Havel, Lustig, awarded honorary doctorates in Prague

04-07-2006

Former Czech president and playwright Vaclav Havel as well as writer Arnost Lustig have received honorary doctorates from Western Michigan University - organising annual creative writing courses in Prague. Both Mr Havel and Mr Lustig were recognised on Monday for their literary work as well as for their contributions to human rights.

Mr Havel, who is 69, has received a number of honorary doctorates since leaving public office in 2003. Mr Lustig, connected with Western Michigan University's writing courses, said that cooperation between the university and Prague's Charles University formed a connection between America and the Czech Republic. Of Jewish origin, the writer, now 79, survived internment in Nazi concentration camps during World War Two. After the war he worked as a journalist, but left Czechoslovakia after the 1968 invasion by Warsaw Pact troops. Mr Lustig now lives in Washington.