The International Students Day is an international observance of Student’s community, and it is held annually around the world on 17 November. It is originally the date commemorates the anniversary of the 1939 Nazi storming of the Czech universities and the subsequent killing and sending students in concentration camps, it is now marked by many universities.
History about International Student’s Day
In 1941 the International Students Day was first marked in London by the International Student’s council in pact with the Allies and the successor International Union of Student has kept up this tradition, which has been pressing with National Union of students in Europe and other organizations to make the International Students Day an official United Nations observance. The date commemorates the anniversary of the Nazi storming of the University of Prague in 1939 after the demonstration against the killing of Jan Opletal and the German occupation of Czechoslovakia. The Nazis murdered the nine Students leader after rounding up. And over 1200 students sent to concentration camps, and later on the closing of all Czech universities and colleges.
The passage of time more exists Czechoslovakia, it had been divided under a fascist puppet government into the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and the Slovak Republic. In late 1939 the Nazi authorities of Czechoslovakia (it was called the protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia at that time) suppressed a demonstration held by students of the Medical Faculty of the Charles University in Prague. On 28 October the demonstration was held to commemorate the anniversary of the independence of the Czechoslovak Republic. The student Jan Opletal was shot during this demonstration. And later on 11 November, he died from his injuries, and his body was supposed to be transported from Prague to his home in Moravia on 15 November. His funeral consisted of thousands of students who turned this event another Anti-Nazi demonstration. However, the result of this is turned in drastic measures being taken by the Nazi’s authorities. All Czech higher educational institutions were closed down, over 1200 students are arresting who were sent to concentration camps, and the hideous crime of all is that On 17 November nine students and professors are executing without trial. That’s why the date of 17 November had chosen for the International Students Day.
The nine students and professors who were executed on 17 November 1939 in Prague are listed below:
- Josef Matoušek (student of historian and associate professor)
- Jaroslav Klíma (student of law)
- Jan Weinert (student of Bohemistics and Germanistics)
- Josef Adamec (student of law)
- Jan Černý (student of medicine)
- Marek Frauwirt (student of economics)
- Bedřich Koukala (student of law)
- Václav Šafránek (student of architecture)
- František Skorkovský (student of law)
The Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia
The independent Students leaders together with the Socialist Union of Youth arranged a demonstration to commemorate the International Students Day in 1989. This 50th-anniversary event gave a chance to students to show their dissatisfaction with the ruling Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. By nightfall, what started as a cool memorial event turned into a violent one, with many Participants who were brutality beaten by riot police, red berets, and other members of law enforcement agencies. There were about 15,000 people participated in this demonstration. The only person left lying where this incident took place was thought to be the body of a student, but he is an undercover agent. The rumor that a fellow student has died due to the brutality of police triggered events that most perhaps the secret police were not envisaging. Students together with actors from theatres agreed to go on strike on that same night. The events linked to the International Students’ Day helped spark the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia of 17 November 1989.
As we know that students always have been on the front of the movement of change. Always when the country was in disaster student were standing in front of these issues, and they took the opportunity to show their opinion. Even he went against the current government’s values and beliefs. But unfortunately, these actions only took place when crisis rose up or when curtailment of human rights. Today on International Students Day students need to have committed to stand for human rights. They need to hear their voices and opinions. They have a responsibility if not towards themselves, towards those who will follow them, and to teach them what previous generations have left for us.