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Jan Palach
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Student
    (August 11, 1948-January 19, 1969)
    Born in Vsetaty, Czech Republic
    Set fire to himself in Wenceslas Square, Prague, to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia
    Over the next three months, another 26 people attempted suicide as a protest, of whom seven died.
    The deaths had no immediate effect on the political situation in Czechoslovakia.
    In 2003, six people in the Czech Republic set themselves on fire, with four dying. Some psychologists suggested that commemoration ceremonies for Palach triggered the wave of suicides.
    Half a million Czechs attended his funeral.
    His gravesite became a shrine for Czech nationalists, prompting the Communist secret police to have his remains exhumed and cremated in an attempt to destroy any memory of him (1973).
    While on trial, Vaclav Havel said, ‘If sentenced, I will accept the punishment as a sacrifice for a good cause, which is nothing in the face of the ultimate sacrifice of Jan Palach.’
    Jan Palach week, marking the 20th anniversary of his death, started a series of anti-Communist demonstrations culminating in the fall of the Communist government ten months later.

Credit: C. Fishel


    For 2019, as of last week, Out of 2 Votes: 100% Annoying
    In 2018, Out of 3 Votes: 66.67% Annoying
    In 2017, Out of 5 Votes: 40.0% Annoying
    In 2016, Out of 6 Votes: 83.33% Annoying
    In 2015, Out of 5 Votes: 60.0% Annoying
    In 2014, Out of 6 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
    In 2013, Out of 3883 Votes: 23.54% Annoying
    In 2012, Out of 17 Votes: 47.06% Annoying
    In 2011, Out of 15 Votes: 66.67% Annoying
    In 2010, Out of 25 Votes: 52.00% Annoying
    In 2009, Out of 24 Votes: 41.67% Annoying
    In 2008, Out of 27 Votes: 48.15% Annoying
    In 2007, Out of 100 Votes: 46.00% Annoying
 
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