Israel: Kafka documents to be made public

Central Europe News Brief: Nov. 2012

A Tel Aviv judge has ordered that 40,000 unpublished documents by the Prague-born writer Franz Kafka be turned over the Israel National Library and published. The institution in Jerusalem announced plans to publish the notebooks, letters and writings online.

The decision ends a prolonged and heated trial over the documents Kafka gave to his friend Max Brod upon his death in 1924. Brod’s secretary Esther Hoffe inherited the documents, and passed them on to her daughters, now the plaintiffs in the case.

Eva Hoffe, who plans to appeal the decision, claimed the manuscripts were given as gifts, a view supported by the German Literature Archive, which is interested in purchasing the archive.

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