• Short Summary

    EASTER 1969 HAS BROUGHT CROWDS OF MOURNERS TO THE GRAVE OF JAN PALACH, THE STUDENT WHO BURNT HIMSELF TO DEATH AS AN ANTI-RUSSIAN PROTEST.

  • Description

    EASTER 1969 HAS BROUGHT CROWDS OF MOURNERS TO THE GRAVE OF JAN PALACH, THE STUDENT WHO BURNT HIMSELF TO DEATH AS AN ANTI-RUSSIAN PROTEST. THEIR DEMONSTRATIONS OF GRIEF COME IN THE WAKE OF NEW RUSSIAN CURBS ON THE PRESS AND THE CZECH PEOPLE.

    ANTI-RUSSIAN FEELING HAS NEVER BEEN FAR BELOW THE SURFACE IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA. THE CZECH VICTORY OVER THE RUSSIANS IN THE INTERNATIONAL ICE HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIPS LED TO VIOLENT DEMONSTRATIONS IN WHICH THE SOVIET AEROFLOT AIRLINE OFFICE WAS WRECKED. WITHIN DAYS, KREMLIN DEMANDS FOR TOUGH MEASURES TO PREVENT A REPETITION OF THIS SORT OF BEHAVIOUR RESULTED IN STRICTER PRESS, RADIO AND TELEVISION CENSORSHIP, AND STRENGTHENED POLICE PATROLS, OFTEN INCLUDING SOLDIERS ARMED WITH AUTOMATIC WEAPONS.

    WITH STREET MARCHES BANNED, AND EVEN THE STATUE OF KING WENCESLAS IN THE CENTRE OF THE CITY VIRTUALLY CORDONED OFF, THE POLITICALLY SENSITIVE CZECH CROWDS HAVE SEIZED UPON THE GRAVE OF JAN PALACH AS A METHOD OF REGISTERING THEIR PROTESTS AND SHOWING THEIR FEELINGS.

    A PREDOMINANTLY ROMAN CATHOLIC COMMUNITY, THE CZECHS HAVE KEPT FRESH FLOWERS AND LIGHTED CANDLES AT PALACH'S GRAVE EVER SINCE THE YOUNG STUDENT SET FIRE TO HIMSELF LAST JANUARY 16TH AS A PROTEST AGAINST SOVIET INTERFERENCE IN CZECH AFFAIRS. OVER EASTER, AS THE CENSORSHIP BIT DEEPLY INTO ALL NEWS BULLETINS AND NEWSPAPERS, THE PEOPLE FLOCKED TO THE GRAVESIDE. THE ALREADY PREVALENT FLOWERS AND CANDLES HAVE BECOME MOUNDS OF COLOUR AND A BLAZE OF LIGHT. PEOPLE STAND FOR HOURS BY THE GRAVE, OTHERS STARE AT BOARDS DISPLAYING PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE DEATH SCENE AND THE FUNERAL OF PALACH.

    IN PRAGUE, THE PEOPLE FIND NEW WAYS OF SHOWING THEIR FEELINGS EASTERTIDE.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA9YJBOFSUJPIMVCT8NL3B2EO07
    Media URN:
    VLVA9YJBOFSUJPIMVCT8NL3B2EO07
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    07/04/1969
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:23:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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