Evžen Plocek, was a toolmaker by trade, but by 1968 had become deputy director of the car-parts company Motorpal and a candidate to the extraordinary meeting of the Czech Communist Party (see Prague Spring). On Good Friday, 4 April 1969, several months after the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968, Plocek set himself on fire in Main Square (now called Masarykovo nam.) in Jihlava, Czechoslovakia, in protest at what he saw as Soviet aggression. His was the third suicide by self-immolation after two other Czech students, Jan Palach and Jan Zajíc, who burned themselves to death in Prague on 16 January and on 25 February respectively. Just before his immolation he dropped a paper with the text: "Truth is revolutionary – wrote Antonio Gramsci" and "I am for a human face – I can't stand those without any feelings. Evžen". Evžen Plocek was taken to the Jihlava hospital, where he died on 9 April. Only on that day did the local media announce that "somebody immolated himself and is in a critical condition".
In spite of a number of difficulties, the workers at Motorpal were able to hold a public funeral in Jihlava. Not a word of Evžen Plocek's self-immolation made it into the central press, however. Today, there's a simple plaque on the ground near the place of Plocek's death.
- Thích Quảng Đức
- Ryszard Siwiec
- Jan Palach
- Jan Zajíc
- Romas Kalanta
- List of political self-immolations