Czech Struggle for Freedom & Democracy Day

Quick Facts

AKA NameBoje za svobodu a demokracii, Deň boja za slobodu a demokraciu
Hashtags#WenceslasSquare
2019 Date17 November 2019
2020 Date17 November 2020
Czech Struggle for Freedom & Democracy Day

Czech Struggle for Freedom & Democracy Day History

Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day commemorates the uprisings of Czech students against totalitarian regimes. On 17 November 1939, these uprisings and peaceful demonstrated caused the Nazi regime to execute nine students and professors and close universities and institutes for the next three years. On the same date in 1989, another student demonstation took place to mark the anniversary of the 1939 killings. The uprising was suppressed by police but it eventually let to the Velvet Revolution and Czechoslovakia's independence.

Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day is celebrated annually on 17 November. It was officially proclaimed a state holiday in 2000.

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Czech Struggle for Freedom & Democracy Day Facts & Quotes

  • 17 November is also International Students' Day or World Students' Day in commemoration of the same event that saw nine professors and students executed and the higher education system shut down.
  • Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day is also celebrated in Slovakia.
  • More than a thousand of the university students were sent to concentration camps.
  • The demonstration originally on 15 November resulted in the death of a student name Jan Opletal who was shot in the stomach and later died. His funeral procession turned into a larger demonstration on the 17th which resulted in the executions and closing of institutions.
  • The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage. - Thucydides, ancient Greek historian and general

Czech Struggle for Freedom & Democracy Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • Gather with locals at a candlelight memorial on National Avenue in Prague. There is a V for Victory memorial plaque that has been placed where students were killed on National Ave.
  • Wear your national colours. Czechs usually wear red, blue and white to honour their country on special holidays.
  • Spread awareness on social media using hashtags such as #FreedomandDemocracy, #InternationalStudentsDay and #VelvetRevolution.
  • Donate or support local student groups in their academic endeavours. As a day that commemorates students and their rights, use international or local organisations to help students.
  • Watch the film, The Power of the Powerless, which outlines the struggles leading up to the Velvet Revolution.

Czech Struggle for Freedom & Democracy Day - References and Related Sites

17 November History
November

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