Jiří Dienstbier

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Jiří Dienstbier
Jiri Dienstbier (cropped).jpg
Foreign Minister of Czechoslovakia
In office
10 December 1989 – 2 July 1992
Preceded byJaromír Johanes
Succeeded byJozef Moravčík
Senator from Kladno
In office
25 October 2008 – 8 January 2011
Preceded byLadislav Svoboda
Succeeded byJiří Dienstbier Jr.
Personal details
Born(1937-04-20)20 April 1937
Kladno, Czechoslovakia
Died8 January 2011(2011-01-08) (aged 73)
Prague, Czech Republic
Political partyKSČ
Alma materCharles University in Prague

Jiří Dienstbier (20 April 1937 – 8 January 2011) was a Czech politician and journalist. Born in Kladno, 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 revived the suppressed Lidové noviny newspaper.[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. He died in Prague.

Awards and honors[edit]

In 2000, the Vienna-based International Press Institute named him one of its 50 World Press Freedom Heroes of the past 50 years.[2] In 2013, Dienstbier was posthumously awarded the Hanno R. Ellenbogen Citizenship Award given jointly by the Prague Society for International Cooperation[3] and Global Panel Foundation.


  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. Archived from the original on 16 January 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  3. ^ List of Hanno R. Ellenbogen Award Winners Archived 2014-09-03 at the Wayback Machine on Praguesociety.org

External links[edit]