Kundera wants apology on Respekt cover

CzechNews
23. 10. 2008 14:00
Czech-born author wants Czech weekly to take back accusations

Prague - Czech-born writer Milan Kundera wants Czech weekly Respekt to retract its claims that Kundera reported a western secret agent in 1950.

"He demands a straightforward negation [of the allegation] in the same place where he was described as informer, which means including the cover page," said Jiří Srstka, director of the Dilia agency that represents Kundera in the Czech Republic, for Aktuálně.cz.

Srstka toned down his previous statement for Czech Radio in which he said that Kundera was ready to sue Respekt for libel. The agent added that Kundera does not seek financial compensation either.

Coal tycoon and Respekt owner Zdeněk Bakala, to whom Kundera addressed his request, has not commented on the case yet.

The best-selling author, who lives in France, has denied allegations made by an article published in last week's issue of the journal.

In the article, Adam Hradílek, a researcher of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, quotes a 1950 police report indicating that Kundera, then a student of Prague's Academy of Performing Arts, informed the communist authorities about the whereabouts of Miroslav Dvořáček, a spy working for the West. Dvořáček was arrested and spent 13 years in jail and work camps.

The allegations made Kundera break his silence and make his first statement for the Czech media after many years.

Last week he told the Czech News Agency (ČTK) that he did not report on anybody. He said that the evidence provided by the institute was false.

"I am completely taken by surprise by something I didn't expect, something I didn't know about as recently as yesterday, something that didn't happen. I didn't know the man at all," Kundera said. He added that he does not know how the police report quoting him as the informer came into existence.

 

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