Between 1968, a year marked by the invasion of Prague, and
the fall of the Soviet empire in 1991, some solitary heroes dared to challenge
the “red giant” by resorting to the most extreme gesture: the immolation of
themselves through fire. Among them was Vasyl’ Makuch, who killed himself in
the center of Kyiv in 1968 – preceding the more famous Jan Palach – to protest
both against the occupation of Czechoslovakia and the annihilation of the
Ukrainian nation. His writings appear here for the first time ever, along with many
other stories of martyrs of the 20th century.