Forty years since Jan Palach’s self-immolation
Friday marks the 40th anniversary of the self-immolation of Jan Palach, a student who took his life in protest against the Czech public’s apathy following the Soviet-led invasion of 1968. Palach’s suicide turned him overnight into a symbol of national resistance. Several events have taken place to commemorate Palach’s death, including a special mass followed by a procession to Charles University’s Philosophical Faculty, where he was a student. There was also a gathering outside the National Museum on Wenceslas Square, at the spot where Jan Palach set himself alight on January 16 1969.