Czech writer, diplomat Jiri Grusa dies at 72: report

PRAGUE- Czech writer and diplomat Jiri Grusa, former head of the PEN International writers' organisation, died aged 72 on Friday, the head of the Czech PEN club said.
Grusa, president of the PEN International in 2003-2009, died during heart surgery in Germany, Jiri Dedecek told the Czech CTK news agency.

Grusa was persecuted by the communist regime for his novel "Mimner" in 1969 and arrested for his novel "The Questionnaire" in 1978.
He signed the 1977 anti-communist manifesto, Charter 77, in protest against the totalitarian regime which ruled the former Czechoslovakia between 1948-1989.
His death shocked his fellow Charter 77 signatory, anti-communist icon Vaclav Havel, former Czechoslovak and Czech president.
"I'm shocked by the sudden death of Jiri Grusa, my friend and colleague of many years," Havel said in a statement.
After winning a literary scholarship in the United States in 1980, Grusa was stripped of Czechoslovak citizenship and became a citizen of West Germany.
He regained Czechoslovak citizenship in 1990, a year after communism was toppled.
In the 1990s, Grusa embarked on a diplomatic and political career, serving as the Czechoslovak and then Czech ambassador to Germany and Austria and later as the Czech Republic's education minister.

Saturday, October 29th 2011

New comment:

News | Politics | Features | Arts | Entertainment | Society | Sport

At a glance