Zitate von Václav Havel

Václav Havel Foto
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Václav Havel

Geburtstag: 5. Oktober 1936
Todesdatum: 18. Dezember 2011
Andere Namen: वैक्लेव हैवेल

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Václav Havel [ˈvaːt͡slaf ˈɦavɛl] war ein tschechischer Dramatiker, Essayist, Menschenrechtler und Politiker, der während der Herrschaft der kommunistischen Partei einer der führenden Regimekritiker der Tschechoslowakei war und zu den Initiatoren der Charta 77 gehörte. Er ist einer der Wegbereiter der deutsch-tschechischen Aussöhnung. Nach der Samtenen Revolution, an der er maßgeblich beteiligt war, war er von 1989 bis 1992 der letzte Staatspräsident der Tschechoslowakei und von 1993 bis 2003 der erste der Tschechischen Republik. Außerdem war er Mitglied in der Schriftstellergemeinde Obec spisovatelů und Ehrenmitglied im Club of Rome.

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Zitate Václav Havel

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„Der Prozess der gesamteuropäischen Integration wird offenbar ein sehr kompliziertes, simultanes Spiel auf vielen Schachbrettern zugleich sein.“

—  Václav Havel
Rede im Mai 1991 in Aachen anlässlich seiner Auszeichnung mit dem Karlspreis, karlspreis.de http://www.karlspreis.de/de/preistraeger/1991/rede_von_vaclav_havel.html

„Experts can explain anything in the objective world to us, yet we understand our own lives less and less. In short, we live in the postmodern world, where everything is possible and almost nothing is certain.“

—  Václav Havel
The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern World (1994), Context: There appear to be no integrating forces, no unified meaning, no true inner understanding of phenomena in our experience of the world. Experts can explain anything in the objective world to us, yet we understand our own lives less and less. In short, we live in the postmodern world, where everything is possible and almost nothing is certain.

„The dissident does not operate in the realm of genuine power at all. He is not seeking power.“

—  Václav Havel
Living in Truth (1986), An Anatomy of Reticence, Context: The dissident does not operate in the realm of genuine power at all. He is not seeking power. He has no desire for office and does not gather votes. He does not attempt to charm the public, he offers nothing and promises nothing. He can offer, if anything, only his own skin — and he offers it solely because he has no other way of affirming the truth he stands for. His actions simply articulate his dignity as a citizen, regardless of the cost.

„The law is only one of several imperfect and more or less external ways of defending what is better in life against what is worse.“

—  Václav Havel, The Power of the Powerless
Living in Truth (1986), The Power of the Powerless, Context: The law is only one of several imperfect and more or less external ways of defending what is better in life against what is worse. By itself, the law can never create anything better... Establishing respect for the law does not automatically ensure a better life for that, after all, is a job for people and not for laws and institutions.

„It is not true that people of high principles are ill-suited for politics.“

—  Václav Havel
Context: It is not true that people of high principles are ill-suited for politics. High principles have only to be accompanied by patience, consideration, a sense of measure and understanding for others. It is not true that only coldhearted, cynical, arrogant, haughty or brawling persons succeed in politics. Such people are naturally attracted by politics. In the end, however, politeness and good manners weigh more. International Herald Tribune (29 October 1991)

„The existence of a higher authority than man himself simply began to get in the way of human aspirations.“

—  Václav Havel
The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern World (1994), Context: Modern anthropocentrism inevitably meant that He who allegedly endowed man with his inalienable rights began to disappear from the world: He was so far beyond the grasp of modern science that he was gradually pushed into a sphere of privacy of sorts, if not directly into a sphere of private fancy — that is, to a place where public obligations no longer apply. The existence of a higher authority than man himself simply began to get in the way of human aspirations.

„This is the moment when something once more begins visibly to happen, something truly new and unique … something truly historical, in the sense that history again demands to be heard.“

—  Václav Havel
Context: Life cannot be destroyed for good, neither … can history be brought entirely to a halt. A secret streamlet trickles on beneath the heavy lid of inertia and pseudo-events, slowly and inconspicuously undercutting it. It may be a long process, but one day it must happen: the lid will no longer hold and will start to crack. This is the moment when something once more begins visibly to happen, something truly new and unique … something truly historical, in the sense that history again demands to be heard. Open letter to Dr. Gustáv Husák, Communist President (8 April 1975)

„What I am about to say may sound provocative, but I feel more and more strongly that even these ideas are not enough, that we must go farther and deeper.“

—  Václav Havel
The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern World (1994), Context: I am referring to respect for the unique human being and his or her liberties and inalienable rights and to the principle that all power derives from the people. I am, in short, referring to the fundamental ideas of modern democracy. What I am about to say may sound provocative, but I feel more and more strongly that even these ideas are not enough, that we must go farther and deeper.

