Milan Kundera denounced Western spy to Communists

14th October 2008, Comments 0 comments

Police records show that Kundera, who later gained fame as an anti-communist and author, denounced a young Czech exile who was spying in his native country in 1950.

Prague -- Acclaimed Czech-born writer Milan Kundera turned in a Western agent while a student during the Stalinist era, leading to the man's 14-year imprisonment at a labor camp, a magazine reported Monday.

Police records show that Kundera, who later gained fame as an anti-communist and the author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, denounced a young Czech exile who was spying in his native country in 1950, the Respekt weekly said.

Kundera, then a 20-year-old Prague film student, told Czechoslovak police that a former military pilot who worked for Western intelligence after escaping to Germany was staying with a female friend at a dormitory, the report said.

Miroslav Dvoracek was arrested and sentenced to 22 years in prison. He spent nearly 14 years in jail, mostly in an infamous uranium-mining labor camp, Respekt said.

The weekly said it could not establish Kundera's motives. The novelist, who has avoided the media for decades, declined to comment on the case.

Kundera, 79, is a characteristic member of his generation. A dedicated Communist during his university years following the end of World War II, he shifted his beliefs in mid-1950s.

He joined a drive to reform the Communist regime in 1960s and became known worldwide as a persecuted dissident writer after the Soviet-led invasion of then Czechoslovakia in 1968.

Kundera left the country in 1975 and has since lived in France. He has meticulously protected his privacy and insisted on separating his work from his life.

Most Kundera novels were banned in his native country after 1968 and several are still not available in Czech, a source of bitterness among Czech readers.

A year ago, Kundera was awarded the Czech Republic's State Prize for Literature after his most famous novel, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, was published in Czech.

DPA/Expatica

0 Comments To This Article