Herrmann Hanoch Kafka

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Herrmann Hanoch Kafka

Birthplace: Osek Nr.35, Strakonice, Strakonice District, South Bohemian Region, Czech Republic
Death: July 06, 1931 (78)
Prague, Czech Republic
Place of Burial: Prague 3, Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
Immediate Family:

Son of Jacob Amschel Kafka and Franziska Kafka
Husband of Julie Kafka
Father of Franz Kafka; Georg Kafka; Heinrich Kafka; Gabriela "Elli" Hermannová; Valerie "Valli" Pollak, הי״ד and 1 other
Brother of Filip (Philipp) Kafka; Anna Kafka; Julie Ehrmann; Ludwig Kafka and Heinrich Kafka

Occupation: Businessman
Managed by: Yigal Burstein
Last Updated:

About Herrmann Hanoch Kafka

Born in House Nr. 35, Osek, Strakonice, September 1852: https://www.geni.com/documents/view?doc_id=6000000141156976677

Death notice published June 9, 1931.

Photo appears on Kafka Family Tree / Porges website: "Kafka's father, son of butcher Jakob Kafka and his wife, Franziska Platowski, was born and raised in Wossek, southern Bohemia. From 1882 on, he was a fancy-goods merchant in Prague.

Essay on Kafka's writing of Letter to my Father (1919) discusses Hermann Kafka.


See discussion of Hermann Kafka in "The Roots of Kafka" at jewage.org wiki:

Here is a short biography of the father of Frantz. A poor Jew Hermann Kafka, having served three years in the Emperor's army, in 1881 moves to Prague and in a year gets married to Julie Löwy, "a girl from the family of rich provincial dry-goods merchants that at the same time were owners of a brewery". Let us listen to a biographer: "Julie Löwy, undoubtedly, brought quite a significant dowry and it is hard to imagine that they would accept into this prosperous family some small businessman with no means". Strange indeed. A question arises – was Hermann really as poor as he liked to tell about himself? In fact in the same year of 1882 he opens a fashion shop on Celetná-Strasse (Celetná Ulice) and this enterprise starts to prosper. Hermann gets rich and soon he turns his small shop into a large wholesale company that is now located "on the first floor of a magnificent palace Kinski on the Big square of the Old City". Hermann “got rich”, “succeeded”, “achieved the target” and at any rate he got ahead of all his brothers and sisters. More correctly, nothing is known about the sisters, Anna and Julie, they as if sunk into uncertainty, while the brothers… Their fate is traced quite in detail. Ludwig first worked in Hermann's shop, later he became a small insurance agent and apparently he hasn't done much more in his life. Henrich died young, while his daughter, having weak health and unhappy husband, worked for long time in the same shop for her uncle Hermann. Frantz Kafka recalled that even at her funeral the father did not find a good word for her. The only thing that Hermann squeezed out of himself was: "Poor Irma bequeathed me a good deal of problems". The last of Hermann's brothers, Philip, had a small business in one of the provincial Czech towns. One of Philip's sons dies very young in 1901. Three of his other sons and two sons of Henrich emigrate. Four of them to the US and one to Paraguay. According to the measures of the family of Kafka, a "success" is only one cousin of Frantz – Robert, the fifth son of Phillip. He becomes a rather popular lawyer and makes Frantz to admire - "My cousin is a wonderful person. When this Robert, at the age of forty, came in the evening to Sophia's pool – he could not come earlier, he was a lawyer, a very busy man, busy rather with work than with pleasures, - when he came home in the evening after five, he undressed with a few quick movements, rushed to water, and swam with the power of a beautiful wild animal, with water streaming all over him, with sparkling eyes, and immediately he swam away to the dam, he was magnificent". Frantz admires in "brilliant" Robert all these qualities that he does not have. However, recalling Robert, he adds: "And six months later he died, meaninglessly tortured by the doctors".

Hermann grew up in very modest circumstances in Wossek (Osek), a tiny village with a mostly Czech population in Southern Bohemia. His father married rather late and raised two daughters and four sons with his wife ,who even as young children had to work in his father's business. Since there was a Jewish school in the village, Hermann, whose mother tongue was Czech even learned some German even though he never mastered it.

He left Osek at the age of fourteen to have some success as an itinerant merchant. After serving in the military he went to Prague where he opened a store for fancy goods.

At thirty he married Julie Löwy, who came from a well-educated family.

(From A Franz Kafka Encyclopedia by Richard T. Gray)

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Herrmann Hanoch Kafka's Timeline

September 14, 1852
Osek Nr.35, Strakonice, Strakonice District, South Bohemian Region, Czech Republic
July 3, 1883
Prague, Hlavní město Praha, Hlavní město Praha, Czech Republic
Prague, Czech Republic
September 1887
September 22, 1889
Prague, Czech Republic
June 25, 1890
Prague, Czech Republic
October 29, 1892
Prague, Hlavní město Praha, Hlavní město Praha, Czech Republic
July 6, 1931
Age 78
Prague, Czech Republic
July 8, 1931
Age 78
Strašnice, Prague 3, Prague, Prague, Czech Republic