Czechs commemorate anniversary of Jan Palach’s self-immolation for freedom

Hundreds rallied to commemorate Jan Palach, a student who burned himself in 1969, in took part in a mass event that took place in Wenceslas Square.

Exactly 46 years ago, as an attempt to rouse society against invasion of Czechoslovakia by Soviet Union, a young student of history and political economy set himself on fire in Prague’s Wenceslas Square, burning himself to death. While his action didn’t have an expected response from the people at the time, years later, when the communist regime started collapsing, Palach became a symbol of hope and the anti-communist movement.

The prime minister Sobotka attended the event and laid flowers on Palach’s memorial.

People light a candles for Jan Palach | Photo courtesy of Chmee2 / Wikimedia Commons

People light candles for Jan Palach | Photo courtesy of Chmee2 / Wikimedia Commons