John S. Kafka

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John S. Kafka, died on Oct. 13. He was 99. Kafka was born in Linz, Austria, and attended high school in France before fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe in 1940.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1944 from Roosevelt University (then the Central YMCA College) in Chicago, served in the Army from 1944 to 1946, pursued graduate study in psychology at the University of Chicago and then earned his medical degree from Emory University in 1953.


Kafka came to the Washington area as a fellow at the Chestnut Lodge in Rockville, a psychiatric institution. Kafka was a clinical professor of psychiatry at George Washington University’s School of Medicine, a supervising and training analyst for the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute and chair of the International Psychoanalytical Association’s Committee for Eastern Europe.

He leaves behind his wife of 68 years, the retired NIH neuroscientist Marian S. Kafka; their sons, Egon, Paul and Alexander; daughters-in-law, Lauren Lantos Kafka and Patricia Gibbons; and grandchildren, Adrienne and Julian Kafka, and Gabriel and Charlotte Kafka-Gibbons. Donations may be made to the U.S. Holocaust Museum and Doctors Without Borders. Services entrusted to Sagel Bloomfield Funeral Care.

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