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The Self-immolation of Oskar Brüsewitz Compared to Other Suicides Committed as a Political Protest

Małgorzata Czabańska-Rosada and Adam Czabański

This book studies the phenomenon of altruistic suicide which was a form of political protest. The authors investigate the self-immolation of German pastor Oskar Brüsewitz and compare it with other politically motivated suicides. They portray both life and pastoral activity of Brüsewitz and analyse the motives of his suicide. Furthermore, they evaluate the judgement of this tragic event by confreres in faith and other witnesses. Besides the thorough analysis of Oskar Brüsewitz’s case, the book inspects the genesis of self-immolation and locates it in the tradition of Buddhism and Hinduism. It depicts cases of self-immolations in Vietnam, the USA, India, Tibet, China, Iran, and particularly in Middle-Eastern Europe (Czechoslovakia, Poland and Lithuania). The analysis also covers cases of self-immolations that occurred during the Arab Spring (2011–2012) and in Bulgaria in 2013.

Altruistic suicide as a political protest – Self-immolation – Common form of an altruistic suicide – Political protest – Traditions of Asia, of Buddhism and Hinduism, in Vietnam and in the USA during the Vietnam War – Central and Eastern Europe – Self-immolation of Oskar Brüsewitz – Analysis of a Phenomenon – Followers