Ofer Aderet has an interview in Haaretz with pianist Alice Herz-Sommer, who recently turned 106:
Sommer was born into a secular and educated Jewish family. Besides her twin sister, Mariana, she had another sister and two brothers. She discovered a love for music at the age of 3, and it has remained with her to this day. Her family home in Prague was also a cultural salon where writers, scientists, musicians and actors congregated. One of these, author Franz Kafka, she remembers well: He was the best friend of the journalist, author and philosopher Felix Weltsch, who married her sister Irma.
“Kafka was a slightly strange man,” Sommer recalls. “He used to come to our house, sit and talk with my mother, mainly about his writing. He did not talk a lot, but rather loved quiet and nature. We frequently went on trips together. I remember that Kafka took us to a very nice place outside Prague. We sat on a bench and he told us stories. I remember the atmosphere and his unusual stories. He was an excellent writer, with a lovely style, the kind that you read effortlessly,” she says, and then grows silent. “And now, hundreds of people all over the world research and write doctorates about him.”
She says she knows about the ongoing trial in Israel, at the center of which is the question of who owns the rights to Kafka’s estate. “Kafka would have been against this. Don’t forget that he asked his friend Max Brod not to publish his writings. That much I know,” says Sommer – she is the last person alive who knew Kafka personally.