Milan Kundera regains Czech citizenship, says report

Kundera, now 90, and his wife Vera, were stripped of their nationality in 1979 by the communist regime of then-Soviet-era Czechoslovakia. They emigrated to France in 1975. — AFP pic
Kundera, now 90, and his wife Vera, were stripped of their nationality in 1979 by the communist regime of then-Soviet-era Czechoslovakia. They emigrated to France in 1975. — AFP pic

PRAGUE, Dec 3 — Novelist Milan Kundera has regained Czech citizenship which he had lost after leaving Communist-ruled Czechoslovakia for France in the 1970s, Czech media said today.

The Czech daily Pravo said on its website that Kundera and his wife Vera had received the documents from the Czech ambassador to Paris on November 28.

“They were genuinely pleased. They are aware it’s not a life-changing moment, but they definitely felt the symbolism which was very important for them,” ambassador Petr Drulak told Pravo.

Kundera, who is 90, left his home country for France in 1975 and lost Czechoslovak citizenship four years later before becoming a Frenchman in 1981.

Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993, four years after shedding the Communist totality of four decades.

Kundera visits the Czech Republic rarely, and his perhaps greatest recent involvement with his homeland occurred in 2008 when a local magazine accused him of being a police informer during Communism, which he denied as “pure lies”.

His novels include The Joke (1967), The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1979), The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984) and The Festival of Insignificance (2013). — AFP

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