16.01.

1969: Self-immolation in Prague (Jan Palach)

1969: Self-immolation in Prague (Jan Palach)
Photo Credit To https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Palach#/media/File:Palach-Zajic-memorial.jpg

On this day in Prague a Czech student Jan Palach set himself on fire as a sign of protest against the Soviet intervention in that country. Namely, the Soviets in 1968 crushed the so-called Prague Spring, the program of liberal reforms of the President Alexander Dubček.

On this day in Prague a Czech student Jan Palach set himself on fire as a sign of protest against the Soviet intervention in that country. Namely, the Soviets in 1968 crushed the so-called Prague Spring, the program of liberal reforms of the President Alexander Dubček. Interestingly, Palach was not protesting against the Soviets, as much as against the leniency and demoralization of the Czechs themselves, who had allowed the Prague Spring to be so violently reppressed.

During self-immolation, Palach did not die immediately, but was taken to hospital with severe burns. There he died later, after three days of torment. A month later, another student – Jan Zajic – burned himself in the same place at Prague’s Wenceslas Square, and they were followed by a third student – Evžen Plocek in April of that year.

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