thomil13FRA
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Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:36 pm

BBC and other news outlets are reporting that Vaclav Havel, former president of the Czech Republic, and a key figure of the movement for democracy in the Czech Republic and Central Europe, has died at age 75.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16236393

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/12/18/wo...av-havel-obit/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

Truly sad news. RIP!  
 
aloges
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:49 pm

Quoting thomil13FRA (Thread starter):
Truly sad news.

It is indeed. Rest in peace, Mr Havel, and thank you!   
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
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STT757
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:55 pm

He helped shape the most important period of change in the World during my lifetime, positive change.

RIP.
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kaitak
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:20 pm

A very great man; a true hero of his country, but also the rest of Europe as well. He was not just a playwright, but a philosopher as well and many of his sayings and speeches are counted among the best in recent history.

He will be sorely missed and I hope that he is honoured by his people and the wider European community the way he deserves to be.
 
Klaus
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:33 pm

An interesting, great and above all sane man who earned his firm place in european history.

He had been suffering for years, so the last years of still having him did already feel like a bonus.

He'll be remembered with respect and affection.
 
Checo77
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:50 pm

Very sad for me and my country to see such a great president pass away!

RIP Vaclav Havel and peace to his family!!!

Adam
Czech Boeing lover living in Lima
 
GDB
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:20 pm

Eastern Europe's George Orwell, was pivotal in the ending the rule of one of the nastier Warsaw Pact regimes and did so without firing a shot .

Sane free thinking guardians of true freedom are not having a good week what with Christopher Hitchens death.

To survive the mental torture of the regime, to galvanise opposition, to then become leader of his country were great achievements.
Tinged with his inability to prevent his beloved Czechoslovakia from splitting, which however painful for him, was also a result of free will and probably could not have been prevented by anyone else.

Good taste in music too.

Veteran Foreign Affairs Correspondent John Simpson fondly remembers Havel
www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16237657

RIP Vaclav Havel
 
ME AVN FAN
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:51 pm

Quoting aloges (Reply 1):
Rest in peace, Mr Havel, and thank you!

One of the Greatest Europeans ever has left us
                 

but let's not think about what might still have been but what we all had from him,
let's overcome the tears and celebrate what he in the end achieved         
 
MEA-707
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:00 pm

One of the true hero's of the past century, a humble man. The world will miss him.
It's a bit shocking that this thread gets less visitors and reaction then a Lindsey Lohan thread.  
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
 
Checo77
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:29 pm

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 8):
It's a bit shocking that this thread gets less visitors and reaction then a Lindsey Lohan thread

In today´s world, this is no suprise  

Adam
Czech Boeing lover living in Lima
 
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:07 am

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 8):
It's a bit shocking that this thread gets less visitors and reaction then a Lindsey Lohan thread.

Exactly because the man was more humble than Lindsay Lohan and George W. Bush (Jr). I expect to see more reaction when GWB (jr) finally passes out.
 
prebennorholm
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:28 am

I was in Prague on a Sunday in late February 1990 when Vaclav Havel was giving a speech from the balcony of the castle before going to Moscow on Monday morning for negotiations with Gorbachev. No, I wasn't at the castle, that wasn't possible. But I have never seen so many happy people as in Prague on that Sunday.

Shortly later I read one of his plays as a book. Then I realized why the east European dictators had to put him behind bars. Havel was a really exceptional man.

He was hardly a prototype of a modern politician who could deal efficiently with priorities in budget forecasts and such. But he was exactly the right catalyst needed to make all the various new and inexperienced people in power work together for the benefit of the country instead of "fighting" their individual goals.

It was likely a disappointment for him that he couldn't keep his country together. But I think that he also saw the benefits of the split. Czechoslovakia was in fact a rather artificial construction, an area which was somewhat "left over" following the breakup on the Austro-Hungarian Empire after WWI, and in fact it existed as an independent country only for 20 years from 1918 to 1938. Instead of continued internal quarrel the two countries can now live their own lives and be extremely good friends.

Havel was likely the master of the club of people such as Lech Walesa of Poland and Lennart Meri, Estonia, etc. Barely a handful of people who together shaped an immensely "happy end" to the most troubled century ever experienced in Europe, the 20th century.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
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n229nw
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:43 am

R. I. P. to a smart and multi-talented man, who had an influence on many levels in guiding his country smoothly out of authoritarian government.
All Glory to the Hypnotoad!
 
texan
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:11 pm

Havel's death saddened me. A great writer, eternal optimist and seemingly genuine person. I always enjoy reading his books and ideas.

