Published: October 13, 2008
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.
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 allegations could diminish Mr. Kundera’s moral stature as a spokesman, however enigmatic, against totalitarianism’s corrosion of daily life.
The reclusive Mr. Kundera vehemently denied the account.
“I object in the strongest manner to these accusations, which are pure lies,” he said in a statement released by his French publisher, Gallimard.