International students’ day

group of studentThe date commemorates the anniversary of the 1939 Nazi assault at the University of Prague after students’ demonstrations against the killing of Jan Opletal and the occupation of Czechoslovakia. During the assault, more than 1200 students were sent to concentration camps, and 9 student representatives were executed on the spot. Moreover all Czech universities and colleges were closed.

The day was first marked in 1941 in London by the International Students' Council and the tradition has been kept up by the successor International Union of Students. 17th of November has always symbolised the moments in history when students were struggling for change and often gave their own lives for the idea of a better society. This day exists to unite many people, not just current students, around the idea of striving for change and progress, the idea of being active and caring for society, of feeling and expressing solidarity with other people, nations and parts of the world who face the collapse of democracy, personal freedom and human rights.

Some celebrate the day by remembering the good old days of being a student; others celebrate the chance of having this status today.

 

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