Czechs honour Pole who burned to death in 1968 protest

20-08-2010

Senior Czech and Polish officials on Friday unveiled a monument in Prague honouring a Pole who died in 1968 after setting himself on fire to protest the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia. The monument commemorates Ryszard Siwiec, who set himself alight on September 8, 1968 in a packed stadium in the Polish capital Warsaw, where a crowd of 100,000 including senior communist leaders were attending a festival. Poland's communist regime took part in the invasion, sparking the desperate step by Siwiec, a veteran of the non-communist World War II resistance. The father of five died of burns on September 12, 1968.