In this edition of the Dead Ladies Show Podcast, DLS co-founder Katy Derbyshire brings you the story of Milena Jesenská live from the stage of the Berlin translation festival Translationale, held at the Collegium Hungaricum.
A journalist, writer, editor and translator, Milena Jesenská is often simply called “Kafka’s Milena” for her connection to the famous writer. But her life and work deserve far more attention.
Born in Prague in the former Austria-Hungary, now Czech Republic, Milena Jesenská straddled cultures and languages, politics and ideologies. As part of an underground resistance, she helped many refugees to escape the dangers of National Socialism, but was captured by the Gestapo and died in a concentration camp in Germany.
If you want to read more, there are a few good biographies out there. The one mentioned is available in Czech, German and Italian, Alena Wagnerová’s Milena Jesenská. Katy also read the excellent Kafka, Love and Courage. The Life of Milena Jesenská by Mary Hockaday. There’s a German YA bio: Lebendiges Feuer by Alois Prinz, for all you German-speaking young adults out there. Or you could read the one written by her friend Margarete Buber-Neumann, entitled Milena, or the one by her daughter Jana Černá, Kafka’s Milena. As long as you remember her surname.
Thanks to the Translationale, the Toledo Program, and Weltlesebühne for inviting us.
Our theme music is “Little Lily Swing” by Tri-Tachyon.
Thanks for listening! We’ll be back with a new episode next month.
The Dead Ladies Show was founded by Florian Duijsens and Katy Derbyshire.The podcast is created, produced, edited, and presented by Susan Stone. Don’t forget, we have a Patreon! Thanks to all of our current supporters! Please consider supporting our transcripts project and our ongoing work: www.patreon.com/deadladiesshowpodcast
If you prefer to make a one-time donation, here’s the link: paypal.me/dlspodcast