The Café Louvre was mainly visited by the Czechs in Kafka‘ day, but at the turn of the century a circle of German intellectuals, who followed the teaching in Prague of the highly acclaimed philosopher Franz Brentan (1838–1917) used to meet here every two weeks. Among this group could be found the philosopher Oskar Kraus (1872–1942; Kraus received a doctorate in philosophy in 1895, in 1902 he attained the habilitation in philosophy, in 1909 he was named professor extraordinarius and finally in 1916 a regular professor of philosophy at Prague‘s German University), and the aesthetician Emil Utitz (1883–1956) as well as the Zionist Hugo Bergmann (1883–1975). It was probably Bergmann himself who introduced his classmate Franz Kafka to this circle in 1902. Max Brod, Kafka‘s closest friend, came here a year later. Max Brod, however, was expelled in 1905 because he criticised Brentan in his novel Zwillingspaar von Seelen Kafka wanted to maintain solidarity with his friend and so he too left this society.
This guided walk is a part of the “Democracy on the Brink. Historical lessons from the late 1930s” project supported by the Europe for Citizens programme of the European Union.