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Romas Kalanta and other “living torches” in the Soviet Union

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 18, 2022, 19:00 – 21:00

In Lithaunia’s Kaunas 50 years ago, on 14 May 1972, Romas Kalanta set himself on fire in protest at the Soviet occupation of Latvia and russification. His protest sparked days of public protests in Kaunas, which were violently quelled. Those events entered the history books as the Kaunas Spring and Kalanta is today known as Lithuania’s Palach. Other cases of “living torches” in the Soviet Union will also be recalled in this debate.

Taking part will be historian Petr Blažek from the Museum of 20th Century Memory, researcher and journalist Roman Laube, who has long been studying the history of alternative movements in the former Eastern Bloc, and Robert van Voren, a Dutch human rights activist, sovietologist and historian, professor of political science and Director of the Andrei Sakharov Research Center for Democratic Development at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania.

The Lithuanian ambassador to the CR, Laimonas Talat-Kelpša, will deliver the opening address.

A Václav Havel Library and Museum of 20th Century Memory series.


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