Czechs mark 85th anniversary of Václav Havel’s birth

Czechs are marking the 85th anniversary of the birth of Václav Havel, dissident playwright turned president who led the country in the transition from communism to democracy, gaining worldwide recognition and helping the Czech Republic to integrate into the Western fold of nations. The anniversary has not gone unnoticed abroad –the German newspaper Sudetendeutsche Zeitung honored the 85th anniversary of Havel’s birth in advance with a headline in Czech reading "Václav Havel contributed to freedom and democracy", a statement that is enshrined in Czech law.