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The Massachusetts Review, Inc.

Document: Final Report on the Activities of the American Poet Allen Ginsberg and His
Deportation from Czechoslovakia
Author(s): Karel Vodrážka and Andrew Lass
Source: The Massachusetts Review, Vol. 39, No. 2 (Summer, 1998), pp. 187-196
Published by: The Massachusetts Review, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25091415 .
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MINISTERSTVO VNITRA
POSTOVNI ORAD PRAttA_

OS-0 l\H /73-65 13. kv?tna 1965


V PRAZE due
PU odpovftdlvttltt vidy totoCUlo tcducl

Vytisk ?. 1.
Soudruh
plk. Jan Z ? r u b a,
1* n?meatck ministra vnitra

Z d e.

Va?ertf . ;. *V<,v<u Tx.ft:*


aoudruhu,

pr?loze Ti predkl?d?m z?vereonou zpr?vu k ?innoati


aoerick?ho b?an?ka Allana GINSHERGA a jeho vyho?t?nl z ?SSR, jako
informad pro UV KSC.

i^ N?oein?k II./apr?/vrMV:
Pfiloha; .
9 liat?., pplk, ko2?ajN?*^C&?

q>/ ^"T'm -y.fr.om/6.

Dear Comrade,

in the attached I am submitting to You the final report on


the activities of the American poet Allen GINSBERG and his
deportation from Czechoslovakia, as information for the Central
Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.

Attachment 9 pages

187
The Massachusetts Review

Following is the text (dated May 13,1965) of the memo addressed


to "Comrade Colonel Jan Z?ruba, 1stDeputy Minister of Inte
rior," from "Chief of Division II. Of the Ministry of Interior,
Lieutenant Colonel Miloslav Kos?ar."

Prague, May 13, 1965

Final report on the activities of Allen GINSBERG, Amer


ican poet-beatnik in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.

GINSBERG arrived in CSSR1 on February 18, 1965 after be


ing expelled from Cuba. On March 19 he left for the ussr and
arrived in Prague once again, immediately before the May cele
brations on April 29, 1965.
During his stay in Czechoslovakia he had contact mostly with
young artists and with young people centered mostly around
the wine club VIOLA. In this environment he sought out in
dividuals from among the young, whom he affected with his
intellect and overt sexual perversion. In addition, he maintained
close contact with many literati like the writer SKVORECKY,
the critic KUS?K, the translator JUNGWIRTH, the critic Igor
the editor DIVlS and others, who contributed to his
H?JEK,
popularity with their articles, not only in Prague, but in Bra
tislava as well
The writer SKVORECKY suggested and convinced GINS
BERG that he take part in the Mayales on May 1 as a candidate
for the School of Engineering. GINSBERG was in fact elected
the king of the Mayales.
After the election of the beauty queen of Mayales, GINSBERG
was invited by a group of students from the School of Engi
neering of the Czech Technical University to a discussion at
the Hl?vkov dormitory in Prague 2, Jenstejnsk? street. The dis
cussion began at approximately 12:30 am May 2,1965 and lasted

- So
lCeskoslovensk? socialistick? republika (The Czechoslovak
cialist Republic). The acronym is used throughout the document.
"Czechoslovakia" is used instead in the present translation.

188
Document: Final Report

until 3 am. The group of students consisted mostly of members


of the so called STAR (The Student Academic Board) and mem
bers of the editorial board of the magazine "BUCHAR."2 At the
very outset GINSBERG was assured by the students present, in
particular that he is in a social setting where it is pos
J?NSKY,
sible to speak without scruples, that they are in opposition to
CSM3 and that they are, practically speaking, illegal.
During the debate, in which both sides took a negative stance,
GINSBERG badmouthed the Soviet Union and disparaged the
leadership of our state. He did not hide his anti-Communism
and antipathy towards Marxist philosophy in front of the stu
dents. He praised the students' Mayales as the connecting of
political resolve to protest the order with the maximum eroti
cism of the environment. He "advised" the students to invite
the Soviet poet VOZNESENSKY to the next Mayales, for that
way they would, "ironically speaking," demonstrate, that they
are not one sided in their focus on the West and, furthermore,
they will extend a good deed to a person who is "oppressed by
the Soviet regime." His statement that, in his opinion, there is
a totalitarian regime in Czechoslovakia, though not as harsh as
in the Soviet Union, had a most unfavorable effect.
The students accepted Ginsberg entirely uncritically, partic
ularly in the passages where he stated or insinuated that there
is "lack of
freedom" in Czechoslovakia. The other part of the
discussion, when he outlined some of the aspects of his "psy
chosexuological philosophy," had little response among the
students.
After the end of the discussion the students arranged for his
stay in the Hl?vkov dorms, where he resided until the early hours
of May 3, 1965. According to additional reports even other dis
cussions with GINSBERG took place at this dormitory.
GINSBERG remained even further in Prague and contin
ued in his contacts and his behavior was of defective character.
During the night of May 3, 1965 he was apprehended by the

2The word means hammer."


