Why is there a Lennon Wall in Prague if Lennon never even visited?
The John Lennon Wall in Prague is a memorial to singer John Lennon; it’s been a home to messages of peace, free speech, and non-violent rebellion (as well as some Beatles lyrics) since the 1980’s. The surprising part – Lennon never even visited Prague!
While it was once just a regular wall, it was one of the few places in Prague where people could practice free speech under communism. Authorities often painted the wall white, but it would be filled up with free speech graffiti by the next day. People posting political slogans under communism came to be known as “Lennonists.”
What does Lennon have to do with Prague?
When John Lennon was murdered in 1980 he became a sort of hero to some of the young and his picture was painted on this wall, for whatever reason right here, along with graffiti defying the authorities. Back then the Czech people had few opportunities to express their feelings with their lack of freedom. By doing this, those young activists risked prison for what authorities called “subversive activities against the state”.
But the threat of prison couldn’t keep people from slipping there at night to scrawl graffiti first in the form of Beatles lyrics and odes to Lennon, then they came to paint their own feelings and dreams on what came to be known as the Lennon Wall.
The Communist police tried repeatedly to whitewash over the portrait and messages of peace but they could never manage to keep the wall clean. On the second day it was again full of poems and flowers with paintings of Lennon. Even the installation of surveillance cameras and the posting of an overnight guard couldn’t stop the opinions from being expressed. [credit: Prague.net]