Ryszard Siwiec self-immolation

OF COMMUNISM …… A father of five from Przemyƛl, Siwiec planned his self-immolation in advance, leaving written and tape-recorded statements explaining his revulsion at both the Warsaw Pact invasion and communist Poland’s participation in it. His death foreshadowed the famous self-immolation of Jan Palach in Prague four months later. It has not been revealed whether Palach knew about Siwiec’s act of protest, as the Polish communist authorities vigorously suppressed any information about it, stating only that Siwiec was “suffering from mental illness”. Although his act was captured by a motion picture camera, newsreels of the festival omitted any mention of the incident.

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