"hydraulic

svaz ml?dete -
5Ceskoslovensky (The Czechoslovak Youth Orga
nization), the official organization that was, for all intents and pur
poses, and was, de facto, an extension of the
compulsory Party.

189
The Massachusetts Review

VB patrol4 because he was in the state of inebriation and was


arousing public outcry. His behavior aroused the unwanted
attention of citizens passing by, he was transported to the de
toxification station where, however, he was not accepted.
Once again, on May 5 he was apprehended during the night
by the VB patrol, for he had participated in a disturbance. After
the security's arrival, GINSBERG began to run and had to be
chased. During the cross-examination of the witnesses to the dis
turbance, one of the participants stated that he saw GINSBERG
as he did unseemly sexual things with a young man and wom
an. Before this disturbance GINSBERG was in the wine club
VIOLA, where he spent time in the society of some homosex
uals, embraced them and, in particular, got "brotherly" with
the poet mmfll who drank himself stiff in this
society.
Together with these facts we have secured reports that GINS
BERG, with his influence, affects some individuals, that his in
fluence causes serious mental disorders in their mentality and
disturbs regular family upbringing. In order to document these
reports, investigations were carried out at the appropriate med
ical facilities where, on May 4, 1965, the appropriate expert re
ports were secured.
The doctor at the psychiatric department of the Regional
Institute of National Health, Dr. ^H^BHHH' in her
evaluation "The damaging
writes: influence of the poet Allen
GINSBERG, who
suffers from narcomania and homosexuality,
has had an impact on my p?dopsychiatrie practice. I first heard
of his influence on young people from a patient who is for many
years now being treated for a serious mental disturbance. He
himself, however, has been able to deflect his influence because
he does not condone his poetic work.
"The second case was much more serious. A young man from
a good family, with leanings towards literary work, with several
neurotic and psychopathic traits, had decided on the basis of
the influence of Allen GINSBERG to drop his studies, live like
a hermit and also look for 'what is under the heart/ as the poet
describes his program for life in front of boys. With psychiatric
treatment it has been possible to overcome this damaging in

- the equivalent of city police.


AVerejn? bezpe?nost (Public Safety),

190
Document: Final Report

fluence. Of course, it was his fianc?e who forced the patient to


undergo treatment and who arranged for the examination and
treatment. Those young people who have come under the in
fluence of the poet Allen GINSBERG, without external inter
ference, are certainly
'' having a much harder time living through
this influence. _
The first case, that is introduced by Dr. ?^^^H^^^H
concerns ^^HM^^^^I born on September 8,1944 who,
in his own deposition among other things states: "My rela
tionship towards Allen GINSBERG is highly negative. GINS
BERG as such is definitely not a good example for young peo
ple, providing them with an example of wrong conduct in the
ways of life, one which is completely in contradiction with the
way in which they should
correctlybeliavean^acL"
The second case pertains toW??????I???I???Ktborn on
January 12, 1947,whose mother HHHHH?H1 turned
to the VB Headquarters with a letter in which she writes: "For
some time now my husband and I have been disturbed by the
behavior of our sonHf^^^H^I' I therefore welcomed
that on May 4, 1965 we were visited in our apartment by two
of your workers, who concern themselves?for reasons that per
tain to preventive upbringing?with the behavior of our youth,
especially that segment of it that is under the influence of be
havior and conduct, that is foreign to us and our way of life,
of some literary figures of Western countries, particularly the
United States of America.
"We are particularly concerned about the negative influence
of the American Poet A. GINSBERG who, even before his stay
and then during his stay in Czechoslovakia in the Spring of this
year, excited a segment of our youth by propagating bisexuality,
using drugs and by a variety of provocative behaviors in a state
of inebriation.
"One must point out that this segment of our youth was
familiar with his non-literary activities even before his arrival,
something that is without doubt the unfortunate fault of some
of our cultural journals which, uncritically, without serious
analysis, interpreted his way of life.
"Not surprisingly, the arrival of A. GINSBERG in Czechoslo
vakia was accepted with uncritical enthusiasm and his authen
tic statements about non-literary issues and his distinctive be
havior were broadly publicized and imitated in the press as well

