Israeli national library, shows sketches of Franz Kafka


The Israeli national library, is presenting previously unpublished documents of Franz Kafka. Advance long was a year of dispute. The question remains: Who has the right to an author and his work?

Thousands of letters, manuscripts and drawings, and include, for estate, from which the Israeli national library, presented on Wednesday in Jerusalem, a part of it. “‘Do you mean Doodles’ you could call it perhaps, but, nevertheless, of Kafka, which are completely unknown,” said the responsible archivist at the national library, Stefan Litt, with views of the sketches.

All of the Kafka documents that had been in storage in Tel Aviv and Zurich in Bank safes, and two weeks ago in Jerusalem had arrived, should be no later than the end of the year, accessible on the Internet. Including Kafka’s exercise book for Hebrew, dozens of letters, as well as three versions of Kafka’s story “wedding preparations in the country”. The presentation was the final point of an Odyssey, the potential for a novel Kafka would have had.

Contested cultural heritage: Franz Kafka, probably the most important Jewish writer in the German language

“The largest insubordination of the history of literature”

Kafka had instructed his friend and later editor, the writer Max Brod, before his death, to destroy his literary notes. About this request, Brod, continued after Kafka’s death from tuberculosis in 1924, over – the “largest insubordination of the history of literature”, such as “The time” once wrote. Brod gave Kafka the greatest Poets of the present day, and began as early as 1925 with the publication of his works, he achieved posthumous world fame. As Brod in 1939, before the Nazis from Prague to Tel Aviv flea, he took the documents in a suitcase.

In Tel Aviv, published in Brod continued, years later, he donated the remaining documents to his Secretary and life companion, Esther Hope. The gift wrote to Brod and low-Hope hand-written. Open is why Brod, Kafka’s estate and his own recordings failed to fulfill self-archive, especially since he had passed a part of Kafka’s writing of the estate to the nieces of the author.

Kafka’s will denied: Max Brod made the writer posthumously world-famous

Criticism of the handling of the cultural heritage

After Brod’s death in 1968, the criticism of Hoffes dealing with the heritage of inflamed repeatedly, since they had parts of the estate sold, and auction, without literature to give the possibility to explore the Material of learning. Kafka’s manuscript of “The process” came in 1988 through an auction at the auction house Sotheby’s in a private collection, from which it rose, finally, the German literature archive in Marbach. With the equivalent of 3.5 million D-Mark, the auction achieved the highest until then for a modern literary manuscript, and to the amount paid.

According to Esther Hoffes death in 2007, wanted to Hope your daughters, Eva and Ruth Wiesler, had met Brod in the age of the child, to sell the estate to the German literature archive in Marbach. Whether they were about the Inheritance after the death or by a gift to the mother prior to their death in his possession, is not entirely clear. The Israeli national library, is doubted in any case, the legality of the ownership and referred to Brod’s Testament, in which he had to transfer the estate to the University of Jerusalem, the municipal library of Tel Aviv, or any other institution at home or abroad.

The manuscript of Kafka’s “process” was the German literature archive for the 3.5 million D-Mark.

Bizarre struggle for the Moral

In 2010, a dispute that would last for years and even after his end in the year 2016, the question left unanswered was, who is entitled to a writer and his work started: Kafka Is German culture? His Jewish Religion, for the writer had a meaning? Israel may have the right to Kafka’s heritage, although the state was only founded 24 years after his death, and Kafka himself never lived in this area? Can conversely, a Kafka, a interest had that these documents go to Germany, the country where his three sisters were in the Holocaust?

This is not only legal, but also morally,-national struggle, Franz Kafka is also not so bizarre, because the writer identified the location of his stories and not a word about the origin of his protagonists lost. In June 2016, Israel’s Supreme court ruled in the last instance, that the estate remain in private ownership, but the national library should go. Ruth Wiesler died in 2012, her sister Eva, two years after the end of the legal dispute. The court took note of the national library in the obligation, the unknown manuscripts by Max Brod, to process and make accessible to the Public.