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NewsScores light candles at Jan Palach’s tomb on eve of anniversary of death

18-01-2015 18:14 | Ian Willoughby

Scores of mainly young people lit candles at the tomb of Jan Palach in Prague’s Olšany cemetery on Sunday, which was the eve of the anniversary of his death from self-immolation in 1969. The event was co-organised by people who previously held a demonstration against the Czech president, Miloš Zeman. One of them, Martin Přikryl, told the Czech News Agency that Palach had died for ideals that were more current today than they had been some years ago, highlighting what he described as passivity towards the Czech government’s positions on international issues. 

NewsCzechs mark 46th anniversary of self-immolation of student Jan Palach

16-01-2015 12:07 | Daniela Lazarová

Czechs are marking the 46th anniversary of the death of student Jan Palach who set himself on fire in protest against the growing public apathy to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. People have been laying flowers and lighting candles at the Palach memorial stone at the top end of Wenceslas Square where he set himself on fire and a special commemorative event is taking place at the Philosophical Faculty of Charles University on Jan Palach Square. The ensemble of the National Theatre is holding a scenic evening entitled 1969 – The Ice Age. 

One on OneEliyahu Rips: The Latvian Palach-inspired “human torch” protester who survived

13-10-2014 15:52 | Ian Willoughby

Eliyahu Rips, photo: Ian Willoughby When Jan Palach burned himself to death in January 1969 over the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, his radical protest was echoed by a number of young men in the Eastern Bloc. Among them was Eliyahu Rips, who put a match to his petrol-doused clothing in the Latvian capital Riga on April 13, 1969. But unlike the others, Rips survived, after passers-by put out the flames.  More

One on OneEliyahu Rips: The Latvian Palach-inspired “human torch” protester who survived

07-04-2014 13:00 | Ian Willoughby

Eliyahu Rips, photo: Ian Willoughby When Jan Palach burned himself to death in January 1969 over the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, his radical protest was echoed by a number of young men in the Eastern Bloc. Among them was Eliyahu Rips, who put a match to his petrol-doused clothing in the Latvian capital Riga on April 13, 1969. But unlike the others, Rips survived, after passers-by put out the flames.  More

NewsBurning Bush sweeps boards at Czech Lions

23-02-2014 21:29 | Ian Willoughby

Burning Bush, Agnieszka Holland’s depiction of the aftermath of the self-immolation of Jan Palach, swept the boards at the Czech Lion film awards in Prague on Saturday night. The movie, originally a TV mini-series, picked up a record 11 prizes, including Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Zdeněk Tyc’s Like Never Before picked up the two main acting prizes, Clownwise by Viktor Tauš took Best Supporting Actor and Crooks by Sylvie Dymáková was named Best Documentary.  

NewsExhibition recalls self-immolation of Jan Zajíc

23-02-2014 21:29 | Ian Willoughby

A new exhibition dedicated to Jan Zajíc is set to mark the 45th anniversary of his self-immolation in response to the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Soviet-led troops and the “normalization” period that followed. Entitled The Story of Jan Zajíc, it will open at Prague’s Carolinum on Monday as part of the Mene Tekel festival, before moving to the town of Šumperk, whose grammar school students put the exhibition together. Aged 19, Zajíc set himself on fire on 25 February 1969 as he felt a similar move by Jan Palach had failed to shake the indifference and apathy of Czechoslovak society.  

NewsJan Palach commemorations in Prague

16-01-2014 20:55 | Chris Johnstone

Commemorations in Prague on Thursday are marking the 45th anniversary since student Jan Palach set fire to himself to protest the Soviet-led invasion of former Czechoslovakia and its aftermath. Palach set fire to himself in Prague’s Wenceslas Square on January 16, 1969, and died from his burns three days later. A commemoration of the young student has been scheduled at Charles University’s Philosophy Faculty, where Palach was a student. It is one of a series of events taking place. Palach said his protest was aimed at the acceptance by his fellow citizens of the clampdown on liberties which had prompted the Soviet-led invasion half a year earlier.  

Current Affairs'Palach Week' - a prelude to the 1989 fall of communism

16-01-2014 15:45 | Rob Cameron

'Palach Week', Wenceslas square, January 1989, photo: Czech Television Most people date the beginning of the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia to November 17th, 1989, when a peaceful student demonstration was brutally broken up by riot police. But cracks in the regime's grip on power began to appear much earlier in that year, when people gathered to mark the 20th anniversary of Jan Palach's self-immolation in January 1969. For seven days starting January 15th, 1989, demonstrators who tried to gather on Wenceslas Square were beaten and sprayed with water cannon. Among them was Ivana Varju, who was a student at Charles University at the time.  More

NewsFunds pledged for Palach tribute

12-01-2014 20:55 | Chris Johnstone

A total of Kč 6 million has been set aside this year by the government for a project to restore the abandoned family home of Czech student Jan Palach and make it into a fitting memorial. Prague philosophy student Palach set fire to himself on January 16, 1969, to protest at the passivity of Czech and Slovaks towards the Soviet led invasion of the country in August 1968 to clamp down on the so-called Prague Spring. He died a few days later. Palach was brought up in a village near the central Bohemian town of Mĕlnik, where the family house is now falling into disrepair.  

NewsSenate approves proposal to give Palach and Comenius significant days in Czech calendar

02-05-2013 19:16 | Daniela Lazarová

The Senate has approved a proposal to commemorate the legacy of Jan Palach and Jan Amos Comenius through significant days in the Czech calendar. Jan Palach will be remembered on January 16th, the day he set himself on fire in protest of the growing public apathy to the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and Jan Amos Comenius will be remembered on the day of his birth, March 28. There are presently 9 significant days in the Czech calendar and contrary to state holiday’s they are not days off. Their significance is merely symbolic.  

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