191
The Massachusetts Review

as outside of it. I do not, thereby, wish to criticize his work as


a writer but rather of him as a human who is not
being fully
aware how, with his opinions and behavior, he influences some
young people and also, unfortunately, my son, while he abso
lutely did not influence my other children. We are deeply upset
that, instead of GINSBERG'S visit adding to the knowledge of
cultural values that were created by leading American poets
Ferlinghetti, Corso, even GINSBERG himself, he, in his un
ruliness and irresponsibility, presents from his life that which
should be condemned: bisexuality, homosexuality, narcomania,
drunkenness, exhibitionalism and social extremism bordering
with orgies.
"This whole affair touches us personally, because
IBm^H
(and most likely his friends) out of an effort to imitate GINS
BERG, ruined his health by using stimulants (most likely as
a substitute for drugs) and spent a large part of the working day
before GINSBERG'S arrival in discussions about him in the
company of GINSBERG'S admirers, and barely studied at all.
Taking medicines was prevented, his medical condition was
consulted with Dr. steps were taken to improve
HHmmflH'
his health (a special stay in the mountains) and he also started
to work better in school.
"However, after the first and second arrival of A. GINSBERG
in Czechoslovakia he once again fell?under his personal influ
ence?into some sort of a state of excitation and spent too much
time, with likelihood, in the proximity or near by him."

where, in addition to several young people, GINSBERG was


also present and talked about the fact that he had no sexual
constraints, that he is sexually absolutely free towards both
sexes. Ginsberg also engaged in evaluating the sexual side of
every individual present, mostly from the point of view of how
they would suit him in this way. He expressed the strongest
sexual attraction toward
BmVHmi born June 6, 1948.
wri? was sexually naive and generally overall rather
IBH'
naive, was surprised by these opinions and refused GINSBERG.
The next expert opinion is from the head resident of the psy
chiatric clinic in Prague 8, Dr. HmflmmmmmHmVH
"W?^^?????????????M>horn on June 1, 1946,was treated
in our clinic from March 3, 1965 to March 13, 1965 and from
March 21, 1965 to April 3, 1965. The above named suffers from

192
Document: Final Report

a dis-social psychopathic development, the abuse of Phenmet


razine. As for his intelligence, he appears to be a person of above
average intelligence. The patient was released from treatment
on March 13, 1965. During the medical examination during his
second stay at the clinic he stated that, in the time between the
two stays, he met, together with his friends, with the poet GINS
BERG. GINSBERG then went with the patient to his apart
ment, slept with him in his small room, his wife H^^^l
slept inthe kitchen. The patient stated that "this evening
affected him deeply," "with such a form of knowledge." Before
then "he was terribly irritated and had a dislike for everything."
At the social gathering they played the game "confession," dur
ing which everybody "revealed their naked spirit," which
apparently shook him. The next day, after spending the night
with GINSBERG, ||^HHH| he left home, wandered around
Western Bohemia, slept at railway stations or in houses that he
broke into after dusk; finally he was without money and, in this
situation, consumed some pills that he took with him from
home. During his second admission to the clinic he was found
to have peducolosis pubis (mu?ky).5
"The patient claims to be the leading personality of the
group around the magazine Wild Grapes. He felt very strength
ened in his attitudes, including a propensity towards narco
mania and homosexual and heterosexual sexuality, by his
meeting with the American poet GINSBERG. It appears from
the medical examination that GINSBERG most likely had a
negative influence on ^HfiHHI and it is likely that he can
have such an influence on other young people who meet with
him."
^^^^^^^^
m^mm isa of i^hhmH; b?m
June 4, 1947. On May 5, 1965 we spoke with the parents

?HHHHIHi and the parents submitted a written decla


ration about the life of their son ^IHHH^ Their report
states:
"According to our observations, the American poet GINS
BERG, presently in Prague, has a particularly strong negative
influence on Starting this February, when this
BH-
poet arrived, the unruly behavior of our son has peaked. It ex
presses itself in the following way:

5Not entirely clear what the doctor meant, but the common term
(mu?ky) would indicate "lice."

