Milena Jesenská

Czech Republic, 1896 - 1944

Milena Jesenská was a journalist, writer and translator. She translated a short story by Kafka to Czech – the first Kafka translation – which led to an intense correspondence and a short-lived relationship with the author. In the late 1930s, Jesenská edited the prominent Czech cultural magazine Přítomnost, in which she wrote about the ominous events in Germany and Austria. When the Germans occupied Czechoslovakia she became an active member of the resistance, helping many Jewish and political refugees escape the Nazis. In November 1939 the Gestapo arrested Jesenská in Prague. On 17 May 1944, she died in concentration camp Ravensbrück.