Reinerova is dead

Lenka Reinerova (eng. ger.) has died in Prague these days, where she was born 1916. She was the last person who actually grew up in the intellectual Jewish milieu of interwar-aera-Prague. She knew Max Brod, the friend of Kafka, Egon Erwin Kisch, Werfel and his wife Alma the multimarried – with this couple Golo and Heinrich Mann made the escape over the Pyrennees to neutral Spain 1940.
Reinerova was in Bukarest when Prague was occupied by the Wehrmacht, she went to Paris. After the fall of France she was in some Vichy-jails, made it to Marocco, later via Portugal to Mexico. She returned with her husband and her daughter, first to Belgrad and from 1948 onwards in Prague again. She was silenced in the time of the Stalinist cleansing (Slansky) but was rehabilitated after Stalin’s death. She worked as journalist and interpreter. After the “Prague Spring” she was silenced until the end of the communist rule 1989. No member of her family survived Auschwitz. She spoke and wrote in German, 2004 she co-founded the “Prager Literaturhaus deutschsprachiger Autoren“.
A life through the long 20th century, from Kaiser’s Habsburg, via first Republic, Hitler’s “Protektorat” and exile, to “People’s Republic” into the second republic; the development of a well connected bourgeoise jewish community from the relatively tolerant Habsburgian times through the 20s, when Prague besides Berlin and the other metropoles was modern, when there was a new start; through the bleak 30s and 40s, until when after Stalin’s death a new beginning was seen; right into the hopeful time of Dubcek – after the spring of ’68 there was lead and grey – until the real change came 1989.
How often can one scrap it all together again and keep on hoping?
Reading, writing, speaking: Ars longa, vita brevis.

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5 thoughts on “Reinerova is dead

  1. How indeed does someone survive all that tragedy and oppression and still keep going? Ordinary people doing extraordinary things under difficult circumstances and becoming a light for us all. Thanks for sharing.

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