Video archive

Here you can watch film recordings and historical documentaries that are somehow related to Jan Palach and his self-immolation. Československé filmové týdeníky (Czechoslovak newsreels) mainly show the people’s response to his act and death from a journalistic perspective. On the other hand, Ticho (Silence) and Jan 69 films try to reflect the events artistically. The Tryzna (Memorial ceremony) documentary captures the commemorative gatherings on the occasion of Jan Palach’s death that were held in January 1969 in Prague and Bratislava. Further documentaries called Příběh Palachova hrobu (The Story of Palach’s Grave) and Poselství Jana Palacha (Jan Palach’s Legacy) outline the act of Palach’s self-immolation as well as its subsequent commemorations and the circumstances surrounding the removal of his grave from the Olšany cemetery. These dramatic events are recounted by numerous eyewitnesses. Furthermore, there are two rather unique film recordings. The first one is called Studenti VŠE v Sovětském svazu (The University of Economics Students in the Soviet Union), and it was filmed by one of the students in 1967 during one of Jan Palach’s summer jobs. The recording was made by Hubert Bystřičan, brother of the author. The latter shows an edited version of the self-immolation of Ryszard Siwiec at the Dziesięciolecia Stadium in Warsaw on 8 September 1968. It was recorded by StB members and the original recording is kept in the archives of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw. The last video is a recording of Prof. Tomáš Halík’s sermon at the St Salvator Church on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Jan Palach’s self-immolation.