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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

„When such events happen, there is inevitably a call for the further homogenization of society,; we get rid of the Jews, then Germans, the bourgeoisie, then dissidents, then Slovaks – and who will be next in line? The Roma? Homosexuals? All foreigners? And who will be left? Pure-blooded little Czechs in their own little garden. It’s not just that such a position or, ultimately, such a policy is immoral, it’s also suicidal.“

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

Havel—Prigov and czech experimental poetry