New York, NY, December 19, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today joined the people of the Czech Republic and the world in mourning the death of former Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel. President Havel was a major leader of the anti-Communist movement in his country, a champion of democracy and human rights, and a great friend to the Jewish people.
"President Havel made a permanent mark on the Czech Republic and the world, through his passionate leadership, dedication to justice, inspiring creativity, and commitment to humanity," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "He was an inspirational figure to millions around the world, consistently demonstrating the power of moral leadership. He will be greatly missed by all."
Mr. Foxman added, "He was firmly committed to Israel and the Jewish people, and we fondly recall that his 1990 trip to Israel was one of his first presidential official visits. President Havel's dedication to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and combating anti-Semitism were inspiring."
The League expressed its condolences in a letter to H.E. Petr Gandalovič, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United States.
President Havel, Czechoslovakia's last post-Communist president and the Czech Republic's first leader after the split, was a noted playwright, poet, author, human rights activist, and politician.