The United Nations will be 75 years old this October 24th, and when I see how certain member nations react to having their human rights abuses pointed out to them, how they bully and attempt to silence others, interfere with elections, poison their tea, kidnap, arrest, dismember them, or shoot down their planes, it only reaffirms how important the UN truly is; how important it is that all nations be able to come together and communicate honestly with each other for peace. The UN makes a difference in so many lives every day around the world, and it made a huge difference in the lives of the Fabry family, pretty much saving Vlado’s life by giving him a legal position in 1946 and getting him out of Prague – Vlado was lucky to live to age 40.
In May of this year, I was sent an interview of Vlado’s personal secretary at Hotel Le Royal in Leopoldville(now Kinshasa), from Maurin Picard, author of “Ils Ont Tue Monsieur H”, and she says she “had worked for weeks with Vladimir Fabry and the issue of the “frightfuls”, these mercenaries.
“I made dozens of photocopies from these documents that had been somehow collected and that had to do with these mercenaries. Vladimir Fabry worked a great deal on this issue. We did an extensive research on these documents.”
She gives her recollection of 17 September 1961: “That day, when I arrived at my office, Vladimir Fabry immediately requested to dictate some telegrams. I spent the whole afternoon doing that: typing messages, then bringing them to the “chiffre” for them to be coded accordingly with the recipient’s identity.
By the time I was finished, they were getting ready to leave for the airport.
Before leaving, Vladimir Fabry was so thrilled.
Happy as a kid who was just offered a new toy.
Albeit a very reserved character, he was practically jumping on his feet.
He came into my office and said excitedly: “M******, I am leaving with the Secretary-General! I am trusting you with my car keys!”
He had to be very happy, for he would never have done such a thing otherwise. His car was an official UN vehicle. He told me I could use it all the time during his absence.”
In connection to mercenaries, here is one more document of interest I found during my visit to the UN archives in May 2015, concerning Vlado and Operation Rum Punch; when 79 mercenaries working for Katanga were arrested on 28 August 1961. From Series 0793-0012-81, with folder description “UNOC: Mercenaries, Fabry”, a letter from Conor Cruise O’Brien to Michel Tombelaine in English, with the legal advice of Vladimir Fabry in French:
In May 2015, I wrote “Apartheid: A Policy of Good Neighborliness” in defense of Allister Sparks, anti-apartheid journalist and author; and also to educate people about Hendrik Verwoerd, who was the architect of apartheid in South Africa. I was responding to an article on enca.com, that still falsely claims that Sparks “expressed his admiration”(their words, not his) for Hendrik Verwoerd in a speech. The original article included a video of his speech, which I watched several times to hear for myself what he said, but when I went to look at the article again recently, they took down the video and had edited the article.
Allister Sparks passed away on 19 September 2016, and because my post about him is the highest viewed here and people are still clicking on the link to the enca.com article, I am speaking up for him once again.
Here is a snippet from The Washington Post obituary, celebrating his courage and dedication to end apartheid. Rest in peace Allister.
[…]”Mr. Sparks wrote most recently for The Post in 2004, on the 10th anniversary of [Nelson] Mandela’s swearing-in as his country’s first black president.
“It was the most stirring moment of my life,” Mr. Sparks wrote. “For more than 40 years as a journalist in South Africa, I had written about the pain and injustices that apartheid inflicted on people. I had been harassed and threatened by a white regime that regarded me as a traitor for doing this, and here at last was a kind of vindication or triumph.
“It is a terrible thing to feel alienated from one’s own people,” he continued. “. . . I could not identify with the land of my birth because it stood for things I abhorred; I felt no sense of patriotism when I heard my national anthem or saw my national flag. But on that day in 1994, as I stood before a new flag, listening to a new anthem, watching a new president being sworn in, I felt, yes, my very first twinge of national pride.”