National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library brings scholar Dr. Tomáš Vrba to celebrate life of Václav Havel

Forum: Participating in Democracy

National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library — Sat., Apr. 2 from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The 'Samizdat' exhibit contains thousands of artifacts from communist-era Czechoslovakia (ČSSR) -- photo by Adam Burke
The ‘Samizdat’ exhibit contains thousands of artifacts from communist-era Czechoslovakia (ČSSR) — photo by Adam Burke

Czech historian Dr. Tomáš Vrba will speak on Saturday, Apr. 2 at 4 p.m. at the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library (NCSML) in Cedar Rapids about the important contributions and life of Václav Havel, the freedom fighter, political prisoner, playwright and leader of the democratic opposition in Czechoslovakia (ČSSR). He was then president of the eventually liberated country.

Havel’s dissident political essays, writings and plays led to his multiple arrests and constant surveillance. He spent several years in jail, including one stint from 1979 to 1983.

After Vrba’s keynote presentation, which is part of a forum titled “Participating in Democracy,” there will be a celebration of Havel’s birthday. He would have been 80 this year. He died in 2011.

Vrba was a consultant for the museum’s current exhibit, “Samizdat: The Czech Art of Resistance, 1968 to 1989.” He will lead a guided tour on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The ‘Samizdat’ show closes Apr. 24.

The day of activities at NCSML starts at 10:30 a.m. with a roundtable discussion about Václav Havel.

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