In protest against Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia, student Jan Palach burned himself in Prague on January 16, 1969. Namely, eleven days earlier the forces of the Communist Warsaw Pact, led by the USSR, stifled the so-called. Prague Spring, or President Alexander Dubcek’s Liberal Reform Program.Testuring the invasion and occupation of the country, as well as the apathy of Czechoslovak citizens, Palach, who studied history at the Faculty of Philosophy at Charles University, caught fire on Vaclavski Square in front of the National Museum.
During the burning, Palach did not die immediately but was transported to hospital with severe burns. He died there after three painful days. His funeral grew into a symbol of resistance to the communist regime. The square on which it burned was later named after him.
A month later, another student – Jan Zajic, burned down in the same place, followed by a third student, Eugene Plocek, in April of that year.