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Jozef Imrich

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I'm delighted to tell you that COLD RIVER, my book, is now published.

Ask me about my passion for dragons. Read my Book.

'This book is like having an old itch finally scratched.'

Newsletter Dated: 1/27/2002 7:26:21 PM

Subject: VOW - A Promise to Keep the Marshall Spirit of Charter 1977 Alive

Dear Friends

Wishing you creative New Year.

" Knowledge is gained by learning; trust by doubt; skill by practice, and real democracy by human struggle."
-Victory Over Want (VOW)

In January 2002 Charter was born, coincidentally, a quarter of the century exactly after the Charter 77 saw its first sunlight. Charter 77 is a living prove that dreams dared to dream are now Czech and Slovak reality.

Charter 2002 is about VOW Victory Over Want. For any Charter to survive and continue to experience the positive feeling behind the word WOW it needs
to find support in every corner in the world where hope lives.

Dr James Cumes, a former Australian Ambassador in Austria, who is the innitiator of VOW, has a way with words that make my day.

Cumes' Charter is a labour of love and like Havel he dreams of a world filled with fresh ideas, fresh bread, fresh water, fresh hopes.

James is one of those people who hopes to bring real democracy to the whole planet. He just gives and gives of himself. I am grateful for living at the historical times which create great characters like Havels, Hattons and now Cumes.

These great characters identify with Frederick Douglass: "If there is no struggle, there is not progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, yet deprecate agitation...want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without the thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters ... Power concedes nothing without a demand." -

We, at the Charter 2002, will disagree about how to go about eliminating poverty, making water drinkable again, ways and manners of challenging the exclusive clubs like World Econimic Forums. However, if our destination is
same as our dream, our journeys, no matter how many will take place on offbeaten paths, are already winners. One thing is in concrete the journey of Charter 2002 is going to be creative and is already filled with

Dear Friends, Charter 2002 is not a silver bullet to all the world's problem, just like Charter 1977 could never be. However, it is going to be part of the solution rather than problem. If not us, who? If not now, when?

As far I am aware, no charter in the world makes the facts about the democracy more clear than VOW. While the rest of the world is slowly forgetting about the largest concentration camp on the earth, communism, it is also forgetting about the way that democracy was intended to operate and perform. If the current governments are failing to meet the basic needs of human race, lets not blame democracy. If true democracy were or are around
alive and kicking there would not have been a reason to create Charters like 1997 or 2002.

Democracy is about " ... asking questions, confronting power, challenging dogmas -- even when they are the dogmas of democracy. (Real Democrats can tell Fukyuama (sic), Screw You, It is Not the End of History. We know) that even after two hundred years the Americans are not necessarily closer to realizing democracy fully than nations of only twenty years or two years experience of democracy." -Benjamin Barber

Like James who has a daughter Kim Alexandra Sara, my daughters Gabriella Jozefina and Alexandra Lauren deserve to be passed on a world in a better shape. I do not care for the distinction about rich and poor, black or white, artistic or clumsy, young or old. I see only people as considerate or not. Considerate people of this world, however, need to find training ground to practice what is in their heart. VOW will provide such an opportunity for one and all. VOW is about practicing what it preaches. VOW dreams in more realistic world.

Unconditional love has no limits. Charter 2002 has limitless work to do. Your mention of VOW and its link to your soulful and considerate friends would be much

As you might recall, my escape took place on 7 of 7 1980 symbolising Charter 77. A recent interview in London literary journal even managed to place the numbers as part of the URL on their website (smile)


Jozef Imrich

Survivor-at-large on his new mission to show the story of 'Cold River: Dream Before the Nightmare.' True History of the Iron Curtain crossing.

PS: To me, the words bellow from the fingertips of the former Australian Ambassador in Vienna, James Cumes, were like the views from tropical island where the girls kidnapped me over the holiday season. I am happy to report that the local paper ran a headline on Australia Day 'Wild Bohemian Bites Dingo.'

Hey, Jozef,

That's a great piece.
And a great story in ABC Tales.
I didn't see the final version of your interview in ABC Tales before, did I?
I saw it in draft, before publication, and I loved it.
I love it even more now.
Jozef, you're a fine writer, with a fine touch.
You move people.
You've got that ability to tell a great story - a sad story - a simple
story - like Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, like Chekhov and Kafka.....
You grew up with them but you also had your own harsh experiences.
Jozef, I congratulate you.
People are going to love Cold River - and be saddened by it.
I'm saddened by many features of your story, including the part with the
happy ending - the part played by "Howling Bessie" who couldn't have known
what it was all about but who followed - faithfully - and survived, like her
beloved master. How much we, all of us, wanted her to survive.
Jozef, we're proud to have you supporting Victory Over Want, which you have
named Charter 2002. I understand exactly why you have given your support and
why you have given it without stint.
I grew up in the Great Depression. I have my reasons. You grew up under a
repressive regime. You risked your life to win freedom. You saw your friends
die in the same quest. So you have your reasons to give your support to
VOW - and to call it Charter 2002.
We'll all be waiting for "Cold River."
March, you said?
I'll get my hands on a copy as soon as I can.

James Cumes - Discussion Group

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