The Czechmate Diary…


Spisovatel Jan Benes spachal sebevrazdu / Writer Jan Benes commited suicide June 7, 2007

Filed under: Czech news,Famous Czech people — Tanja @ 12:16 am

1180946118_200706040108_ddd_1.jpg Czech writer Jan Benes commited suicide this weekend. The cause of this action is not known but his unstable behavior was shown in the public about two years ago when after a conflict with a driver he pulled out a stun gun on him, threatening to “shoot his brains out” (

Benes started his writing career in the early 60’s, but because of its anti-communist context the government forbid to publish his writings. In 1966 Benes was sued for treason and was to serve 5 years in prison for it. He was let go after 2 years and that’s because of the amnesty of president Antonin Novotny. After that he did not waste time and emigrated to the USA, where he started off his “new life” as a factory worker. It didn’t take long however (2 years later) and Benes was teaching at the University of Harvard (what a smart guy!).

His final employer in the US became the FBI and the CIA where he taught Czech, geography and history to the diplomats and secret agents. Immediately after the Velvet Revolution in 1989 he returned to his motherland where he became famous for his relentless attitude toward communists and how “easily they got off the hook” after all of the terrible things they have done. That is why he also left the Writer’s Union (Obec spisovatelu) in 1997. His most popular books are the novel “Zelenou Nahoru”, which tells the reader about the american reality of 60’s and 70’s and also a book called “Druhy Dech” (Second breath). I checked and both books are available on Anyone read any of them???

Tento vikend spachal sebevrazdu znamy cesky spisovatel Jan Benes. Duvod neni znamy, ale jeho labilni chovani vyslo na povrch jiz pred dvema lety, kdy pri konfliktu s jakymsi ridicem vytahl poplasnou pistoli a hrozil mu, ze mu “ustreli palici” (

Mlady Benes zacal psat jiz od pocatku 60. let, ale diky jeho anti-komunistickemu kontextu byly jeho povidky na knihkupeckych pultech zakazany . V roce 1966 byl souzen za vlastizradu a odsouzen k peti letum vezeni. Po dvou letech byl ale propusten diky presidentske milosti presidenta Antonina Novotneho. Po propusteni Benes nemeskal cas a emigroval do Ameriky, kde stravil 20 let (z toho 10 let bojoval za to, aby mohl privest take sve deti!). V USA zacal pracovat jako delnik, ale za pouhe dva roky jiz ucil na Harvardu! Usadil se ale jako zamestnanec FBI a CIA, kde ucil zamestnance a diplomaty cestinu, zemepis a dejepis (chytrej chlapik!). Hned po listopadove revoluci se v roce 1989 vratil do Cech, kde byl prosluly za svuj postoj proti jemnemu jednani s komunisty a take diky tomu vystoupil z Obce spisovatelu. Mezi jeho nejznamnejsi dila patri reportazni roman “Zelenou nahoru”, ktery lici americkou realitu 60. a 70. let a Druhy Dech. Obe knizky jsou k dostani na Cetl jste mimochodem nekdo jednu z jeho knih? Jake to bylo?


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