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The Massachusetts Review

a) Marked absence of studying, lack of interest in family af


fairs, he often leaves the home for several days, will not ad
mit where he has been, he is spiritually rather distraught
and in this condition is afraid to go home. It happened that
after three days of absence from home he visited a doctor
friend to whom he confessed that he has been hanging
around bad society from which he cannot separate himself
even though he realizes later that he is not doing the right
thing.
b) When he is at home, he writes late into the night with
out showing any signs of being tired, which we found
very suspicious. Questioning the parents of his friends
(
H?HHHHHI H^HUHHH ) brought toour
attention that individuals in this group take drugs, most
ly Phenmetrazin. We searched his things and found small
pills and, in addition, empty elongated glass tubes from
which the labels had been scratched off.
c) From April 30,1965, when GINSBERG once again returned
to Prague, until May 2, 1965 our son was not at home and
he explained it by claiming that he spent the holidays
with his friend in the town of Kolin. He did not give the
name and we suspect that he hung around in the company
of GINSBERG.

"All his behavior of late gives us the impression that this is


not a normal case and that is why we have sought the advice
of the district doctor. In April of this year he referred our son
to the district psychiatrist for an examination. She identified our
son as a serious psychopathic case that, however, is impossible
to treat clinically and can last up to 20 years. Whether we chose
to speak to him or use physical punishment, we are unable to
accomplish any correction in our son. Everything gives us the
impression that the society under an artistic guise is indulging
abnormally in sexual life and our son is being abused for this
purpose."
During the stay of GINSBERG in Czechoslovakia, we secured
his journal which A. GINSBERG recognized and confirmed this
in his deposition. In addition to some notes and ad
recognition
dresses, the journal contains6, in which he first of all describes
his homosexual experiences and simultaneously expresses his

6It appears as if a part of the sentence was not typed in, by mistake.

194
Document: Final Report

political opinions. Some selections for his journal that charac


terize his political opinions: "Czech communism with bureau
crats at the top and with mysterious trials. Terror like in Cuba,
only better camouflaged. All capitalist myths about commu
nism are true. I have started to feel that communism is every
where a big restraint. There is whispering going on everywhere.
J. is always consciously surveying the restaurant, who is sitting
and if he is listening, or not listening. . . . in
nearby People
Czechoslovakia are not afraid anymore to speak out openly, if
they know you. They criticize the government sharply. We had
a meeting with the poet HOLAN, a great man. He said that
he believes in resurrection. You can always trust someone in the
state. ... I met with mister SCHMIDT. This is
police regime
. . . everyone has to have proof that they are employed ... is
so unbelievably dumb, it is tragic. To infiltrate the Party? They
were a secret organization for 50 years. They know all the tricks.
But everything is slowly . . . of everything
changing. Samples
that is to be printed are sent via messengers to the HSTD.7
Private publishing is forbidden under the penalty of imprison
ment. . . .Here Neruda would be like NOVOMESKY during
the fifties."
The subtext of his journal characterizes his anticommunist di
rection.
Some moments from his journal to characterize GINSBERG'S
homosexual contacts: _
There were eight of us. HHmmmmmHHH an<^ others laid down
on a sofa on the floor in a small room. I took John around the
neck and was surprised that he was willing. Then I was on the
floor for a while with Paul, he had his pants half way down.
This drove the girls crazy. In my drunken, honest desire Imade
a monopoly of all the best looking boys in the dark.
Further on, homosexual encounters are described in detail:
"March 11: The Baths of Charles, we were naked
mm
in the steam, then a young boy, speaking German, we went up
stairs where we both had erections, we kissed secretly
HH
March 5: In Bratislava I spent the whole day walking around
with "three lone wolfs," who had written a manifesto stopped
by the censors. We walked through the streets, we couldn't

1Hlavni tiskov?ho dohledu ... "The Central Office of Press


spr?va
Supervision"?in other words, the censorship bureau.

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The Massachusetts Review

go upstairs, we held hands H^HHi^HiiH- The saxo


phone player called me at 5:30 pm. We sat down on the sofa,
I put my head in his lap. But he was inactive except for the fact
that he held my hand. When I wanted to unbutton his pants,
he jolted and said "no."
One could continue listing his homosexual encounters.
On May 7, 1965 GINSBERG was called in front of the De
partment of Passports and Visas where he was advised that his
stay is not welcome and is terminated and that he must leave
Czechoslovakia immediately. Ginsberg accepted this informa
tion without a single protest and on May 7, 1965 at 5:30 pm
he traveled from the Ruzun? airport to London.

Prepared by Captain Karel Vodr?zka [signature]

(C) Translation and footnotes, Andrew Lass

196