Vaclav Havel awarded Germany's Point Alpha Prize

1st October 2008, Comments 0 comments

The former Czech president was honored as a "representative of the great European revolution for liberty in the Soviet realm."

Prague -- Czech author and former president Vaclav Havel was on Tuesday awarded Germany's Point Alpha Prize for the Unity of Germany and Europe in Peace and Freedom.

Havel was honored as a "representative of the great European revolution for liberty in the Soviet realm," said the former German foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher in the German embassy in Prague.

"He gave an example of courage, conviction and self-sacrifice," said Genscher before 100 guests from the world's politics and society.

At the time of communist system in the former Czechoslovakia, Havel was a supporter of dissidents and was one of the co-authors of the Charta 77 human rights declaration.

He spent several years in prison for his criticism of the communist government, and after the peaceful revolution of 1989, he led his country from 2003 as a freely elected president.

The Point Alpha Prize which carries with it a 25,000-euro award is provided by the Committee of German Unity, and is named after an observation post between the former East and West Germany.

Havel in receiving the award said he was dedicating the money to "the sacred enterprises."

The Point Alpha Prize was first presented in 2005 jointly to former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Russia's last Soviet head of state Mikhail Gorbachev and former US president George HW Bush.

"I view the prize as not for me but for people with civic dedication," said Havel in his thank-you address.

Genscher in praising the movements led by dissidents such as Havel said "the (Berlin) wall was brought down from the east," Genscher said.


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