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Václav Havel

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Václav Havel was born October 5, 1936. For political reasons, he had problems attending school in communist Czechoslovakia. From 1962 to 1966, he studied dramaturgy at the Theatrical Faculty of the Academy of Musical Arts in Prague.

In the 1960s, the writer and playwright was associated with the theater Divadlo Na Zábradlí.

He is the author of world-renowned absurdist dramas including Zahradní slavnost (The Garden Party, 1963), Vyrozumění (The Memorandum, 1965)and Ztížená možnost soustředění (The Increased Difficulty of Concentration, 1968). These contain themes concerned with the abuse of language, the parody of clichés, bureaucracy, stereotypes and conformism gradually leading to the corruption of the human soul.

He was one of the first spokespersons for Charter 77, a leading figure in the political changes during November 1989, and the first president of the Czech Republic.

His last term as president ended in February 2003. Since then, he hasn’t carried out any political function.

After leaving politics, Havel devoted himself to the protection of human rights, focusing his attention on Cuba, for example. As co-founder of the Václav and Dagmar Havel Vision ’97 Foundation, he supports an array of humanitarian, health and educational projects.

For his literary works, imaginative and life-long effort to protect human rights, Havel has received countless state honors, international awards and honorable doctorate degrees.

Added: 17.12.2009

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