Franz Kafka’s final wish before his death in 1924 — that his papers be burned — was famously defied by his friend, the writer Max Brod. The world got “The Trial,” “The Castle” and the adjective Kafkaesque; Mr. Brod got the papers.
When Mr. Brod fled to Tel Aviv from Prague on the last train out in 1939 as the Nazis rolled in, he had with him a suitcase full of Kafka’s documents.
Brod left the papers to his secretary in 1968, who died recently, leaving them to her daughters Hava and Ruth.
Since her death last year at age 101, her 74-year-old daughter, Hava, has indicated that a decision about the coveted papers will be made in the coming months.
The world is waiting with baited breath and - just for once - I'm with the world on this.
Ms. Hoffe then described a sense of being pressured from all directions, especially the state of Israel, to yield the papers or come to a decision on their future. She felt under siege, caught in a web, she added.
Her blue eyes yielding no hint of irony, she said, “It is truly Kafkaesque.”