published: 16.01.2013, 20:39 | updated: 16.01.2013 22:59:59
Prague - Charles University dignitaries headed by rector Vaclav Hampl today laid flowers and wreaths outside the Faculty of Arts to the commemorative plaque of its student Jan Palach who immolated himself 44 years ago to protest against the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia.
"Along Palach's model, I, too, will be active as a student and I will not retreat to any seclusion," Jiri Pilip, representative of the student council, said at the ceremony.
"The motto he coined that one should battle the evil one can overwhelm is still on the order of the day," Pilip said.
"In fact, democracy is a very fragile organism," he added.
Several tens of participants in the commemorative act paid their respects to Palach by a minute of silence and lit candles at his bust.
Traffic was halted on the square bearing his name.
Palach's tragic anniversary is also highlighted by the final form of a multimedia portal not only on him, but also on other "living torches."
The web www.janpalach.cz was unveiled to the public in January 2012. It is the result of a multimedia project of Charles University.
Now its creators have given a new content to it, having published new historical texts, photos, documents and language versions.
They cooperated with the public Czech Television and Czech Radio, the National film Archives, the National Museum and the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes.
Palach, 20, attempted to burn himself to death in Wenceslas square in Prague on January 16, 1969.
Three days later, on January 19, 1969, he succumbed to the third-degree burns. His funeral, in which tens of thousands of people took part, developed into a national demonstration for freedom and democracy.
Palach's fate inspired the anti-Communist protests that were held at the close of the 1980s in mid-January and were called the Palach Week.
On January 18, the first episode of the film Burning Bush, devoted to Palach, by Polish director Agnieszka Holland will be screened at the faculty.
25.04.2013 | 21:22
Czech totalitarianism institute´s new head to sack key officials
18.04.2013 | 16:45
Historian should head totalitarianism institute - Zeman in press
17.04.2013 | 08:21
Situation in totalitarian institute scandalous - Czech PM Necas
15.04.2013 | 16:33
20.06.2013 | 07:30
19.06.2013 | 18:07
19.06.2013 | 07:24
Czech Rail, CEZ heads figure in scandal toppling PM Necas - press
18.06.2013 | 12:51
TOP 09, CSSD agree on Prague govt, Hudecek to be mayor
18.06.2013 | 10:51
Czech press survey - June 18
18.06.2013 | 07:18