In the era which restored Europe whole and free, Vaclav Havel bears comparison with Nelson Mandela as a leader whose stature was crucial in obtaining a worthy place for his liberated nation. "His role brought Czechoslovaka into NATO and into the EU much faster than world otherwise have been the case," Czech Deputy Foreign Minister Jiri Schneider said in his tribute to the Czech playwright and president who died this weekend. The comparison is only a loose approximation, with some caveats. The towering resistance figure, of course, is Poland's Lech Walesa, not only in his own country but across eastern and central Europe. A difference between the two hereos is that Havel remained a powerful international voice in the ensuing decade.