The Unbearable Lightness of Betrayal

Was one of the most revered literary critics of communism an informant for the Czech secret police? It looks like further evidence has come along to verify the story that broke last year claiming in 1950 Milan Kundera told Czech authorities about (and consequently sent to prison—14 years of hard labor) a 22 year-old dissident named Dvoracek.

According to signandsight.com:

The Prague newspaper Lidove Noviny has laid its hands on a previously unknown document which serves as further evidence that the writer Milan Kundera informed on the anti-communist agent Miroslav Dvoracek in Stalinst Prague of 1950. It is the manuscript of a speech given in 1952 by the former deputy minister for National Security, Jaroslav Jerman. Jerman praises Dvoracek’s arrest as a shining example “of how our citizens can expose our enemies”.  Then Jerman cites the police document which was published last year in Respekt magazine, and which first cast suspicion on Kundera. Now, says the historian Petr Koura in the Lidove Noviny, “it seems practically impossible that the police document that emerged last year could be a fake.” Although the historian does add, that even the new document does not prove Kundera’s guilt unequivocally. Another commentator in the paper calls upon Kundera “for the umpteenth time” to speak up.

This does not look good for Kundera. Could guilt over this incident have inspired many of the works we’ve enjoyed over the years? There’s even more incriminating evidence over at the UK’s Telegraph.

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~ by Valerie Palmer on October 27, 2009.

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