Simon's Reviews > Kafka's Last Love: The Mystery Of Dora Diamant

Kafka's Last Love by Kathi Diamant
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's review
Mar 26, 2012

really liked it
Read in May, 2006

The Mystery of Dora Diamant Kafka's Last Love
By Kathi Diamant (Secker & Warburg)

Time has come for me to hit the Pile of Kafka
and related books I have to read and first up is
this incredible biography of Dora Diamant, or
that may be Dymant or other variations used in
this book of her life from growing up the
daughter of very orthodox Jews in Bedzin Poland
(Not far from Aushwitz). She was born in 1898
and by the time she met Kafka in 1924 she had
managed to horrify her father enough for him to
disown her and sit shiver for her when she ran
away from home, so she could have her
independance and not just become a good jewish
stay at home mother of nine kids etc..
She headed for Germany for it's enlightened
atmosphere and great Jewish theatre and Yiddish
She met Kafka at a holiday camp in Muritz in
North Germany on the Baltic where he was
convalescing nearby and came to give a talk to
the kids at the camp. She fell deeply in love
with Franz and not knowing who he was had a
spiritual awakening with him, she then first
became pen friends with him and then live in
partner during his last year of life as his
health deterioated through his TB. The book
gives great details into what life was like for
them in germany back then and Kafka's reaction
to Hitlers arrest in the Beer hall Putsch, as
well as many of there zionists friends support
for Hitler's National Socialists at the time as
they had common cause in wanting all the jews to
go to Israel!! The descriptions of the last
weeks of Kafkas life are heartrending and made
me cry a few times, it also really informed me
as to exactly what Kafka was like, unlike many
other books on him.
After Kafka Died Dora got remarried to Lutz Lask
who was a famous German Communist and after the
Nazi's came to power they fled to Russia where
they had a daughter and he got arrested and sent
to Siberia for being the wrong sort of
communist, he managed to survive 15 years hard
labour out there finally getting released a year
after his wife had died.
Dora managed to get out of Russia just before
WW2 and fled first to Switzerland and then onto
Holland and England with her now very sick
On getting to London she was just in time for
Internment in the Isle Of Wight for being an
Alien, on her release from there she lived first
in Manchester and then in London not far from
here in west Hampstead, her house there was
bombed in the blitz while she was in an air raid
shelter! All this and more as her life is
literally brought to life in Kathi Diamants
excellently researched book, she truely led an
hell of a life and died of Nephritis in 1954.
Damn Kafka knew some extrodinary women,
obviously attracted by his extrodinary talent.
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