Jan Palach (1948 – 1969)
Jan Palach is a symbol of passive resistance of society against the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact forces in August 1968. He studied at the University of Economics, Prague (VŠE) from 1966 to 1968. Right here at VŠE he experienced a fundamental period that deepened his interest in politics, namely the Prague Spring period. Jan Palach actively participated in university student life. His interest in society-wide affairs was culminated after his transition to Charles University in 1968. The Soviet Unions policy against reform efforts in the then Communist Party of Czechoslovakia as well as societys passivity toward the violent suppression of the reform process was a great disappointment for him. He poured petrol over his head and set himself on fire on Wenceclas Square on 16 January 1969 to alert society against Soviet occupation. Jan Palach lived at this dormitory building during his studies at VŠE.