The Schmooze

Who is Itta Shedletzky, 'Kafka Specialist'?

A scrum of Israeli lawyers and Swiss bank clerks crowded a Zurich bank vault recently, after a Tel Aviv family court ordered the opening of four safe deposit boxes belonging to the heirs of Max Brod’s secretary containing manuscripts by Franz Kafka.

A similar crowd had already visited safe deposit boxes in a Tel Aviv bank vault with the same mission. Among the inspectors was a Swiss-born Israeli literary scholar, Itta Shedletzky, who has been reductively described in the world media as a “Kafka specialist.” Shedletzky, who moved to Israel as a teenager in 1962, is that and much more.

After earning a Ph.D. in German Jewish literature and history at Hebrew University, Shedletzky worked as research assistant for the eminent scholars Jacob Katz, author of the classic “Tradition and Crisis: Jewish Society at the End of the Middle Ages,” available from NYU Press, and Uriel Tal, author of “Religion, Politics and Ideology in the Third Reich: Selected Essays” from Routledge Books.

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Who is Itta Shedletzky, 'Kafka Specialist'?

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