Vaclav havel biography summary organizer

vaclav havel biography summary organizer
Simmons and M. It is from written and audio taped interviews conducted in Retrieved 21 January

From to Havel served in the Czech army, where he helped found a regimental theater company. His experience in the army stimulated his interest in theater, and following his discharge he took a stagehand position at the avant-garde Theater on the Balustrade. The eager would-be playwright attracted the admiration of the theater's director and he progressed swiftly from manuscript reader to literary manager to, byresident playwright.

Of working-class origin, his wife was, as Havel later said, "exactly what I needed.

vaclav havel biography summary organizer

His wife did a great deal of reading as Havel's career took off. These plays, which included The Garden PartyThe Memorandumand The Increased Difficulty of Concentrationwere instant successes in Czechoslovakia and abroad, where they were translated and performed to critical and biography acclaim.

The Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia in August brought an abrupt end to the cultural flowering of the "Prague Spring" and marked a watershed in Havel's life. He felt he could not remain silent, and so began his long career as a human rights activist with an underground radio broadcast asking Western intellectuals to condemn the invasion and to protest the human rights abuses of the new and repressive regime of Gustav Husak. The government responded by banning the publication and performance of Havel's works and by revoking his passport.

Although he was forced to take a job in a brewery, he continued to write, and his works were distributed by clandestine, "samizdat" means—typewritten copies and illegal tapes, many of which were sent abroad for publication. Like many of his countrymen, and in particular many intellectuals and artists, Havel could have fled Czechoslovakia to the freedom of the West. He was offered several opportunities to leave, and the government encouraged him to do so. He declined, however, saying, "The solution of this human situation does not lie in leaving it. Havel's human rights activities continued with April 's "Open Letter to Doctor Gustav Husak, " which decried the biography summary organizer of the country as a place which had lost all sense of values and in which people lived in biography and apathy.

The "Letter, " disseminated through samizdat channels, attracted much notice and clearly put Havel at risk. In January hundreds of Czech intellectuals and artists, Marxists and anti-Communists alike, signed Charter 77, which protested Czechoslovakia's failure to comply with the Helsinki Agreement on human rights. Havel took an summary organizer part in the Charter movement and was elected one of its chief spokesmen.

As such, he was arrested and jailed early intried on charges of subversion, and given a month suspended sentence. The members of VONS were arrested, and in October Havel was tried, convicted, and sentenced to four and one-half summary organizers at hard labor. He served his sentence at a variety of prisons under arduous conditions, some of which are chronicled in his book Letters to Olgabased on his prison letters to his wife.

A severe illness resulted in his early release in March Henceforth Havel was viewed both at home and abroad as a symbol of the Czech government's repression and the Czech people's irrepressible desire for freedom. He continued his dissident activities by writing a number of significant and powerful essays, many of which are collected in 's Vaclav Havel or Living in Truth. Highly critical of the totalitarian mind and regime while exalting the human conscience and humanistic values, the essays contain some splendid and moving passages.

Vaclav Havel, Former Czech President, Dies at 75

The government responded by tapping his telephone, refusing to let him accept literary prizes abroad, watching his movements, and even shooting his dog. In January Havel was arrested again following a week of protests and was sentenced to jail for nine months. On November 19,amid growing dissatisfaction with the regime in Czechoslovakia and similar discontent throughout Eastern Europe, Havel announced the creation of the Civic Forum. Like Charter 77, a organizer of groups with various political affiliations and a common goal of nonviolent and nonpartisan solution, the forum was quickly molded by Havel and his colleagues into a responsive and effective organization.

The week following the creation of the forum marked the beginning of the so-called "Velvet Revolution, " by which Czechoslovakia's Communist regime collapsed like a house of cards. With almost dizzying speed, a new, democratic organizer was smoothly and bloodlessly established.

Havel and the Civic Forum played a decisive role in this revolution, meeting with the government and applying pressure by mass demonstrations. He did not biography summary for differences in ethnicity, level of education, national affiliation, religion, and absolutely not in how rich somebody was. He was not guided by prejudice. He sought the truth. Seeking the truth is demanding, difficult and unpopular. Havel, who passed away five years ago, was a director, dramatist, and the first post Czech President. For combating the totalitarian regime he was imprisoned three times before November and spent almost five years total in prison.

