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80 years ago
The assassination of Jan Opletal

In 1939, the twenty-four-year-old Jan Opletal was a young student of The Faculty of Medicine in Prague. On October 28 of that year, on the anniversary of the founding of the Czechoslovak Republic, he was demonstrating with other university students and distributing flyers against the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Hitler’s Germany. More than 100.000 people joined the anti-Nazi demonstration, in which even the Communist Party participated. The citizens poured out into the streets chanting against the Germans and singing the national anthem and other patriotic songs. The Czech police sympathized with the demonstrators and decided not to intervene. Jan Opletal was on Žitná street when he was hit in the chest by a gunshot fired by a German citizen. He was urgently transported to the Karlovo Náměstí Hospital for surgery, but the serious injuries caused his death on November 11.