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„There is only one Art, whose sole criterion is the power, the authenticity, the revelatory insight, the courage and suggestiveness with which it seeks its truth.“

—  Václav Havel
Living in Truth (1986), Context: There is only one Art, whose sole criterion is the power, the authenticity, the revelatory insight, the courage and suggestiveness with which it seeks its truth. … Thus, from the standpoint of the work and its worth it is irrelevant to which political ideas the artist as a citizen claims allegiance, which ideas he would like to serve with his work or whether he holds any such ideas at all. "Six Asides About Culture"

„An amalgamation of cultures is taking place. I see it as proof that something is happening, something is being born, that we are in a phase when one age is succeeding another, when everything is possible.“

—  Václav Havel
The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern World (1994), Context: An amalgamation of cultures is taking place. I see it as proof that something is happening, something is being born, that we are in a phase when one age is succeeding another, when everything is possible. Yes, everything is possible, because our civilization does not have its own unified style, its own spirit, its own aesthetic.

„None of us is just its victim. We are all also its co-creators.“

—  Václav Havel
New Year's Address to the Nation (1990), Context: We had all become used to the totalitarian system and accepted it as an unchangeable fact and thus helped to perpetuate it. In other words, we are all — though naturally to differing extents — responsible for the operation of the totalitarian machinery. None of us is just its victim. We are all also its co-creators.

„An ordinary human being, with a personal conscience, personally answering for something to somebody and personally and directly taking responsibility, seems to be receding farther and farther from the realm of politics.“

—  Václav Havel
The Onassis Prize For Man and Mankind (1993), Context: An ordinary human being, with a personal conscience, personally answering for something to somebody and personally and directly taking responsibility, seems to be receding farther and farther from the realm of politics. Politicians seem to turn into puppets that only look human and move in a giant, rather inhuman theatre; they appear to become merely cogs in a huge machine, objects of a major civilizational automatism which has gotten out of control and for which nobody is responsible.

„A year ago, we all were united in the joy over having broken free of totalitarianism. Today we all are made somewhat nervous by the burden of freedom.“

—  Václav Havel
New Year's Address to the Nation (1991), Context: A year ago, we all were united in the joy over having broken free of totalitarianism. Today we all are made somewhat nervous by the burden of freedom. Our society is still in a state of shock. This shock could have been expected, but none of us expected it to be so profound. The old system collapsed, and a new one so far has not been built. Our social life is marked by a subliminal uncertainty over what kind of system we are going to build, how to build it, and whether we are able to build it at all.

„Seemingly endless negotiations finally led to the division of Czechoslovakia. It had one great advantage: it proceeded calmly, without violence, major conflicts, or significant unsolved issues.“

—  Václav Havel
Context: Seemingly endless negotiations finally led to the division of Czechoslovakia. It had one great advantage: it proceeded calmly, without violence, major conflicts, or significant unsolved issues. This unusually positive split brought us worldwide respect. But it also had one disadvantage: a matter of such importance as the division of a country into two new ones was not decided by the citizens in a referendum, as would be appropriate in a democratic society. Rather, it was mostly treated as a technical matter, almost as if it were an accounting operation. Perhaps for this reason, the end of Czechoslovakia was accompanied by an unpleasant aftertaste and awkward feelings. No significant part of the citizenry protested the division then, but no significant part celebrated it either. It was as if there was nothing to say, as if the public had more or less breathed a sigh of relief at the endless, traumatizing bargaining finally being behind us. All that is now long-gone — is history — and after all this time, I can not help but feel that no matter how queerly it happened then, it is a good thing that it happened. Evidently, most peoples must taste full statehood for at least a while in order to learn to cooperate with others. Czechs and Slovaks may be closer today than ever before. There is no animosity, and they are united in their goals: to fully participate in the European and global integration processes and, in their own interest, to gradually forsake some of their countries' sovereignty in favor of increasing influence in the life of communities vastly larger and more powerful than countries are. We live in an interconnected world, and we — Czechs and Slovaks — walk hand in hand in it. And that, of course, is what is most important. New Year's Address on Czech Radio & Television (1 January 2003)

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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