Jan Palach’s commemorative plaque
Všetaty, T. G. Masaryka 342
“Jan’s father and mother were very devoted members of the Sokol movement. Jan joined the local unit of the Sokol organisation in Všetaty only when he was an adult. It is perhaps symbolic that he chose the department of elementary and recreational physical education as a pseudo-heir of the Sokol traditions, strongly influenced by the succeeding socialist physical education.”
The memory of Jiří Pokorný, from the book entitled Věrni zůstaneme (We will remain faithful), 1999
In his free time, Jan Palach often used to go to the gymnasium in Všetaty where he did sports with his sports club friends. When he died, almost all of the Všetaty inhabitants took part in a silent procession. They walked from the Palachs’ house to the gymnasium where Václav Ach, the son of a pre-war leader of Sokol Všetaty, gave a remembrance speech.
On 22 January 1994, a black marble commemorative plaque was unveiled in the entrance hall of the gymnasium building at the initiative of Společnost Jana Palacha (Jan Palach Association). On the plaque, there is Palach’s death mask made by Olbram Zoubek (the original mask was initially placed in this building as well in 1969) and an inscription that reads: JAN PALACH * 11. 8. 1948 † 19. 1. 1969.
The commemorative plaque was unveiled on the occasion of the First Year of the Jan Palach Memorial, a competition in girls´ artistic gymnastics which has since been held every year in the gymnasium.