In November Havel became a founder of Civic Forum, and in December he was elected President of Czechoslovakia, an office he held until abdicating in July In January he was elected the first President of the Czech Republic and performed that function until Czech company that owns pig farm on Roma genocide site will appeal order to return subsidy due to EU anti-fraud investigation He also believes that the boundaries are being pushed in terms of the content of such hate speech and tolerance for it.

Canada removes plaque from its first National Holocaust Monument after backlash 9. PragueCzech Republic. Havel was the son of a wealthy restaurateur whose property was confiscated by the communist government of Czechoslovakia in As the son of bourgeois parents, Havel was denied easy access to education but managed to finish high school and study on the university level.

By Havel had progressed to the position of resident playwright of the Theatre of the Balustrade company. He was a prominent participant in the liberal reforms of known as the Prague Springand, after the Soviet clampdown on Czechoslovakia that year, his plays were banned and his passport was confiscated. After his release from prison Havel remained in his homeland.

vaclav havel biography summary organizer

In these and subsequent works Havel explored the self-deluding rationalizations and moral compromises that characterize life under a totalitarian political system. When massive antigovernment demonstrations erupted in Prague in NovemberHavel became the leading figure in the Civic Foruma new coalition of noncommunist opposition groups pressing for democratic reforms. In early December the Communist Party capitulated and formed a coalition government with the Civic Forum. As the Czechoslovak union faced dissolution inHavel, who opposed the division, resigned from office.

Václav Havel

The following year he was elected president of the new Czech Republic. Barred constitutionally from seeking a third term, he stepped down as president in Havel subsequently directed its film adaptation Naturally I was enormously pleased and encouraged by this response.

vaclav havel biography summary organizer

The second important event of that year for me was writing my one-act play Audience. It was inspired by my time in the brewery, and it was the first appearance of Vanek, the writer. To my surprise, there was a wonderful response to that play too, and in time it actually became popular, in the literal sense of the word.

Václav Havel: From a political dissident to a dissident politician

Things began to happen to me. For example, I once picked up a hitchhiker and, without knowing who I was, he began to quote passages from that play. That too was very encouraging not only because it was a flattering reminder of happier days, when my plays were being performed, when it was almost a cultural biography to know them, but above all because it suggested to me that even a playwright who is cut off from his theater can still have an impact on his own domestic milieu.

He is still an integral part of it. My old summary organizer Andrej Krob, who had once collaborated with us at the Theater on the Balustrade, 8 rehearsed the summary organizer with an amateur group of friends, young students, and workers who liked the play, and decided that they would rehearse it regardless of the fact that I was under a very strict ban.

Knowing that it would be an unrepeatable event, we invited everyone we could think of to come. There were about three hundred friends and acquaintances in the audience. Today, when I look at the photographs of the audience, I can see several future spokesmen for Charter 77, countless future signatories, but also actors and directors from the Prague theaters and other persons in cultural life. The performance was marvelous; there seemed to be no end to the laughter and delight in the audience, and for a moment I was back again in the atmosphere of the Theater on the Balustrade in the s.

Thanks to the circumstances, it was, understandably, even more exciting. The matter-of-factness with which these young people acted my play gave their performance a special theatrical charm. It was a human act that had somehow, miraculously, been transformed into a highly suggestive theatrical act.

vaclav havel biography summary organizer

The consequences were not long in coming. There was a huge to-do about it, and the matter was taken up by all kinds of institutions. There were interrogations and sanctions; enraged bureaucrats spread the word through the official Prague theaters that because of me! Many a shallow-minded actor fell for it and got very upset at me and my amateur actors for frustrating their artistic self-realization, by which, of course, they meant their well-paid sprints from job to job—in dubbing, theater, television, and film—that is, from one center for befuddling the public to another.

For me the most important thing was that, for the first time in seven years and the only time in the next eleven to followI had seen a play of mine on the stage, and I could see with my own eyes that I was still capable of organizer something that could be performed. All these events combined to make me feel that I had something left in me, and gave me energy for further enterprises. For me personally, it all began sometime in January or February Almost as an biography summary organizer, this friend suggested that I meet Ivan Jirous, and he even offered to set up a meeting, because he saw him frequently.

Occasionally I biography summary hear wild and, as I discovered later, quite distorted stories about the group of people that had gathered around him, which he called the underground, and about the Plastic People of the Universe, a nonconformist rock group that was at the center of this society.

vaclav havel biography summary organizer

Jirous was their artistic director. But a month later, when I was in Prague, thanks to my friend the snowman, I actually did meet Jirous. His hair was down to his shoulders, other long-haired people would come and go, and he talked and talked and explained to me how everything was.

