From the PEN archives: Václav Havel's Speech at the PEN International World Congress, Prague 1994


In 1994 Václav Havel attended the 61st PEN International World Congress in Prague. There, in his capacity as poet, playwright and dissident, as well as President of the Czech Republic, he gave a speech which many PEN members remember well. On the sad occasion of Havel’s death we would like to share the speech with members and the wider community once again.

Please click here to download the speech in pdf form.

Vaclav Havel's opening speech at the PEN International World Congress, Prague 1994

Vaclav Havel's opening speech at the PEN International World Congress, Prague 1994

Vaclav Havel's opening speech at the PEN International World Congress, Prague 1994

Vaclav Havel's opening speech at the PEN International World Congress, Prague 1994

Vaclav Havel's opening speech at the PEN International World Congress, Prague 1994

Vaclav Havel's opening speech at the PEN International World Congress, Prague 1994

Vaclav Havel's opening speech at the PEN International World Congress, Prague 1994

Vaclav Havel's opening speech at the PEN International World Congress, Prague 1994

Vaclav Havel's opening speech at the PEN International World Congress, Prague 1994

Vaclav Havel's opening speech at the PEN International World Congress, Prague 1994

Vaclav Havel's opening speech at the PEN International World Congress, Prague 1994