Friday, December 23, 2011

Vaclav Havel

I hope you will forgive me, dear reader, for this frank display of emotion.

Vaclav Havel like Pope John Paul the Great, like Laszlo Tokes, Alexander Solzhenitzyn, Evgenia Ginzburg and countless others resisted and bore witness to the horrors of Stalinism.

It is difficult to quantify in mere words just how magnificent Havel's legacy is. Let me put it in terms of a wry Eastern European joke: freedom is the ability to stand in the street and shout "this government is rubbish" without fear of reprisals.

Or putting it another way, there are people alive today who live without fear because of Vaclav Havel.


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