University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


  • Milena Jesenska

    Milena Jesenska


    Milena Jensenska

    Milena Jesenska, a talented writer, was born on August 10, 1896, in Prague, Czechoslovakia. She was married to a Jewish banker, Ernst Polak, and moved to Vienna. Milena developed a strong friendship with Franz Kafka. She was divorced and joined the resistance.

    The Gestapo arrested and imprisoned her in 1939. She was found not guilty but was transferred to Ravensbrück to be "reeducated" as a Nazi.

    In 1943 Milena underwent kidney surgery. She died on May 17,1944, following an infection of her other kidney. Margarete BuberNeumann, who became Milena's friend in the camp, wrote a book about her.

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