Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Jewish Business News


After 7-years Israeli supreme court stripped off Franz Kafka scripts from his biographer’s Family

Israel Supreme Court Rules Kafka Papers A National Treasure; The documents will be transferred to the National Library, which the court claimed was the ‘preferred location’ for them

Max Brod with his secretary,   Esther Hoffe,   Eva Hoffe's mother


Israel’s supreme court has finally put an end to a seven year long saga, ruling that an archive of Franz Kafka manuscripts should stay in Israel and be transferred to the country’s National Library. Two lower courts had previously also arrived at the same decision.

Eva Hoffe had received the manuscripts, among other works, from her mother, who had been the secretary of Kafka’s friend, the biographer Max Brod. On Kafka’s death in 1924, Brod became the literary executor of the Kafka estate.

Brod preserved Kafka’s unpublished works intact, despite Kafka’s will stipulating all his papers should be burnt. Brod defended this decision by saying that when Kafka asked him to be his executor he told him he would not carry out this particular wish. Brod had praised Kafka as “the greatest poet of our time”, ranking up there with Goethe or Tolstoy.


Franz Kafka


When Brod fled Prague in 1939, to escape the Nazis, he took with him a suitcase of Kafka’s notes, diaries, sketches, and unpublished papers. Later some materials were published, in six volumes of collected works, but much of the oeuvre remained un-released.

Upon Brod’s death in 1968, all the remains materials were passed to Esther Hoffe, Brod’s secretary and, at least presumed by some, possibly also his mistress.

In 1988 one original manuscript of The Trial was auctioned for $2 million. She maintained most of the rest until her own death in 2007.

The National Library of Israel believes that Brod actually passed the papers to Esther with the intent to have the papers donated to the library. On the other side sit Esther’s daughters, who claim that Brod’s inheritance should be theirs. The sisters announced their intention to sell the materials to the Museum of Modern Literature in Marbach, Germany.

The National Library says the high court has now ruled it was “the preferred location” for the remaining trove of unpublished Kafka works. The library says it will make the manuscripts accessible to the general public.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



You May Also Like

World News

In the 15th Nov 2015 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:   ·         A new Israeli treatment brings hope to relapsed leukemia...


The contract signed between the Israeli government and Pfizer shows clearly and unequivocally that this is a clinical study on humans - The agreement...


After two decades without a rating system in Israel, at the end of 2012 an international tender for hotel rating was published.  Invited to place bids...


Now Platika joins and elite club of $10 billion plus Israeli firms.