Czech diplomats working with Italians to block misuse of Jan Palach’s name at neo-Nazi concert

Czech diplomats have met authorities from the Italian the city of Verona to try to block the misappropriation of Jan Palach’s name and likeness at a far-right concert next week, on the 50th anniversary of his death.

Palach died in January 1969 several days after having set himself alight to protest Czech apathy in the face of the ongoing Soviet occupation. The Italian newspaper La Republicca reports that certain ultra-right and neo-Fascist groups have long appropriated Palach’s legacy both “politically and culturally”.

The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday on Twitter that the Embassy in Rome is in contact with Verona province officials “to prevent the misuse of the name of Jan Palach in an unacceptable context.”

Students at Charles University in Prague, where Palach studied, earlier launched an online petition in this regard.