Texan
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:13 pm

Sad news indeed, although not exactly unexpected because Mr. Havel looked visibly frail and unwell during his last public appearance last week when he met with Dalai Lama.
I believe that his fate will follow that of many other significant politicians of the late 1980s/early 1990s that their legacy will be appreciated more abroad than at home.
I was quite impressed and moved by the amount of people all over the coutntry who spontaneously gathered to lit up a candle and to pay a silent tribute to Mr. Havel.
http://www.lidovky.cz/foto.asp?foto1...ea19_DWC17_CZECH_HAVEL_1218_11.JPG
http://www.lidovky.cz/foto.asp?foto1=SK3fea79_p201112180643301.jpg

Perhaps, as suggested in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiFZbbd438g the spirit of 1989 is not completely dead after all....?

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 11):
Czechoslovakia was in fact a rather artificial construction, an area which was somewhat "left over" following the breakup on the Austro-Hungarian Empire after WWI, and in fact it existed as an independent country only for 20 years from 1918 to 1938.

With retrospect of almost 20 years some of the Czech-Slovak quarrels from the early 1990s seem futile and pointless, however the split turned out to be a win-win situation for both nations and a great catalyst towards improvement in mutual relations (official and unofficial) between the two nations which are now far better than they were during federation.
 
slider
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:52 pm

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 8):
It's a bit shocking that this thread gets less visitors and reaction then a Lindsey Lohan thread

True....he was a magnificent man. I remain most impressed that it is the Eastern European nations and folks that emerged from the Iron Curtain that have the greatest animation for freedom. It is the Czechs who have been so vigorous in their quest for liberty, to stop communism, and move the argument for free societies forward. Havel was a giant in this regard, who proved that slow, steady pressure can indeed move mountains.
 
fatmirjusufi
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:31 pm

It is really sad that a very great man, wise politician and one of the greatest statesmen of Europe passed away. He served devoutly to his country and his people. Besides, I will always remember him as one of the greatest supporters of Kosovo's cause.

Rest in peace, Mr. Vaclav Havel.
DO FLIGHTS. NOT FIGHTS.
 
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:30 pm

Quoting FatmirJusufi (Reply 16):
s remember him as one of the greatest supporters of Kosovo's cause.

yes, he clearly was. So, please name one of the better roads in Pristina "VACLAV HAVEL AVENUE in his honour !
 
fatmirjusufi
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:40 pm

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 17):
So, please name one of the better roads in Pristina "VACLAV HAVEL AVENUE in his honour !

Maybe our city mayor will do it someday.
DO FLIGHTS. NOT FIGHTS.
 
stipica
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:08 pm

Thank you for your support when we needed , warm and living spirit ... rest in peace President Vaclav Havel ...
stipica  
Open your eyes and think
 
gunsontheroof
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:37 pm

Really surprised by the relative lack of replies to this thread. Pretty much every European I've ever met held Mr. Havel in high-regard and I do as well. Truly a remarkable man, all the best to his family and friends. R.I.P.
 
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:19 am

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 20):
a remarkable man



He in a way was THE successor-in.-spirit of Willy Brandt, another giant of European history. Sure,
Willy Brandt was a professional politician which makes a difference but there are quite many
similarities between these two unforgettable gentemen
 
Checo77
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:30 am

Friday is President´s Havel funeral in Prague. A mass will be held at the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague castle in his honor.

Among confirmed statesman are Nicolas Sarkozy, David Cameron, Lech Walesa, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel, Jose Barroso, Ivan Gasparovic, Iveta Radicova, the presidents of Slovenia, Estonia, the prince of the Netherlands, amongst others.

I am sad that I cannot be in Prague in this moment, I will held my respects to the man that led my country and others to freedom from Lima.

Adam
Czech Boeing lover living in Lima
 
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:19 am

Quoting Checo77 (Reply 22):
Bill and Hillary Clinton

Bill Clinton with a "stony" face. I remember that he on a visit to Prague together with Vaclav Havel visited the favourite pubs of V.H. and went with him to a Jazz club to play Jazz. Had the impression that the two gents were on the same wavelengths. And I guess that they met in private after that again. Yes indeed, getting older means that increasingly, people "around you" start to pass away one by one.
 
babybus
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:40 pm

He seemed to have a Roman Catholic funeral but I was not aware he was a Roman Catholic.

Religion did not find a renaissance under his office and the Pope referred to Czech as the black heart of Europe.

I don't like contradictions. That's the truth.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
Klaus
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:19 pm

Quoting Babybus (Reply 24):
He seemed to have a Roman Catholic funeral but I was not aware he was a Roman Catholic.

Religion did not find a renaissance under his office and the Pope referred to Czech as the black heart of Europe.

