Today in Mailbox: Presidential elections in the US, elections in the Czech Republic, answers to last month's quiz question, a brand new question for the coming month. Listeners quoted: Charles Konecny, Chun-quan Meng, Xiu-Ping Qian, Hans Verner Lollike, Jaroslaw Jedrzejczak, Ian Morrison.

Barack Obama, photo: CTKBarack Obama, photo: CTK Hello and welcome to Mailbox, Radio Prague’s monthly programme for your views, questions and comments.

Our long-time listener Charles Konecny from Ohio responded to our recent story on the US presidential elections – as well as the recent polls in the Czech Republic:

“Your Chicago report on how Czech-Americans will vote in the US presidential election caught my attention... Of course you are dealing with your own elections. It isn't any of my business, but I hope the communist gains do not upset the Czech democracy. Good luck!”

Thank you for all your e-mails as well as your comments and likes on our Facebook page, reception reports and, last but not least, your answers to our monthly listeners’ quiz.

Here’s what Chun-quan Meng from China wrote:

“I've just enjoyed 20th October's Mailbox. It's really great to hear you reading my email on air. I've also figured out the latest quiz question. He's Max Brod. Max Brod was a German-speaking Czech Jewish, later Israeli, author, composer, and journalist, who was born on May 27th 1884 in Prague, Bohemia, Austria Hungary (now the Czech Republic) and passed away in Tel Aviv, Israel on December 20th 1968. Thank you. Have a wonderful season!”

Also from China Xiu-Ping Qian writes:

“Max Brod was an Israeli writer and composer, who was born in Prague. Brod is best known for his historical novels, written in German, notably ‘The Redemption of Tycho Brahe’ and ‘Reubeni, Prince of the Jews’. Brod's other works include a biography of Heine, an autobiography, and plays, poems, novels, and essays. His musical compositions include works for orchestra, notably ‘Requiem Hebraicum’, and works for voice and piano. As an active Zionist, Brod left Prague for Palestine in 1939 where he directed the Habima Theater.”

Hans Verner Lollike follows Radio Prague in Denmark:

“The person you are looking for is Max Brod, composer, artist and author. He was born in Bohemia into a German speaking Jewish family. He wrote his works in German. He is most famous for his friendship with and books about Franz Kafka. He was a Zionist and he emigrated to Palestine before WWII. There is an interesting ‘Danish’ note: He was fascinated by the Danish Composer Carl Nielsen, and was in contact with him by letter. He also mentioned him in his memoirs.”

Jaroslaw Jedrzejczak writes from Poland:

“Max Brod studied law at the German Charles-Ferdinand University. Brod was a prolific writer in his own right, but he is most famous as the friend and biographer of Franz Kafka. Brod died on December 20, 1968 in Tel Aviv.”

Charles Konecny from the United States sent us this answer:

Franz KafkaFranz Kafka “Brod was born into an established family and made good use of his educational years by becoming a lawyer, writer, and throw in music composer too. Although he is credited with many literary works, his friendship with Franz Kafka is what defined him. Before Kafka died, he left Brod with instructions to destroy all his manuscripts. But Brod refused to do this, and instead made it his mission to bring Kafka's works to the light of day. Brod's efforts of editing and publishing Kafka's unfinished novels and manuscripts brought Kafka much acclaim and Kafka was eventually recognized as one of the greats of 20th-century literature. To me, Brod had two literary lives. The first in Prague. The second in Palestine/Israel where he continued to write because he was able to escape the Nazis at the start-up of WW2 by catching that ‘last train out of Czechoslovakia’.”

Ian Morrison writes from China:

“The Prague-born German speaking author, composer and journalist who died in 1968 in Israel was Max Brod, the friend and biographer of Franz Kafka, who as Kafka's literary executor, took the courageous step to ignore his wish to burn all of his work, and had it published instead, something for which we all owe Max Brod a great debt.”

Thank you very much indeed for your answers and this time our little prize goes to Mike Terry from England. Congratulations!

As usual, here is a brand new question for the coming four weeks. This time we are looking for the name of the Danish nobleman and scientist who was born in 1546 in Scania and died in 1601 in Prague.

Please send us your answers to english@radio.cz by December 12th. That is also the address for all your questions, comments and reception reports. Until next time, happy listening!


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