Final Word from Monday, January 25, 2016

An unusual number of prominent people involved in some sort of Czech scandal or dispute have died prematurely in the past 25 years. We counted more than 15. Some of the deaths, such as that of MEP Miloslav Ransdorf on Fri., were apparently due to stress related to their changed situation. Some were freak accidents (Alexander Dubček, Ludvík Kalma, Peter Kovarčík). One was a double-murder/suicide linked to a freak accident (Karel Musela, Petr Veselý, Pavel Vach). At least one was an outright assassination (František Mrázek). We aren't sure how to classify several of them, regardless of what the police say (Stanislav Gross, Luboš Měkota, Petr Otava, Jan Kollert, Tomáš Kejla, Ján Ducký, Michael Hugo Sekyra, Michael Hobbs). One of the strangest cases is that of Vlastimil Uzel. As the head of Česká pojišťovna, he was a top Czech businessman. But after he was killed by a car on May 5, 2003, it was almost as though he never existed. [Czech Republic Communist]

Glossary of difficult words

prematurely - occurring or done before the usual or proper time; too early;

freak (accident) - strange, unusual or bizarre.

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