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Although Jan Palach had been famous for many years, his name is mostly associated with the name of Jan Zajic. These two students who burned to death in protest against the Communist regime also appear on the gold ducat from the cycle National Heroes of the Czech Mint.
"Because our nations have to face hopelessness and resignation, we have decided to express our protest and awaken the conscience of the nation. Our group consists of volunteers who are committed to burning to death for our cause. I had the privilege to choose a unit, so I got the right to write the first letters and start as the first torch." Jan Palach signed his last letter as "torch No. 1", part of an organized group. In following days and weeks, Communist repressive forces have made considerable efforts to uncover this group. Although the investigation did not confirm the existence of any group, one month later, the "torch No. 2", represented by Jan Zajic, flamed. Although some historians believe that the organized group did not really exist, Palach and Zajic had a number of followers in the Eastern Bloc who demonstrated their disagreement with the communist regimes. So-called living torches remain important personalities in the history of the struggle against totalitarianism, oppression and lack of freedom.
Academic sculptor Jiri Dostal traditionally became the author of the relief. He portrayed the faces of the two young men, added their surnames and their common name on the obverse side. The reverse side was dedicated to their fate. On the reverse side there is the five-pointed star together with the inscription IN THE NAME OF YOUR LIFE I BURN, which is based on the closing verses of the poem Last wrote by Jan Zajic shortly before his death. The date of death on the reverse side corresponds to birth dates on the obverse side.
An integral part of the ducat is a special packaging in the form of a book with the essay of renowned historian PhDr. Petr Koura, Ph.D.
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