• Short Summary

    HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF CZECHOSLOVAKS TOOK PART IN THE FUNERAL PROCESSION IN PRAGUE TODAY (SATURDAY) OF 21 - YEAR - OLD PHILOSOPHY STUDENT, JAN PALACH, IN AN ORDERLY AND MOVING TRIBUTE UNMARRED BY ANY VIOLENCE OR DEMONSTRATIONS.

  • Description

    HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF CZECHOSLOVAKS TOOK PART IN THE FUNERAL PROCESSION IN PRAGUE TODAY (SATURDAY) OF 21 - YEAR - OLD PHILOSOPHY STUDENT, JAN PALACH, IN AN ORDERLY AND MOVING TRIBUTE UNMARRED BY ANY VIOLENCE OR DEMONSTRATIONS. PALACH DIED LAST SUNDAY FROM THE BURNS HE SUFFERED WHEN HE SET HIMSELF ON FIRE AS A PROTEST AGAINST THE SOVIET UNION'S DOMINATION OF HIS COUNTRY.

    PALACH'S BODY WAS BORNE IN THE PROCESSION FROM WHERE IT HAD BEEN LYING IN STATE AT THE CHARLES UNIVERSITY'S ANCIENT CAROLINUM THIS MORNING. THE RECTOR OF THE UNIVERSITY, PROFESSOR OLDRICH STARY, SAID PALACH'S SACRIFICE FOR LOVE AND FREEDOM AND TRUTH HAD TOUCHED THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF MEN, NOT ONLY IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA BUT IN OTHER LANDS AS WELL. THE BROWN OAK COFFIN WAS CARRIED THROUGH THE STREETS OF PRAGUE PACKED WITH PEOPLE OF ALL AGES.

    STUDENTS WITH WHITE ARM BANDS SUCCESSFULLY HANDLED THE LARGE CROWDS, AND POLICE CONTINGENTS, SOME OF THEM WAITING IN BUSES AND TRUCKS IN SIDE STREETS WERE NOT NEEDED IN SPITE OF GOVERNMENT FEARS THAT EXTREMIST AGITATORS MIGHT STIR UP ANTI-SOVIET DEMONSTRATIONS. PALACH'S WEEPING MOTHER, SUPPORTED BY MEMBERS OF HER FAMILY, FOLLOWED THE COFFIN TO THE MUFFLED RHYTHM OF A FUNERAL MARCH AND THE TOLL OF THE CHURCH BELLS IN PRAGUE'S OLD TOWN SQUARE.

    STUDENTS CARRYING A HUGE CZECHOSLOVAK NATIONAL FLAG WALKED CLOSELY BEHIND. THE CORTEGE STOPPED IN FRONT OF THE PHILOSOPHY FACULTY BUILDING WHERE PALACH HAD STUDIED. A STILLNESS FELL OVER THE HUGE CROWD FILLING THE SQUARE BESIDE THE VLTAVA RIVER AS THE NATIONAL ANTHEM WAS PLAYED. THE COFFIN THEN MOVED ON FOR THE PRIVATE SERVICE AT THE LARGE ONSANY CEMETERY ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF PRAGUE. A STUDENT REQUEST THAT PALACH BE BURIED AMONG THE COUNTRY'S HEROES IN VESEHRADY CEMETERY HAD BEEN REFUSED BY THE GOVERNMENT.

    ALTHOUGH LEADING COMMUNIST PARTY AND GOVERNMENT LEADERS WERE UNWILLING TO ASSOCIATE THEMSELVES WITH PALACH'S ANTI-SOVIET GESTURE BY ATTENDING THE FUNERAL, THE CZECH MINISTER OF EDUCATION, MR. VILIBALD BEZDICEK, GAVE A MOVING EULOGY. "PALACH DIED FOR FREEDOM AND TRUTH..... A NOBLE AND ENORMOUS SACRIFICE. HE DIED TO DEFEND HIS IDEALS AND WE SHALL NEVER BETRAY HIS HERITAGE," HE SAID.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVABQ6RPGD48DO1RC5SWGYEJCZNH
    Media URN:
    VLVABQ6RPGD48DO1RC5SWGYEJCZNH
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    25/01/1969
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:11:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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