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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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Diary entry for 26. April 2005, To the Castle and Back

„And here we are once more on the subject of Czech small-mindedness. Look after Number One, don’t get mixed up in other people’s business, keep your head down, don’t look up – we’re surrounded by mountains and those whirlwinds from the outside world will blow over our heads and we can go on burrowing in our little backyard. How many wise essays or books have been written about his domestic self-absorption of ours!“

Václav Havel:
Diary entry for 26. April 2005, To the Castle and Back, 2006

What Price Human Rights?