A Suicidal Spring

Zdenek Adamec stopped understanding his son, also named Zdenek, when the boy was seven. "He asked me how a nuclear reactor worked," says the father, a tombstone carver. "I had to buy a book so I could give him some answers." Eleven years later, the son was still groping for answers, this time to a much larger question: how to save a world that he felt was headed for the abyss. Last month, Adamec made up his mind. On March 6, he walked to Wenceslas Square in Prague, climbed the steps of the National Museum, doused himself with gasoline and lit...

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