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List of Nuremberg interpreters? October 1, 2014

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Uncategorized.

I had an interesting comment today on a post from 2009 entitled Wishing translators and interpreters a Happy International Translation Day. The gentleman heard a BBC Radio 4 broadcast about International Translation Day, googled it, and must have stumbled on my blog. He states that his former father-in-law served as a translator/interpreter at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, but since he refused to talk about his experiences the family is not sure. He asked if a list existed of the Nuremberg interpreters and translators. A bit of googling led me to discover there were six interpreters, twelve translators, nine stenographers for each of the four languages, totaling 108 people. However, I wonder if a list exists. It is definitely an interesting question. If anyone knows of a resource please let me know. Thanks. And I hope you all had a good International Translation Day. I enjoyed a 90-minute massage this afternoon and processed a bushel of Roma tomatoes. I had the day off since the job I am working on this month needs to be re-DTPed. I just love it when umlauts aren’t recognized and “l”s are output as “i”s, don’t you?



1. Dina - October 1, 2014

One might try writing to http://www.yadvashem.org/ for information.

Shalom and happy Translation Day from a former Hebrew-English translator.

2. Zoya Nayshtut - October 1, 2014

This is a very interesting question, Jill. So far I have managed to find only a list of interpreters from the Soviet team. Their names are mentioned in the book about Nuremberg by J. Gofman (in Russian).

На Нюрнбергском процессе синхронными переводчиками с немецкого языка на русский работали Е. А. Гофман, С. И. Дорофеев, Т. Ю. Соловьева, Е. Е. Стенина (Щемилева), Т. С. Ступникова.

Синхронный перевод с английского языка осуществляли И. М. Кулаковская, Э. М. Мамедов, Т. А. Рузская, О. А. Трояновский.

Синхронный перевод с французского вели Н. Л. Еселева, Н. В. Орлова, М. А. Соболева (Бердникова), К. Ф. Стариков, К. В. Цуринев.


Jill (@bonnjill) - October 1, 2014

Would you mind transcribing the names for those people who don’t read Russian (I’m thinking specifically of the gentleman who asked the question in the post)? Thanks.

Zoya Nayshtut - October 1, 2014

Sure, please see below:

Interpreters from German into Russian: E. A. Gofman, S. I. Dorofeev, T. Yu. Solovieva, E. E. Stenina (Tschemileva), T. S. Stupnikova.

Interpreters from English into Russian: I. M. Kulakovskaya, E. M. Mamedov, T.A. Ruzskaya, O.Ya. Troyanovskiy.

Interpreters from French into Russian: N. L. Eseleva, N. V. Orlova, M. A. Soboleva (Berdnikova), K. F. Starikov, K. V. Tsurinev.

It is also mentioned in the book that a grand-nephew of the great Russian writer, Lev Tolstoy, was working as an interpreter for the French delegation. The Russian group of the American interpreters was headed by Tatiana Trubetskaya.

Jill (@bonnjill) - October 2, 2014

Excellent! Thank you.

3. Christine Schmit - October 1, 2014

Fascinating question! I once wrote a paper on the interpreters at the Nuremberg trials for a university course and here are some of the names I came across during my research: Patricia Vander Elst (née Jordan), Peter Less, Wolf Frank, Peter Uiberall, George Wassiltchikoff, Elisabeth Heyward, Leon Dostert, Sigfried Ramler, Edouard Roditi, Haakon Chevalier, Stefan Horn, Armand Jacoubovitch, Frederick Treidell, Marie-France Skuncke, Evgenia Rosoff, Youri Klebnikov.
I never found a complete list of names. AIIC is probably the best place to contact for more names.

Victoria Marrero - August 2, 2016

My grandmother Ludka Prymka, was also a translator at the trials. They also asked her to witness their hangings.

4. Dina - October 5, 2014

Shalom to all. It is really nice how the names are coming together here.
I received this reply today from Yad Vashem in Jerusalem:

“The Yad Vashem Archives do not have list of translators of the Nuremberg trials.

We would suggest to turn to the National Archives NARA

Best Wishes for a peaceful New Year
Karin Dengler

Reference & Information Services
Yad Vashem”

5. helen - October 6, 2014

Hello – there is a family story that my great-uncle Harold Israel (1909 – 1984) was one of the translators, but we’ve no proof. If anyone comes across his name I would be most interested.

6. themiddletonman - January 21, 2015

Interesting topic.

I once met a lady who lived in Bermuda called Ali Bloch, she told me that she was a translator at the Nuremberg trials. She was an avid orchid collector and had a real zest for life, one of the nicest people I ever met. She had some link also to the Gestetner family who I believe were of Hungarian origin.


7. Teresa - March 25, 2015

Armand Jacoubovitch’s granddaughter (Miranda Richmond Mouillet) has written a book called ‘ A Fifty-year Silence’. It was a compelling story and history and since I wasn’t aware of Armand’s role at the Nuremberg trials it cast a new light on the horrors of WWII.

