Polish parliament honours citizen who set himself alight in protest of invasion of Czechoslovakia
The Polish parliament on Friday honoured Polish accountant Ryszard Siwiec, who set himself on fire in 1968 in protest of the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in the summer of that year. Addressing the lower house of parliament, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk praised the deed as a defining sacrifice of the generation and the parliamentary distinction as a testament to the importance of Polish-Czech-Slovak relations.
Siwiec, a former Home Army officer and father of five, set himself alight during a harvest festival on September 8, 1968, in front of roughly 100,000 onlookers. Several similar self-immolation protests would follow, including that of Jan Palach.