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Interpreting in Nazi concentration camps during World War II

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This paper is based on a study of the records of prisoners in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp with the aim of uncovering as much information as possible about camp interpreters, their work and their attempts to ease the hardships of other prisoners, often risking their own lives in the process. As will be demonstrated, the generally accepted deontological norms for interpreting in community settings were not applicable to concentration camps, and different norms were adopted which were clearly justified, under the circumstances. The paper in particular investigates why interpreters were needed in the concentration camps, who they were, how they were recruited for the job, what their language combinations were, what their duties were, when the interpreters were required, and how they performed their duties as well what their roles were.
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Keywords: German; camp interpreter; camp officials; concentration camp; interrogation; messenger; registrar

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 30, 2010

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  • International Journal of Research and Practice in Interpreting
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