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Farewell for life?

Separation for the sake of survival

“Edith is now diligently learning Spanish, for there is a faint prospect that she will get to South America. We are very sad about it, since it is clear to us that it will be a farewell for life, and even though we know that her emigration is necessary, we are aghast.”

Vienna/Brooklyn

In the meantime, Hedwig Weiler, the blossoming 18-year-old idealist whom Franz Kafka fell in love with during a vacation in Triesch (Moravia) in 1907 has turned into a PhD-holding academic and the wife of the engineer Leopold Herzka. The events of the year 1938 in Austria have caused their circle of friends to drift apart in all directions. On November 6, 1938, in a letter to her former neighbors in Vienna, the Buxspan (later Buxpan) family, she enumerates a long list of relatives and common friends, who have either emigrated already or are preparing to do so. What is especially hard for Hedwig Herzka is the prospect of her daughter, Edith, leaving for South America. It has made Hedwig a bundle of nerves.

 

yesterday and the days before