Being a decent human being has absolutely nothing to do with being religious (in some cases they are even in conflict).
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Has Died

Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:22 pm

The aviation angle fo the funeral was quite interesting and and told an interesting story about the passengers if one read in between the lines... Guests attending the funeral arrived usually aboard governement-owned or chartered bizjest and narrowbodies.
British PM Cameron and ex-PM Major arrived aboard a RAF(?) BAe 125, German president came with a Luftwaffe A319, the Dutch royal family aboard a F70, Bill and Hillary Clinton arrived with a military version 757. A special mention goes to Bulgarian ex-presidents who came aboard a Piaggio Avanti (by far the coolest airplane in PRG yesterday).
French president Sarkozy arrived with his flashy new A330 and a "backup" Falcon 7X... Go figure.


www.planes.cz/en/photo/1125740/a319-...ftwaffe-gaf-praha-ruzyne-prg-lkpr/

Quoting Babybus (Reply 24):
Religion did not find a renaissance under his office

I supppose you mean organized religion? The post-1989 era saw a plethora of various churches, from traditional to obscure to half-serious ones (see Jedi reference below) being established in the country and why they did (or rather did not) succeed to gain wider appeal is an interseting question to ask, but would not lay the blame at the feet of Vaclav Havel since Czechs have been lukewarm about religion, organized in particular, for centuries.
Preliminary results of the recent census have been published a few days ago and one of the remarkable trends which the census revealed was the "disappearance" of almost 1 million people between 2001 and 2011 who identify themselves as catholics. And this is a trend of the mostly post-Havel decade. He resigned from politics in 2003. http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/12/18/...edi-knights-as-religious-movement/
I would also object to the term "under his office" being used as the position of the president within the Czech system is very much a ceremonial and a representative one with very few "hard" executive powers. For the better or worse a lot of the influence

Quoting Babybus (Reply 24):
the Pope referred to Czech as the black heart of Europe.

Czech lands have been a difficult territory for the Catholic church at least since 1415.

Quoting Babybus (Reply 24):
He seemed to have a Roman Catholic funeral but I was not aware he was a Roman Catholic.

I have not seen the whole ceremony and I am not well versed on what qualification requirements there are for one to receive a catholic funeral, therefore I can't comment on whether or not it was appropriate.
Perhaps what needs to be mentioned is that it was classified as a "state funeral" and that Havel had very close personal ties to various members of the present clergy (Dominik Duka, the Archbishop of Prague is Havel's fmr fellow inmate from the days of communist imprisonment, Vaclav Maly, Ancillary Bishop of Prague is Havel's close friend from the dissident years, etc.). Also, the St.Vitus Cathedral which is an integral part of the Prague Castle is the centerpoint of the local "universe" and there is no other place more honorable and sacred for a typical Czech, religious or not.

Quoting FatmirJusufi (Reply 16):
as one of the greatest supporters of Kosovo's cause.

Together with claims that some sort of "non-revenge deal" was cut with the communists in the 1989 which allowed a smooth, nonviolent transition of power (and access of the mid-rank establishment to opportunities to get rich relatively easy in the privatization that followed) that remains one of the most controversial parts of his legacy.
I believe his finest hour as a politican/activist came in 1977 with the drafting of the Charter 77 which he co-authored. In my opinion it was a brilliant political move how to corner the communist regime demanding nothing more than toadherence to provisions of treaties and laws the regime itself was an author or signatory of.

Quoting Babybus (Reply 24):
contradictions

Welcome to the world of Vaclav Havel.
His views and opinions often defyied simple left/right classification. On the domestic political arena his leanings were clearly lefty. His open support to our local "watermelons", the Greens in his post-presidential years was widely publicized yet it had a very limited appeal.
At the same time his foreign policy accents were a clear contradiction of a typical leftie and as a staunch Atlanticist and received a lot of flak for that. One of the reason is that given the attitudes of the mainstream western left-wing parties and their track record of (un)intentional "useful idiocy" for the Soviet imposed Cold War status quo throughout the 1970s and 1980s, it was difficult to find a common ground on issues important and crucial to Havel, although he might perhaps be in agreement on other minor ones. If you read Neil Clark from the Guardian, obviously many have not forgiven him that. Although if the main argument of Clark's criticism of Havel consists of ridiculous claims such as:
"Havel's anti-communist critique contained little if any acknowledgement of the positive achievements of the regimes of eastern Europe in the fields of employment, welfare provision, education and women's rights. Or the fact that communism, for all its faults, was still a system which put the economic needs of the majority first."  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...vaclav-havel-another-side-to-story
coming from someone who spend his entire life living in a free society, only to waste his intellectual potential bragging about a failed system he did not experience nor does he understand, it is basically an absurd tribute even Havel would probably enjoy.

* I doubt that anyone with a tiny grain of decency would dare to suggest that despite its obvious drawbacks like the concentration camps, nazism had a fairly solid welfare policies and put the needs of majority first as well.

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