Object

Title: An ordinary man, a national hero, a Polish Palach? : some thoughts on the memorialization of Ryszard Siwiec in the Czech-Polish context

Creator:

Stach, Sabine

Date issued/created:

2016

Resource Type:

Article : original article

Subtitle:

Acta Poloniae Historica. T. 113 (2016) ; Studies

Contributor:

Gilley, Christopher. Ed. ; Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Publisher:

Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Place of publishing:

Warszawa

Description:

p. 295-313

Abstract:

On 8 September 1968, Ryszard Siwiec set fi re to himself during a harvest festival in the 10th Anniversary Stadium in Warsaw. Through his self-immolation, he sought to protest against Communist rule in general and the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in particular. However, his death did not gain wider attention. Further protests ‘by fi re’ took place in the subsequent months and years in East Central Europe. Among them was the self-immolation by the Czech student Jan Palach in Prague. In contrast to Siwiec, this young man was immediately recognized as a martyr in Czechoslovakia as well as on the other side of the Iron Curtain. It was only after 1989 that Ryszard Siwiec’s story became increasingly well-known. Today, his act still remains in the shadow of Palach’s, however. This article deals with the marginal position of Siwiec in the Polish national pantheon. By reflecting on the various constraints on creating martyrs in state and post-socialism, it focuses on one particular aspect of Polish and Czech – or rather Polish-Czech – memory politics. As for the ‘Polish Palach’ Ryszard Siwiec, the paper demonstrates that Czechs have played a crucial role in popularizing him.

References:

Blažek Petr et al. (eds.), Palach ‘69 (Praha, 2009). ; Blažek Petr, Ryszard Siwiec 1909–1968 (Praha, 2010). ; Brenner Christiane, ‘Tod für einen Sozialismus mit “menschlichem Gesicht”. Jan Palach’, in Rainer Gries et al. (eds.), Sozialistische Helden. Eine Kulturgeschichte von Propagandafi guren in Osteuropa und der DDR (Berlin, 2002), 256–66. ; Culek Josef (ed.), Palach. 11.8.1948–19.1.1969 (Praha, 1990). ; Dębska Agnieszka and Kaliski Bartosz (eds.), Całopalny. Protest Ryszarda Siwca (Warszawa, 2013). ; Eisler Jerzy, Polski rok 1968 (Warszawa, 2006). ; Filip Ota et al. (eds.), Počátky odporu proti normalizačnímu režimu ve vzpomínkách účastníků. Materiály, studie, dokumenty (Praha, 1997). ; Gambetta Diego (ed.), Making Sense of Suicide Missions (Oxford, 2005). ; Graitl Lorenz, Sterben als Spektakel. Zur kommunikativen Dimension des politisch motivierten Suizids (Wiesbaden, 2012). ; Holy Ladislav, The Little Czech and the Great Czech Nation. National identity and the post-communist social transformation (Cambridge MA, 1996). ; Kaliski Bartosz (ed.), ‘Płomień Ryszarda Siwca’, Karta, 44 (2005), 78–97. ; Kamiński Łukasz, ‘Przeciw totalnej tyranii zła. Ryszard Siwiec (1909–1968)’, Pamięć.pl, 9 (2013), 48–50. ; Prečan Vilém et al. (eds.), Horký leden 1989 v Československu (Praha, 1990). ; Pynsent Robert B., Questions of Identity – Czech and Slovak Ideas of Nationality and Personality (New York, 1994). ; Sabatos Charles, ‘Hořící tělo jako ikona odporu. Jan Palach v české a světové literatuře’, Kuděj, vi, 2 (2004), 59–77. ; Sadecký Josef (ed.), Živé pochodně (Zürich, 1980).

Relation:

Acta Poloniae Historica

Volume:

113

Start page:

295

End page:

313

Format:

application/pdf

Resource Identifier:

oai:rcin.org.pl:61394 ; oai:rcin.org.pl:61394 ; 2450-8462

Source:

IH PAN, sygn. A.295 Podr. ; IH PAN, sygn. A.296 ; click here to follow the link

Language:

eng

Rights:

Creative Commons Attribution BY-ND 4.0 license

Terms of use:

Copyright-protected material. [CC BY-ND 4.0] May be used within the scope specified in Creative Commons Attribution BY-ND 4.0 license, full text available at: ; -

Digitizing institution:

Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Original in:

Library of the Institute of History PAS

Projects co-financed by:

Objects

Similar
×

Citation

Citation style:

This page uses 'cookies'. More information