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Secret Kafka Manuscripts Stolen In Israel

I have been informed, more than once, that my novel about Kafka, where I 'replace' his missing diaries, should have some contemporary outer shell. As if there was a scholar or reporter who tracked down these diaries, and then published them. I think that is confusing and clutter.

However, real life might be proving me wrong. In addition to an apparent wealth of Kafka manuscripts found  in safety deposit boxes in Switzerland and Israel, other Kafka material, kept in a apartment, has been stolen. Through the murkiness of this whole situation and the advanced age of the participants, no one knows what these manuscripts might have been. Or who has them.

Maybe it is time for this living author [me] to put a contemporary addition to my KAFKA IN THE CASTLE. Do you think this is a negative or a positive idea?


Franz Kafka's engagement photo, taken in 1917

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Israel Police probing possible theft of Kafka papers

 Police consult experts from the National Library in Jerusalem, in order to determine whether stolen manuscripts are authentic.

By Ofer Aderet


The Israeli police unit that investigates major international crimes is looking into whether invaluable German manuscripts of author Franz Kafka were stolen from the home of Eva Hoffe, or from somewhere else, Haaretz has learned. Hoffe is the daughter of Esther Hoffe, the secretary of Kafka friend and publisher Max Brod.

Police found the stolen manuscripts about a month ago. They consulted with experts from the National Library in Jerusalem, in order to determine whether they were authentic. Police asked the library for Kafka manuscripts that it possesses, so that the found goods can be compared to them. The National Library's collection includes rare Kafka manuscripts, which are secured in a safe.


Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka

The police investigation is being conducted in tandem with a family court proceeding surrounding the question of who owns Brod's estate. Brod collected Kafka's manuscripts after his death in 1924, and edited and published them, thus making Kafka one of the most important writers of the 20th century. After the Nazi invasion of Prague, Brod fled to Palestine, bringing the manuscripts with him. Before his death in 1968, he bequeathed the manuscripts to his secretary and asked her to transfer them to a public archive. However, Esther Hoffe sold parts of the estate and kept other parts in safe-deposit boxes and in her apartment. Four years ago, she passed away and bequeathed the estate to her daughters.