Martin Smid; he’s still not dead!

November 17 was the 20th anniversary of the Czech "velvet revolution." One of the events that triggered it was the spread of a rumor alleging that mathematics student Martin Smid had been beaten to death by police. Smid, however, was very much alive, and he still is. To this day, he has no idea how his name got attached to the rumor. From

After a bloody crackdown on a non-violent student march in Prague on November 17, 1989, a woman falsely claimed that the riot police had beaten to death her friend, a 19-year-old mathematics student named Martin Smid.
Reports of the alleged death spread like wildfire, rousing ordinary people from their lethargy and igniting the peaceful coup that brought back democracy to Czechs and Slovaks.
Twenty years later, the motivations of the women's false claim - and the role of journalists in spreading it - remains clouded in mystery.

There's more about the Martin Smid rumor at


Posted on Wed Nov 18, 2009


I think that the motivation was likely to cause something along the lines of what the claims did cause.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Thu Nov 19, 2009  at  03:59 PM
The BBC news recently ran an interview saying the secret police had spread the rumour about the death, as they wanted the revolution too. They even interviewed the guy who'd said he'd spread it, although they expressed some scepticism. I can't find a link to it, sorry.
Posted by Nona  on  Mon Nov 23, 2009  at  06:00 AM
Anything based on a lie is a bad thing and no good can ever come from it. Therefore, they must immediatly restore Communist governance to the country if necessary by force of arms with a UN action.
Posted by D F Stuckey  on  Fri Nov 27, 2009  at  08:33 PM
I agree completely with D F Stuckey, it's an affront to humanity that a government be based on lies. Reinstatement of the former communist regime is the only viable way to re-establish faith in humanity 😉
Posted by DeadDodo  on  Wed Dec 02, 2009  at  01:28 AM
The only way this could be more perfect is if Martin Smid didn't really exist.
Posted by Roland  on  Thu Apr 01, 2010  at  07:30 AM
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