have been used to describe Václav Havel, the first post-Communist president of Czechoslovakia (1989-1992), and the Czech Republic (1993-2003) who died in his sleep this past Sunday after a protracted illness. Havel first stepped into the spotlight of the world stage in 1977 when he co-authored the human rights declaration known as Charter 77. His outspoken opposition to the Soviet-dominated Czech police state led to persecution, constant police surveillance, and repeated imprisonment. Undeterred, Havel continued to inspire the opposition until the 1989 Velvet Revolution brought an end to the one-party state and ushered the former dissident into the presidency of the new multi-party democracy.


While the era in which Havel made his mark in the transformation of Czechoslovakia into a multiparty democracy falls outside the parameters of the Wolfsonian Library collection, we do…

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