Max Brod

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Max Brod was born in Prague, then part of the province of Bohemia in Austria-Hungary, now the capital of the Czech Republic. At the age of four, Brod was diagnosed with a severe spinal curvature and spent a year in corrective harness; despite this he would have been a hunchback his entire life.[1] A German-speaking Jew, he went to the Piarist school together with his lifelong friend Felix Weltsch, later attended the Stephans Gymnasium, then studied law at the German Charles-Ferdinand University (which at the time was divided into a German language university and a Czech language university; he attended the German one) and graduated in 1907 to work in the civil service. From 1912, he was a pronounced Zionist (which he attributed to the influence of Martin Buber) and when Czechoslovakia became independent in 1918, he briefly served as vice-president of the Jüdischer Nationalrat. From 1924, already an established writer, he worked as a critic for the Prager Tagblatt.In 1939, as the Nazis took over Prague, Brod and his wife Elsa Taussig fled to Palestine. He settled in Tel Aviv, where he continued to write and worked as a dramaturg for Habimah, later the Israeli national theatre, for 30 years. For a period following the death of his wife in 1942, Brod published very few works. He became very close to a couple named Otto and Esther Hoffe, regularly taking vacations with the two and employing Esther as a secretary for many years; it is often presumed that their relationship had a romantic dimension.[1] He would later pass stewardship of the Kafka materials in his possession to Esther in his will. He was additionally supported by his close companion Felix Weltsch. Their friendship lasted 75 years, from the elementary school of the Piarists in Prague to Weltsch\'s death in 1964.[2] Brod died on December 20, 1968 in Tel Aviv.