The freethinking part of Czech society suffered several defeats in recent years, rector of Masaryk University in Brno, Mikuláš Bek maintained in his address to attendees at Albertov in Prague on Friday marking the courage and dedication of students and others who fought oppression in Czechoslovakia on November 17, 1939 and 1989.
Freedom and democracy, he said, needed to be cared for and he said one shouldn't be afraid to fight for it. In his speech, he ranked the first direct presidential election as one defeat freethinking society had suffered recently. The rector added there was "no reason to panic" and that education could change Czech society for the better.
The rector of Charles University, Tomáš Zima, remembered the courage of students in both 1939 and 1989 and said he had no doubt if freedom and democracy were threatened today, people would again stand up in its defense.