Czech President, PM honor late politician Karel Schwarzenberg at Prague funeral

Petr Pavel described the former foreign minister as a monumental figure in Czech history during his funeral at Prague Castle on Saturday. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 10.12.2023 09:36:00 (updated on 10.12.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czech President Petr Pavel and other politicians bid farewell to Karel Schwarzenberg during Saturday's funeral mass at St Vitus Cathedral, describing him as a monumental figure in modern history. Pavel emphasized that Schwarzenberg's legacy marked the transition from an era of oppression to the establishment of a new state, and he played a crucial role in shaping this transformation.

In his eulogy, President Pavel highlighted Schwarzenberg's qualities of humanity, kindness, and the ability to connect with others. He portrayed Schwarzenberg as an outstanding intellectual, skillful diplomat, and a man of generous kindness and wisdom.

Reflecting on Schwarzenberg's deep love for life and his country, President Pavel acknowledged the former foreign minister's unwavering support for the Czech Republic, even during periods when residing in the country was challenging.

"He loved his homeland and of all the paths he could have taken, he chose the path of service to the Czech Republic, he saw it as a duty, as a service he was brought up to do, and he supported the country even when he could not live here," Pavel noted in his eulogy.

"This sad time can be an impetus for us to reflect on how we conceive of our roles and who or what we think about most often."

Pavel highlighted the enduring impact of Schwarzenberg's diplomatic contributions, which enhanced the Czech Republic's reputation on the global stage. On a personal note, President Pavel expressed gratitude for Schwarzenberg's role in influencing expectations during his presidential candidacy, despite an unsuccessful bid.

"Karel Schwarzenberg was a great personality of European distinction," wrote Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, who also attended the funeral at Prague Castle. "His insight, experience, and nobility will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace."

Karel Schwarzenberg, born into the noble Schwarzenberg family in Prague, served as the head of office for Václav Havel, a foreign minister, MP, senator, founder of the TOP 09 party, and a presidential candidate. Forced to leave Czechoslovakia after the 1948 communist coup, he returned to the country following the November 1989 overthrow of the Communist regime.

Schwarzenberg passed away in Vienna on November 12, leaving behind a lasting imprint on Czech history that was honored with a grand ceremony at St Vitus Cathedral. His death marks the end of an era and the departure of a statesman who embodied resilience and unwavering commitment to the Czech Republic.

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