Jiří Dienstbier

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This article is about the Jiří Dienstbier Sr.. For his son and Czech Minister of Human Rights and Equal Opportunities, see Jiří Dienstbier Jr.
Jiří Dienstbier
Jiri Dienstbier.jpg
Senator from Kladno
In office
25 October 2008 – 8 January 2011
Preceded by Ladislav Svoboda
Succeeded by Jiří Dienstbier Jr.
Personal details
Born (1937-04-20)20 April 1937
Kladno, Czechoslovakia
Died 8 January 2011(2011-01-08) (aged 73)
Prague, Czech Republic
Political party KSČ, ČSSD and others
Alma mater Charles University in Prague

Jiří Dienstbier (20 April 1937, in Kladno – 8 January 2011, in Prague) was a Czech politician and journalist. He was one of Czechoslovakia's most respected foreign correspondents before being fired after the Prague Spring. Unable to have a livelihood as a journalist, he worked as a janitor for the next two decades. During this time, he secretly started Lidove noviny.[1]

After the end of communist rule in 1989, he became the country's first non-Communist foreign minister in four decades, a post he held until 1992. In 2008 he was elected to the Czech Senate for the Kladno region.

In 2000, the Vienna-based International Press Institute named him one of its 50 World Press Freedom Heroes of the past 50 years.[2]

Awards and Honors[edit]

In 2013, Dienstbier was posthumously awarded the Hanno R. Ellenbogen Citizenship Award by the Prague Society for International Cooperation.[3]


  1. ^ "Jiri Dienstbier: A Czech's career". The Economist. 13 January 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  2. ^ "World Press Freedom Heroes". International Press Institute. 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  3. ^ List of Hanno R. Ellenbogen Award Winners on Praguesociety.org

External links[edit]