Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Slovaks mourn Havel’s death

VÁCLAV Havel, the first post-communist president of Czechoslovakia, died on December 18. He was rightly considered a moral authority not only in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Slovak Prime Minister Iveta Radičová wrote in a letter of condolence, but around the world, because for decades he was one of the bravest speakers of the truth even at a time when most Czechs and Slovaks had resigned from doing so and had accepted a life under totalitarianism.

VÁCLAV Havel, the first post-communist president of Czechoslovakia, died on December 18. He was rightly considered a moral authority not only in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Slovak Prime Minister Iveta Radičová wrote in a letter of condolence, but around the world, because for decades he was one of the bravest speakers of the truth even at a time when most Czechs and Slovaks had resigned from doing so and had accepted a life under totalitarianism.

News of the death of Havel, in the picture by the TASR newswire below, a prominent playwright and outspoken critic of the communist regime, provoked a widespread response among the Slovak public, and among Slovakia’s leading political and cultural figures, many of whom were his close friends. It also prompted a spontaneous response among Slovaks on online social networks as well as in the streets – for instance in front of the Czech Embassy in Bratislava, where people came to light candles and lay flowers in memory of the late president, who served two terms as president of the Czech Republic after Czechoslovakia split in 1993.

Slovakia declared a day of state mourning on December 23, between 8:00 and 18:00, and on the same day Radičová and President Ivan Gašparovič attended Havel’s state funeral in Prague.


Top stories

LGBTI people in the regions: We change people’s minds

Bratislava will dress up in rainbow colours this August again, for the seventh time. This will be for the Bratislava Dúhový Pride diversity festival. But the colours of the rainbow are less bright in the regions,…

Slovakia’s LGBTI community seeks to expand their rights.

Things that make us different also make us stronger

On August 19, a rainbow flag will fly over the US Embassy in Bratislava to represent the firm commitment of the United States to defending the human rights of LGBTI people, writes Ambassador Sterling.

The rainbow flag flew over the US Embassy in Bratislava in 2016.

Blog: 5 things you should do on your visit to the north of Slovakia Photo

Here is a list of tips by an experienced tour guide - including things you have probably not tried before.

Bratislava growing high Photo

High-rise buildings sprouting up in Bratislava

Visualisation of the future skyline of Bratislava