Path to Freedom
We commemorate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the totalitarian communist regime in Czechoslovakia in 2019. The Czech Mint commemorates the key events and key figures of the Czechoslovak Path to Freedom by a set of four commemorative coins. Each coin is made of two troy ounces of pure silver in piedfort design, which means that the coin is twice as thick as a traditional mintage.
In 1989 there was a change. It began inconspicuously, but the protests in Czechoslovakia were growing stronger and their intensity surprised the politicians, the opposition and the general public. The Communist regime responded with brute force, but this time it was different, because people were finally not afraid. The days of the creators of totalitarianism were counted, although they were not realizing this.
The first coin was dedicated to the so-called "Palach Week", which means a commemorative act scheduled for the anniversary of Jan Palach's self-burning to death which has turned into a massive manifestation of civil resistance. The brutal intervention of the repressive forces caused even greater indignation that grew into seven days of protests and radicalization of the public.
The second coin was dedicated to the “poet with guitar” Karel Kryl, who devoted his voice to the Prague Spring. His poetic melancholic ballads and satirical and serious protestsongs reflecting society became one of the symbols of resistance to the occupation of Czechoslovakia.
The third coin commemorates Václav Havel´s manifesto entitled “Několik vět” translated as “Several Sentences“, which through its factual and non-offensive text broke the barrier between the dissent and the general public for the first time. The petition, whose central theme was freedom, was signed by 40,000 people.
The fourth coin commemorates the "Velvet Revolution", which means a sequence of events that began with the "National Avenue Massacre" and ended with the definitive fall of the Iron Curtain. The coup, renowned for its non-violent nature, allowed the citizens of Czechoslovakia to make free decisions for the first time after four decades.
The reverse sides of the individual coins, which were made by the medal maker Vojtěch Dostál, DiS., present the stylized faces of Jan Palach, Karel Kryl and Václav Havel, and finally two raised fingers forming a victorious V-sign, which means a gesture that is inherently linked to the Velvet Revolution. The obverse side, which is common to all four coins, was dedicated to Saint Wenceslas - a symbol of patriotism and continuity of our statehood. Since the Czech Mint's coins are issued with the license of a foreign publisher, the island of Niue, their obverse side bears its necessary attributes, which means the portrait and the name of Queen Elizabeth II, the nominal value of 5 DOLLARS (NZD) and the year of the issue 2019.
The four-coins set is stored in a luxurious wooden box. Its cap is decorated with an engraving in the form of a chain that symbolizes oppression and lack of freedom. One torn link presents the hope of change.