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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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Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter

„If I consider the problem as that which the world is turning me into – that is, as a tiny screw in a giant machine, deprived of human identity – then there is really nothing I can do. Obviously I cannot put a stop to the destruction of the globe, the growing stupidity of nations and the repoduction of thousands of new thermonuclear bombs. If, however, I consider it as that which each of us originally is, or rahter what each of us – irrespective of the state of the world – has the basic potential to become, which is to say an autonomous human being, capable of acting responsibly to and for the world, then of course there is a great deal I can do.“

Václav Havel:
Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter, March 6, 1982

The unbearable lightness of evilVáclav Havel’s Prague