Jan Palach's grave (Olšany Cemetery) Prague, Feb 2012
Jan Palach (11 August 1948 – 19 January 1969) was a Czech student who committed suicide by self-immolation as a political protest.
In August 1968, the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia to crush the liberalising reforms of Alexander Dubček's government during what was known as the Prague Spring. A group of Czech students including Palach made a suicide pact intending to sacrifice themselves in protest of the invasion. Prague-born Palach was the first to set himself on fire, in Wenceslas Square, on 16 January 1969.
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