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PALACH WEEK AT THE VÁCLAV HAVEL LIBRARY

Illustration
  • Where: Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague
  • When: January 16, 2014, 17:00 – 21:30

January 1989. A brutal police intervention against a peaceful attempt to honour the memory of Jan Palach, who on 16 January 1969 immolated himself on Wenceslas Square in protest at the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops in August 1968. Water cannons, dogs, tear gas – none scare off the demonstrators; instead they are spurred to hold further protests. Unfolding events and growing unrest signal the imminent collapse of the Communist regime. Civic groups link up, petitions to free Václav Havel spread throughout the country, signed not only by artists but by more and more Czechs and Slovaks…

The Václav Havel Library will mark this key event in modern Czechoslovak and Czech history on 16 January 2014 with a memorial ceremony at the main building of the Arts Faculty of Prague’s Charles University, a march on Wenceslas Square, the screening of a film about Agnieszka Holland at Lucerna and a debate with witnesses and direct participants at the Marble Hall at the Lucerna Palace.

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A Word about Words – samizdat essay

„Besides, to be wary of words and of the horrors that might slumber inconspicuously within them – isn’t this, after all, the true vocation of the intellectual? I recall that André Glucksmann once spoke in Prague about the need for intellectuals to emulate Cassandra: to listen carefully to the words of the powerful, to be watchful of them, to forewarn them of their danger, and to proclaim their dire implications or the evil they might invoke.“

Václav Havel:
A Word about Words – samizdat essay, July 25, 1989

Daniel Cohn-Bendit à Bibliothèque Vaclav HavelThe Faces of Resistance