Milena Jesenská (10 August 1896, Prague, Austria-Hungary (now Czech Republic) – 17 May 1944, Ravensbrück, Germany) was a Czech journalist, writer, editor and translator.

Jesenská's family is believed to descend from Jan Jesenius, the first professor of medicine at Prague's Charles University who was among the 27 Bohemian luminaries executed in the Old Town Square in Prague on June 21, 1621 for defying the authority of the Habsburgs King Ferdinand II. However, this belief has been challenged as unfounded. Jesenská's father Jan was a dental surgeon and professor at Charles University in Prague; her mother Milena Hejzlarová died when Milena was 16. Jesenská studied at Minerva, the first academic gymnasium for girls in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After graduation she enrolled briefly at the Prague Conservatory and at the Faculty of Medicine but abandoned her studies after two semesters. In 1918 she married Ernst Pollak, a Jewish intellectual and literary critic whom she met in Prague's literary circles, and moved with him to Vienna. The marriage, which allegedly caused her to break off relations with her father for several years, was an unhappy one.


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