When I lived in Bat Yam, one of my nicest neighbors was Ruth Kafka. Her apartment looked like a Franz Kafka museum, full of items that had belonged to Franz. Ruth was the Embassy Secretary at the German Embassy in Tel Aviv. Her hobby was befriending teenage tourists who ran out of money while visiting Israel.
Ruth’s grandfather, the brother of Franz Kafka, converted from Judaism to Catholicism in order to become the burgomeister of his village. Ruth converted back to Judaism and adopted the name “Ruth” (as many female converts do) in honor of the biblical convert who was the grandmother of King David.
Paramount planned to produce “The Last Temptation of Christ” in Israel, a film based on the book with that title by Kazantzakis. I had already been chosen as an “extra” who threw stones at Mary Magdalene. My friend David Elazar (director of the library at Israel Aircraft Industries) had been selected to play the part of Judas (complete with a red beard). I wanted Ruth to try out for the part of the aged mother of Christ. She refused to do so. She explained that she was afraid her friends would think she was “back-sliding”. Eventually, the Israeli government caved in to pressure from the Roman Catholic church and refused permission for the film to be made in Israel. It was filmed in Morocco.
I believe his birthdate was July 3rd and not June 3rd as stated?
That’s correct – he died on June 3rd.
“Kafka gave the manuscripts of his works to Max Brod, with strict instructions to burn them after he passed away.”
“…the Israeli National Library arguing that Kafka’s initial request to Brod be honoured, and the documents handed over to them”
Did you mean Brod’s inital request to Hoffe or is this a great blunder by the Israeli National Library?
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