Signatories of Charter 77 and other former dissidents are set to meet for a special evening of celebration and reminiscences at Prague’s Lucerna Palace on Saturday. The gathering comes one day after the 40th anniversary of the launch of the most significant protest movement in Communist Czechoslovakia. The event follows a day-long conference entitled Eye-witnesses to the Charter moderated by Petruška Šustrová, one of the 240 or so original signatories. Charter 77, a petition calling on the Communist regime to honour their commitments to human rights under the Helsinki Accords, was launched on January 6, 1977.
It is exactly 40 years since the launch, on 6 January 1977, of the landmark Charter 77 declaration. Calling on Czechoslovakia’s Communist rulers to honour their commitment to human rights under the 1975 Helsinki Accords, it was to become the dissident movement’s most significant protest against the regime.
Pioneers and Robots is the title of a new book focusing on the golden era of Czechoslovak illustration, which was recently released by the Paseka publishing house. Written by two graphic artists, the book offers an in-depth account of the development of visual arts in Czechoslovakia after the Communist takeover in 1948.
A text written by Václav Havel on the first days of Charter 77 that he himself believed lost is to be published in connection with Friday’s 40th anniversary of the launch of the protest document. The 100-page text was found recently in the papers of Zdeněk Urbánek, a friend who like Mr. Havel was a leading dissident in communist Czechoslovakia. The first chapter is being published by the Václav Havel Library in a run of 500 numbered copies. The publication will be launched at a gathering on Friday outside Mr. Urbánek’s former home in Prague 6, where much of Charter 77 was written. A conference and other events are also taking place in connection with the anniversary.
Czechs will mark the upcoming 40th anniversary of the Charter 77 human rights manifesto. The text, signed by dissidents such as playwright Václav Havel, philosopher Jan Patočka and writer Pavel Kohout in January 1977, criticized Czechoslovakia’s communist regime for failing to implement human rights provisions of agreements it itself had signed. These included the Czechoslovak Constitution and the Helsinki Accords.
Czechs are preparing to mark the 40th anniversary of the Charter 77 human rights manifesto this year. The text, spearheaded by dissidents such as Vaclav Havel, criticized the communist regime for failing to implement human rights provisions of agreements it itself had signed. They included the Czechoslovak Constitution, the so-called Helsinki Accords on human rights and United Nations conventions on political, civil, economic, and cultural rights. The manifesto was signed by close to 2,000 people. The Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes is preparing a series of exhibitions starting in January and signatories of the manifesto are to mark the anniversary at a remembrance meeting at Prague’s Lucerna Palace. An exhibition will also focus on Charter 77 spokespeople among them former foreign minister Jiri Hajek, playwright Vaclav Havel and philosopher Jan Patocka.
Kramářova vila is the official residence of the Czech prime minister, currently Bohuslav Sobotka. I’m at a reception at the villa in honour of Miroslav Kusý, one of the few Slovak signatories of Charter 77. He is receiving the Karel Kramář Award from the prime minister for his contributions towards Czech and Slovak understanding. The event is attended by several notable figures, including historians, fellow Charter 77 signatories such as Vilém Prečan and Senator Petr Pithart, and the Slovak ambassador Peter Weiss.
Famous spokespeople of the Charter 77 human-rights manifesto will be presented at a new exhibition that will go on display on Prague’s Václav Havel square (the former plaza of the National Theatre) in January next year. Altogether 44 people took turns in the post of Charter 77 spokesperson between the years 1977 and 1989. At any time there were three of them in case one or two were detained or imprisoned. The open-air exhibition, consisting of sixteen large-scale panels, is organised by the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes and will be on display between January 20 and 26.
The Czechoslovak communist-era secret police took an active interest in the Czech born first wife of US president-elect Donald Trump back in the late 1970s and 80s, according to newly examined archive materials. The StB kept an eye on Ivana Zelníčková after she immigrated to Canada in 1971, and later during her marriage to the American real estate mogul, who was apparently already revealing his presidential ambitions.
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