Winner of the 2015 VH Prize 

Ludmilla Alexeeva is a veteran human rights defender in her native Russia. In her youth, she gave up a promising academic career to join the Soviet dissident movement, going on to become a founding member of the Moscow Helsinki Group. Forced to emigrate to the US in 1977, she returned to Russia in 1989 to continue her work, becoming President of the International Helsinki Foundation and later joining the Russian President’s Commission on Human Rights. She has worked relentlessly for the protection and promotion of the rule of law.

Diary entry for 5. December 2005, To the Castle and Back

„In short, Being has a memory. And thus even my insignificance – as a bourgeois child, a laboratory assistant, a soldier, a stagehand, a playwright, a dissident, a prisoner, a president, a pensioner, a public phenomenon, and a hermit, an alleged hero but secretly a bundle of nerves – will remain here for ever, or rather not here, but somewhere. But not, however, elsewhere. Somewhere here.“

Václav Havel:
Diary entry for 5. December 2005, To the Castle and Back, 2006

The unbearable lightness of evilVáclav Havel’s Prague