In 1921 and 1922, Franz Kafka asked his friend, the writer and Zionist activist Max Brod, to burn all of his manuscripts, letters, and drawings in the event of his death. When Kafka died in 1924, at the age of forty-one, Brod refused to heed the request, and began trying to see that many of the writings he found were published—thus securing Kafka’s legacy among the literary of geniuses of the 20th century. Brod brought the papers with him when he fled Czechoslovakia in 1939, just before the Nazi invasion, for the Land of Israel. After a protracted legal battle, the National Library of Israel recently acquired some of these papers, which it has now digitized and made publicly available.
Franz Kafka’s Lost Drawings
Why a Government Victory in Southwestern Syria Is Bad News for Israel
Last week, Russia negotiated a ceasefire between the Syrian government and rebel forces in the city of Daraa, where the initial protests that sparked the uprising against Bashar al-Assad began. The agreement ended a 75-day assault on the city, located near the country’s southwestern border, by Russian, Iranian, and Syrian forces. Jonathan Spyer explains the significance of these events: