Kafka Papers Battle Decided in Israel’s Favour
The ruling settles a long legal dispute over ownership of the documents.
Kafka gave the writings to his friend Max Brod, whose secretary insisted he left them to her. After her death, her daughters refused to hand them over.
It is thought the manuscripts might include unpublished material by Kafka. Brod ignored his friend’s request to burn his work when he died.
Instead, Brod published the literature, which turned Kafka into one of the 20th Century’s most noted novelists.
Brod fled Czechoslovakia in 1939, after Germany invaded, for Palestine. Upon his death in 1968 he bequeathed his collection to his secretary Esther Hoffe.
While Kafka is revered all over the world… many Israelis view Kafka, as a Jew, as part of Israel’s cultural heritage and want the country to have whatever it can of him”
But a Tel Aviv family court ruled on Sunday that Brod had explicitly ordered Hoffe to catalogue and transfer his collection “to the library of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem or the Tel Aviv municipal library, or any other public institution in Israel or abroad”.