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Jan Palach and Jan Zajic are inherently bound to the struggle against Communist power. Because both students shared the same ideals and both chose the martyr's death in flames, they appeared on the silver commemorative medal from the cycle National Heroes of the Czech Mint.
Jan Palach and Jan Zajic have probably never met. If they met, they would probably understand each other, because they had not only similar character traits but also similar generational feelings and experience. Both experienced the onset of the reforms known as Prague Spring and both witnessed the awakening of civil society to observe how the political elites left the declared reform ideas, and the public yielded the pressure by adapting to "new orders." The two young men then concluded that they could blast a nation from lethargy and bring it back to the road to freedom in the form of an extraordinary protest - self-burning to death. Their act was not suicide, but self-sacrifice for the liberation of the nation persecuted by totalitarian mechanisms. Jan Zajic made a terrible comment at the end of his last poem by saying, "In the name of your life! - I burn!"
These verses were immortalized by academic sculptor Jiri Dostal on the reverse side of the medal. He added a flame into which he incorporated a five-pointed star. The obverse side bears the faces of both young men, their surnames and their common name. Date of birth on the obverse side corresponds with the death data on the reverse side.
The silver medal is stored in a special packaging in the form of a book that includes a thematic treatise of the renowned historian PhDr. Petr Koura, Ph.D.
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