Prague

Memorial to Jan Palach and Jan Zajíc

  Václavské náměstí     more than a year ago
Located in front of the St. Wenceslas statue on the square of his name is a tiny memorial to two young men, Jan Palach and Jan Zajíc. In August 1968, Warsaw Pact soldiers invaded Czechoslovakia in response to the government’s reform movement known as the Prague Spring. In protest Jan Palach doused himself in petrol and set himself alight in this place on January 16, 1969. He survived for three days. A hunger strike followed Palach’s self-immolation, participated in by his friend and fellow student, Jan Zajíc. On the 21st anniversary of the Communist takeover (25 February 1969) Zajíc lit himself on fire in the passageway of a building on Wenceslas Square. Unable to get out of the building, he collapsed and died in the hallway.

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