After eight years of legal proceedings, the Supreme Court ruled that all of Max Brod's writings, among them the writings of his friend Franz Kafka, are to be moved and deposited at the National Library.
The material is currently kept in Chavah Hoffe's possession in safes in banks across Israel and abroad. Following the court's decision the estate is to be moved and deposited at the National Library.
The decision is in accordance to Brod's will and testament that mentions the National Library as his preferred location in which to leave his estate. With this ruling, the Supreme Court accepts the Library's position that Max Brod wished to leave his estate to the Library and that it is time to fulfill his will.
Franz Kafka died of tuberculosis in 1924 and was buried in Prague. After his death, Brod took Kafka's writings from his apartment and in 1939 saved them from the Nazis. When Brod died in 1968 in Tel Aviv, he wrote in his will that his estate is to be left to a public archive. However, Brod's secretary, Eva Hoffe, sold several of the writings to a German archive and gave several others to her daughters. After Hoffe's death in 2007 the current trial commenced regarding the estate.
"This is a celebratory day for any person of culture, in Israel and abroad," said David Blumberg, Chairman of the Board of the National Library. "The Supreme Court asked the National Library to do its utmost to reveal Brod's estate to the public. The National Library will follow the court's ruling and will preserve the cultural assets by keeping them in the country as well as making them accessible to the general public."
The materials that the National Library will receive are expected to include correspondences in Kafka's handwriting to Max Brod, Kafka's Paris journals, drawings, and many of Max Brod's works and the letters to Kafka.
It is fair to assume that many other treasures are hidden among Max Brod's personal material which will be exposed and catalogued by the National Library. As time goes by they will be made accessible in the broadest way for generations to come.