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Friday, 23 February, 2024
15November 1939

Czech student’s funeral inspires anti-Nazi protests

On this day, the funeral procession of Jan Opletal turned into an ant-Nazi demonstration.

Jan Opletal was killed by Nazi authorities during an Independence Day rally in Prague. When the coffin was placed onto the hearse, the pallbearers and those attending sang the national anthem. The students then continued to demonstrate in the streets of Prague – on Charles Square, in Jungmann, on Národní třída and in front of the Faculty of Law, where SS and police units arrested the first fifteen students.

Later, the Nazi’s reprisals continued as they closed down all Czech higher education institutions and arrested more than 1,200 students who were then sent to concentration camps. Nine students and professors were executed without trial two days later on 17th November. 

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