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Target Julek

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: February 20, 2018, 19:00 – 21:00

Presentation of an exceptional graphic novel tribute to Julek Varga – a seriously ill dissident who was a thorn in the side of the StB.

Julius Varga got extremely sick at the age of nine after being inoculated against jaundice and became bedbound. Despite this he set out to take on not just his serious illness (the regime forbade his family from travelling to Switzerland for treatment) but also the totalitarian system. He converted to Christianity and began studying theology and philosophy. The Varga apartment in Šumperk became a gathering place for dissidents, former political prisoners and intellectuals, and among those who visited the charismatic Julek were Dominik Duka, Josef Zvěřina, Oto Mádr and Václav Malý. Soon the State Security began to monitor Julius Varga, setting up the “Julek” file on him in the spring of 1989. Shortly after the revolution in 1989 Julek got to see foreign doctors for the first time. However, by then his illness was too far advanced. He died at the age of 33.

Director Ondřej Elbel began working on a graphic novel about Julek four years ago. Designer Martin Jabůrek was doing the illustrations but died suddenly in February 2015. His friends Butula-Cichá, Chalánková, Estrada, Karpíšek and Matyska completed the work.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with the Větrné mlýny publishing house.


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Speech to Joint Session of the United States Congress, Washington

„We are still a long way from that „family of man;“ in fact, we seem to be receding from the ideal rather than drawing closer to it. Interests of all kinds: personal, selfish, state, national, group and, if you like, company interests still considerably outweigh genuinely common and global interests. We are still under the sway of the destructive and thoroughly vain belief that man is the pinnacle of creation, and not just a part of it, and that therefore everything is permitted. There are still many who say they are concerdend not for themselves but for the cause, while they are demonstrably out for themselves and not for the cause at all. We are still destroying the planet that was entrusted to us, and its environment. We still close our eyes to the growing social, ethnic and cultural conflicts in the world. From time to time we say that the anonymous megamachinery we have created for ourselves no longer serves us but rather has enslaved us, yet we still fail to do anything about it.“

Václav Havel:
Speech to Joint Session of the United States Congress, Washington, February 21, 1990

Václav Havel’s Prague