- Hans Weber
- September 28, 2023
Embassy of the Netherlands in the Czech Republic
On this day 98 years ago, on August 3rd, 1924, Dutch politician and diplomat Max van der Stoel was born. During his career, Van der Stoel was Minister of Foreign Affairs, ambassador of to the United Nations, and the first High Commissioner on National Minorities of the OSCE. He devoted his career to standing up for freedom and human rights.
In 1977, Minister Van der Stoel met with professor Jan Patočka, first spokesman of the civic initative Charta 77, at the InterContinental Hotel in Prague. This meeting can be described as one of the milestones on the long road of Czechoslovakia back to democracy, as Van der Stoel was the first western representative to acknowledge Charta 77.
In 2014, three years after he passed away, Van der Stoel was honored with the “Park Maxe van der Stoela”, which you can visit in Prague. Fittingly, the park borders Patočkova street, named after Jan Patočka.
Read more about Max van der Stoel and Charta 77 here (in Dutch): https://www.volkskrant.nl/…/maxe-van-der-stoela-park…/