The European Jewish Congress (EJC) is mourning the death of former Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel.

Havel was known as a great friend of the Jews and did much to confront antisemitism and teach the lessons of the dark chapter of the Holocaust during his two terms in office.

EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor, who was a colleague of Havel’s on the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, said that he would be sadly missed.

Having personally worked with him, I can attest to the tremendous moral qualities of President Havel” Kantor said.

“He was a figure for a new and modern Europe to emulate. President Havel lived through communism and led the Czech Republic to a new era helping move his countrymen through a troubled past to a more open, free and tolerant future.

President Havel was a true and steadfast friend of the Jewish people and will be missed by European Jewry.