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Vaclav Havel's story is inspiration for generations

Article by Amanda Schnetzer December 19, 2011 //   2 minute read

Vaclav Havel left behind an incredible legacy. A playwright and politician, he led the way for democracy in his native Czechoslovakia, becoming the first President of the country after the fall of Communism. On April 13, 2010, he shared his story with the Bush Center in an interview that will become part of the Freedom Collection, a permanent archive documenting the personal stories of men and women who have led or participated in important freedom movements. From his office in Prague, he spoke with former U.S. Under Secretary of State Paula Dobriansky about the horrors of communist rule and the difficult transition to democracy. His story has struggles, including over four years spent imprisoned by the communist regime; and triumphs, when he saw communism fall in a matter of weeks in his country. In this clip from the interview, President Havel describes the great challenges faced by members of his movement and their motivation for continuing the struggle against communism. To understand Havel’s moral fight for freedom and democracy for the Czech people is to know the fight of freedom advocates around the world. His Freedom Collection interview gives insight not only into the Cold War and the fight for democracy in Eastern Europe, but also into the universal struggle for freedom and human rights. It is important to honor the passing of such a great man and ensure that his story continues to provide inspiration and insight to today’s generation of freedom advocates.