Rector Martin Bareš, as the Chairman of the Czech Rectors Conference, attended memorial services in Prague as well. He and Chair of the Students’ Chamber of the Academic Senate Daniel Jirků laid flowers at sites associated with the November 1939 and November 1989 events. Shortly before noon a joint memorial service of the Czech Rectors Conference was held at the memorial at Národní třída.
“I was here at Albertov as a representative of Masaryk University three years ago. It was my first time in the role and I spoke of the legacy of Jan Opletal whose dreams of becoming a doctor were crushed by Nazis. He became the doctor of our hearts and souls. Today I would like to point out that the events of November 1989, which I experienced as a student, brought us democracy and freedom, as well as the freedom to vote, travel, discuss, criticise, research and assemble. This freedom is invariably linked to responsibility of each and every person and the society to cherish it,” Bareš said from the podium at Albertov.
The memorial services in Brno started in the morning as well. Representing Masaryk University at the memorial in Rooseveltova street, at an event organised by the Municipality of the City of Brno, were Vice-Rector Břetislav Dančák and member of the Students’ Chamber of the Academic Senate Natália Antalová.
At a ceremony held at the T. G. Masaryk memorial at Komenského náměstí, the students’ chamber presented its award for contribution to teaching at Masaryk University. The award in the field of natural sciences was presented to Erik Kalla from the Faculty of Science; Matěj Pavlík from the Faculty of Informatics accepted the award in the field of economy and computer science, while the award in the field of social sciences and humanities was presented to Jiří Němec from the Faculty of Social Studies.
The afternoon programme commemorating the events of 1989 and 1939 was organised by students and included a lantern parade organised by a student volunteer association from the Faculty of Arts. Lanterns with the MUNI logo were available at a booth of the MUNI HELPS volunteer centre at náměstí Svobody.
Shortly before the march hundreds of attendees listened to speeches by Rector Martin Bareš and Dean of the Faculty of Arts Irena Radová. The parade went from náměstí Svobody via Moravské náměstí and Komenského náměstí, to the Faculty of Arts and then stopped at the Faculty of Civil Engineering of Brno University of Technology, the Faculty of Law of Masaryk University and the Kounicovy koleje dormitory and at Kraví hora were the students sang the Czech, Slovak and students’ anthems.
Organised by students of all six universities in Brno, the festival Brněnský sedmnáctý was held as well. It programme encourages the civic society to be actively involved in the current events in the Czech Republic and abroad. As part of this event, the building of MU headquarters at Žerotínovo náměstí was illuminated in white, red and blue.
Masaryk University commemorated the events of the year 1939 and the closure of universities by Nazis on Monday at MU gathering of academic community at the Kounicovy koleje dormitory. Representatives of students, deans and vice-deans of all faculties paid respects to the victims.
On 16 November an event entitled Křehká svoboda (Fragile freedom) was held at the Scala University Cinema. The programme prepared by the Centre for Culture, Arts and Events was focused on the events o 1989 as well as the current events in Europe and elsewhere in the world. It included the screening of the movie Klondike about a family from Donbas in 2014 during the armed conflict between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists. The screening was followed by a debate focused on Russia. A silver Masaryk University medal was presented to Czech writer, translator and former dissident Petruška Šustrová.