Oct 14, 2008
NY Times: In a revelation that could tarnish the legacy of one of the best-known Eastern European writers, a Czech research institute published a report on Monday indicating that the young Milan Kundera told the police about a supposed spy.
According to the state-backed Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, in 1950, long before he became famous for darkly comic novels like “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” and “The Joke,” Mr. Kundera, who was then 21, told the local police about a guest in a student dormitory where he lived.
The police quickly arrested the man, Miroslav Dvoracek, who had defected to Germany in 1948 and was said to have been recruited by United States-backed anti-Communists as a spy against the Czech government. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison. Mr. Dvoracek narrowly escaped the death penalty, a common punishment for espionage, and eventually served a 14-year sentence, including hard labor in a uranium mine.
The reclusive Mr. Kundera vehemently denied the account.