Keith and I are picking up to move to Pécs, Hungary for one year. He has never been to Europe and the furthest east I've been is Switzerland.... Our Hungarian language skills are...well, we know some phrases. Come follow us on our adventure!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Prague Spring

St Wenceslas Square looking down from the National Museum
So for the 3rd part of our tour that impacted me....seeing the sites of Prague Spring--particularly the place where the two young men lit themselves on fire to call attention to the suppression of the Czech people under Communist rule.

The Prague Spring was a period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia during the era of its domination by the Soviet Union after WWII. It began on 5 January 1968, when reformist Slovak Alexander Dubcek came to power, and was ended on 21 August when the Soviet Union invaded the country to halt the reforms. 
National Museum
Jan Palach and Jan Zajíc burned themselves in protest of the demoralization of the Czechoslovakian people due to the Soviet occupation.  The events took place just to the left of the entrance to the National Museum in St. Wenceslas Square.  Jan Palach's name became known world wide and his funeral turned into a large protest against the occupation.  One month later on February 25, 1969, another university student Jan Zajíc, burned himself to death in the same place.  Out of fear of a similar protest, the Soviet Union did not allow Zajíc to be mentioned at all.  He was burried in his home town of Jihlava, where that April Evzen Plocek also took his life in protest against the demoralization of the occupation.

After the Velvet Revolution a bronze cross and a small mound was placed where the men burned themselves.

1 comment:

  1. The last picture is really powerful. I really enjoyed reading all your posts about Prague. It was nice to learn more about the history through the photos!

    BTW - I may be going to Prague and then driving on to Munich in June. Will keep you posted! :)