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Vaclav Havel - Biography

*5. 10. 1936 Prague - +18. 12. 2011 Hradecek
Writer and Dramatist; One of the first Spokesmen for Charter 77; Leading Figure of the Velvet Revolution of 1989; Last President of Czechoslovakia; and First President of the Czech Republic.
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Václav Havel

From the age of twenty years, Václav Havel published a number of studies and articles in various literary and theatrical periodicals. His first works were presented at the Divadlo Na zabradli; amongst these was the play "The Garden Party" (1963). It soon became a component of the revivalist tendencies of Czechoslovak society in the 1960's. This civic self-awareness culminated in the historic Prague Spring of 1968. During this time Havel not only produced other plays, such as "The Memorandum" (1965) and "The Increased Difficulty of Concentration" (1968), but was also the chair of the Club of Independent Writers and a member of the Club of [Politically] Engaged Non-Partisans. From 1965, he worked at the non- Marxist monthly Tvar.

In 1956, he became acquainted with Olga Splichalova, and their diverse family backgrounds attracted them to each other. After an eight-year acquaintance, they married. From that point on, Olga would accompany Václav through the most difficult experiences of their lives. The future President would later refer to her as his indispensable source of support.

Following the suppression of the Prague Spring by the invasion of the armies of the Warsaw Pact, Havel stood against the political repression characterized by the years of the so-called communist "normalization". In 1975, he wrote an open letter to President Husak, in which he warned of the accumulated antagonism in Czechoslovak society. The culmination of his activities resulted in Charter 77.