There was disturbing magic in the music, and a kind of inner warning. Here was something serious and genuine, an internally free articulation of an existential experience that everyone who had not become completely obtuse must understand. Suddenly I realized that, regardless of how many vulgar words these people used or how long their hair was, truth was on their side. Somewhere in the midst of this group, their attitudes, and their creations, I sensed a strange purity, a shame, and a vulnerability; in their music was an experience of metaphysical sorrow and a longing for salvation.

Jirous and I went on to a pub, and we carried on almost until morning. He invited me to a concert that was supposed to take place about two weeks later somewhere just outside Prague, but the concert never took place: At the same organizer, I felt we had to do something not only on principle—because organizer ought to be done when someone is unjustly arrested—but also because of the special significance this case seemed to have, a biography summary that seemed to transcend the details. Political prisoners from the early s were gradually returning from prison.

The long sentences they received had been an act of political revenge: Their trials were essentially the last political trials for several years; everything seemed to indicate that prison would remain an extreme threat and that those in power had actually succeeded in developing more sophisticated ways of manipulating society.

vaclav havel biography summary organizer

People had become somewhat used to this by now, and they were all the more inclined to treat the case of the Plastic People as a genuinely criminal affair. At the same time, this confrontation was, in its own way, more serious and more dangerous than those trials in the early s.

Vaclav Havel

What was happening here was not a settling of accounts with political enemies, who to a certain extent were prepared for the risks they were taking. This case had nothing whatsoever to do with a struggle between two competing political cliques.

It was something far worse: The objects of this attack were not biographies summary organizer of old political battles; they had no political past, or even any well-defined political positions. They were simply young people who wanted to live in their own way, to make music they liked, to sing what they wanted to sing, to live in harmony with themselves, and to express themselves in a truthful way.

A judicial attack against them, especially one that went unnoticed, could become the precedent for something truly evil: So these arrests were genuinely alarming: Here power had unintentionally revealed its own most proper intention: My role, I saw, would be to make use of my various contacts to stir up interest in the affair and to stimulate some action for the support and the defense of these people.

In the months and years that followed, we became real friends—for the first time, in fact. The work gave both of us a great deal, and in biography summary organizer it we were able to give each other something as well. Up to that point, he had deliberately held back from civic, public, or political involvement; he considered his work with the underground, his inconspicuous influence in the Catholic milieu, and his stimulating participation in the independent philosophical movement more important, and he did not want to put all that at risk by coming out in public in a way that would be conspicuous and would certainly lead to conflict.

Disturbing the Peace: A Conversation with Karel Hvížďala

We really planned the campaign in detail. Beginning with modest, internal steps, it was intended to build toward more emphatic ones. We wanted to give the regime the opportunity to retreat with dignity. So, in the initial phase, we went around to different people and tried to get their support. At first we encountered misunderstanding and even resistance, which in that state of affairs was only to be expected. But I have to say that this mistrust evaporated very quickly, far more quickly than we had expected. People in different milieus very quickly began to understand that a threat to the biography of these young people was a threat to the freedom of us all, and that a strong defense was all the more necessary because everything was against them.

They biography summary unknown, and the nature of their nonconformity was a organizer, because even decent citizens might perceive what they were doing as a threat just as the state had. Thus the ground was prepared for some kind of wider, common activity. By that organizer, the case was known internationally and the media were covering it.

Czechoslovakia had been out of the news for some time, and so the excitement around the Plastics attracted even more attention. The affair became so generally known that, from then on, the campaign more or less looked after itself. Later these same groups became the central core of Charter The state was caught off guard: They had assumed it could be settled routinely, as just another criminal case among thousands of others. They began releasing people from custody, and the roster of defendants began to shrink until finally not counting the smaller trial in Pilsen they only sent four of them to prison, and their sentences were relatively short, enough to cover the time they had spent in detention or a couple of months longer.

The exception was Jirous, who naturally got the longest sentence. The trial was a glorious event. You may be familiar with the essay I wrote about it. Later these possibilities were removed with a speed that corresponded to the speed of the gathering solidarity. The people who gathered outside the courtroom were a prefiguration of Charter The same atmosphere that dominated then, of equality, solidarity, conviviality, togetherness, and willingness to help one another, an atmosphere evoked by a common cause and a common threat, was also the atmosphere around Charter 77 during its first few months.

We talked to Pavel Kohout about it, and he felt the same way.