Was Kafka a Zionist?

Previously unknown writings of Franz Kafka have recently been discovered in Tel Aviv.  The writings include a letter from Kafka’s lover to his close friend, Max Brod, and were found in his former secretary’s apartment.  In the letter, his lover, Dora Diament, claimed that Kafka’s lifelong dream was to immigrate to Israel.

Scholarly opinion varies on the question of Kafka’s relationship to Zionism and Judaism, and these new archives will play a part in the continuing debate.

More on this story at The Jerusalem Post.

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One Comment on “Was Kafka a Zionist?”


  1. Dora Dymant did not know Franz Kafka for a very long time. Kafka met her shortly before his death. I do not understand how conclusions can be made concerning Kafka´s Zionism and Judaism from such a letter. I think it is more important to concentrate upon what Kafka did and did not do. Kafka lived a rather long life – after all – without ever being interested in Judaism much, declining for instant an offer from Buber to participate in his Journal or being editor of it. His interest in Israel grew towards the end of his life. But he certainly never was a religios man. He was not intersted in politics either, and certainly never did act politically.It is important – I think – to concentrate upon what Kafka achieved as an author – and what was troubling him concerning this, ( because he was – as we all know – very troubled with what he had written … ).Kafka is – think – very interesting as an author, not very much as a thinker, in the ordinary sense of the word. What makes Kafka interesting is – I think – the enormous quality of his prose, his strange style, that he never got any successors and that he never finished his three novels.I think that these are the main things to be regarded when it comes to Kafka, whereas the interest in socialism or Zionism and the like are of minor interest.
    Of course all knowledge is valuable, but some can overshadow another, and time for understanding is – as we all know – limited.
    Kafka himself would – I think – rather that we read and enjoyed his short stories than debating his rather troubled life.


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