Personal Memories of President Vaclav Havel
At the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, a passer-by asked me who the man next to Vaclav Havel was. “Johannes Rau, your president,” I replied. It was not for the first or last time during my travels with Havel when the locals immediately recognized him but not their own presidents or government officials.
Arnost Lustig once told me, “My friend, it goes like that old song I listen to on my radio, ‘I hear you talking but I do not understand the words…” Most of today’s politicians talk and talk but have nothing to say. Not Vaclav Havel. He always knew what he wanted to say because he was fighting for the freedom of others and for his ideals, even if he had to pay for it with his own personal freedom. He never gave up, and he never got discouraged. Courage is one of the most important virtues of a human being and that is why he is known all over the world…
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