Israel's National Library director pledges to place disputed Kafka manuscripts on Internet
The manuscripts, part of the literary estate of Kafka's close friend Max Brod, have been the focus of a prolonged legal battle.
The National Library in Jerusalem has prepared a program for handling Franz Kafka's manuscripts and promises to make them and other rare collections available on the Internet. However, the court has yet to rule on the fate of the Czech writer's manuscripts.
The manuscripts, part of the literary estate of Kafka's close friend Max Brod, have been the focus of a prolonged legal battle. The Tel Aviv Family Court is to rule whether they will remain in private hands, be given to the National Library or be sold to the German Literary Archive.
Max Brod, also a Czech writer, died in 1968. His secretary Esther Hoffe took over his estate and her two daughters claim they inherited the manuscripts from her when she died in 2007.
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein argued in court last week that the manuscripts - Kafka's and Brod's - belong to the public and should be held in public trust by the National Library in Jerusalem.
The German Literary Archive, in Marbach, Germany, is also trying to claim the manuscripts.
National Library director-general Oren Weinberg pledged to digitize the archive and make its collections available on the Internet.
"The library will enable the public in Israel and abroad appropriate and reasonable access to collections, among other things with advanced technical means," said Weinberg.
The library also intends to publish the works of Max Brod, who wrote dozens of books in his lifetime, most of which were not translated into Hebrew.
Brod's archive consists of thousands of manuscripts that have been stashed for decades in safety deposit boxes in banks in Tel Aviv and Zurich, and in Hoffe's Tel Aviv apartment. The most important item in it is believed to be Brod's private diaries, which have never been published.
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