December 22, 2011

Vaclav Havel


Letters to the Editor

Dear Sir,

The death of former Czech President and writer Vaclav Havel leaves a huge void in the political as well as in the intellectual worldwide arena.

He was a distinguished member of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and his name was instrumental in our struggle to find answers about the fate and whereabouts of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat that helped save the lives of thousands of Jews and other persecuted in the Nazi occupied Hungary in 1944, who disappeared in the Soviet Gulag after being captured by the Red Army on January 1945.

As Wallenberg, Mr. Havel experienced in his own flesh the unrelenting violence of the Soviet regime. He spent five years in Communist prisons and lived for decades under strictly surveillance of the secret-police.

Vaclav Havel was a unique figure. His name stands as a human rights beacon and leaves behind a true legacy of an exemplary life devoted to the cause of democracy and freedom.

He served 14 years as president, a man of moral authority who embodied the values of solidarity and civic courage, ethical cornerstones of the Holocaust Saviors and of all the people of good will that stand against tyrannies; anytime, anywhere.

He was the soul of the Czech revolution. Without him the democratic movements in Central and Eastern Europe would have been inconceivable.

We pay tribute to this champion for democracy and remarkable human rights advocate.

May his memory be blessed.

Baruch Tenembaum
The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation

Translation: IRWF