8. Rolf-Dieter Habich - April 17, 2015

From the 1950s into the 1980s my family and I (all German) were in
frequent contact with Mr Waldemar Heidtke from Milwaukee, Wis. This gentleman served as an interpretor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. While there is no doubt about the correctness of this information, today, now that Mr Heidtke passed away long ago, we rue not having interviewed him more closely on his experience. We
do recall him telling us he dealt with A. Speer and his proving this by giving us a photo showing him together with Speer After Speer’s release from Spandau prison.
Question: Can anyone give us more information about Mr Heidtke’s
activities? Your kind response would be much appreciated.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé - January 24, 2016

Here’s a letter Waldemar H. Heidtke wrote to a newspaper in 1965 about having worked as a translator at the main Nuremberg trial:

The Black Rabbit of Inlé - January 24, 2016
9. Adrian - May 3, 2015

I would also be interested. My father told me that he was an interpreter at Nuremberg but little else. His name was John G. Lowe

10. Alan Cathcart - May 6, 2015

My high school German teacher, Reinholdt Kieslich, told us he was a Nuremberg interpreter. Another teacher at the same school (Punahou School in Honolulu) was Siegfried Ramler, whose role as an interpreter is documented on the Web.

11. tjfitz - August 15, 2015

We knew a lady in Bismarck, North Dakota, born about 1931-32, Dolores M. Koller, who said she was a Nuremberg interpreter or translator. Seems a bit young.

12. Kathy Fuller - September 26, 2015

My mother’s uncle was said to have been a translator at Neuremberg also. His name was Col. Hugh R. Schwecke. Is there a chance that more information on the trials will be released as we pass the number of years necessary for privacy and security?

13. Patricia Sherrill - January 10, 2016

My grandmother, Antoinette Aronin, was a translator/interpreter for the Nuremberg trials. She was born in Romania, educated in Switzerland, emigrated to the U.S. and married a Russian Jew. Since she was widowed, when her American-born sons were serving in the Army during WWII, she volunteered as an interpreter. I know she was fluent in several languages but I don’t know which languages she translated.

14. Jane Shaul - February 29, 2016

My uncle, Bernard Brener, was said to be a translator/interpreter for the Nuremberg trials as well. He was American-born, and, if I recall my mother’s stories, was present during Baldur von Schirach’s interrogation. A list of the Nuremberg interpreters would prove helpful.

15. Marguerite Schultz - March 5, 2016

Growing up I lived across the street from a Nuremberg iterpreter named Gregory Lee Hill and even saw him on a war documentary on tv years ago.

I can’t find any information about him or his family now, including anything about his work at Nuremberg.

16. Kay Portner - April 1, 2016

I am trying to find out information about our Great Uncle William Dorn, who was an interpreter/interrogator at the Nuremburg trials. He was American born, German to English interpreter who had such difficulties with what he discovered from the trials that he broke ties with the rest of the family. The family were all very involved with the Lutheran faith and he became an agnostic. Any information would be appreciated

17. Cherie - April 5, 2016

My maternal grandfather, god rest his soul, was a German interpreter at the Nuremberg war crime trials. An ad was posted in the Milwaukee Journal accepting applications for interpreters. My grandfather was chosen out of around 100 people. He spoke fluent German, English, Swiss, and Sweetsadeuch (sp). Though my family missed him terribly, we we’re all very proud of him. I know I’ve told many people over the last 48 years the story of my grandpa and how proud I am.

18. Sandra Miller-Louden - May 18, 2016

I am told that my first cousin, once removed, Joseph Radojcsics, was a translator at the Nuremberg Trials. That first generation (which included my Dad) spoke German before they spoke English. It was apparently not the “High German” of the upper class, but rather “Low German.” I am told these were actually two quite different languages, I suppose akin to English & Cockney. In Joey’s obituary, it stated he was a translator & Dad always said so as well. I don’t know if this is correct…are there any definitive published lists? I tried to find one on this site, but couldn’t. Any help would be appreciated.

19. Lady - May 26, 2016

My husband’s father was an interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials. His name was Joseph E. Goeser. Lived in Miami FL after coming back from Germany until his death in 2008.

20. Elke Limberger-Katsumi - September 17, 2016

Hello, I just came across this. We, the German region of AIIC, have put together an exhibition on the Nuremberg interpreters in 2013, done more research on it and expanded the exhibition which has been shown in various places already. If you want to know more, go to our website at profession-of-interpreting.org. There is a lot that we still do not know, but we are getting better. Maybe I should say that we concentrated on the simultaneous interpreters, not those that interpreted during the questioning outside the courtroom. I hope that this can answer a few questions.

21. Bernie Maengen - September 23, 2016

My father Henry Maengen told me he was a translator at the trials. My father was in the U.S, Army at the time, Jewish and stationed in Germany. So his skills were used at the trials. He has since passed away however. I wish I had asked him more about his experience.

22. andresimha2016 - September 26, 2016

My father, Eric Simha, was an interpreter at the trials working for the US Army. He passed away in 1986.

23. Jesús Baigorri Jalón - September 29, 2016

Hello, I just came across this interesting string of comments. Reflections on the history of interpreting and interpreters at the main Nuremberg trial (there were 12 subsequent proceedings, which may explain why some of the people mentioned by relatives in this series of comments did work at the Nuremberg trials) can be found, among other sources, at:
*Francesca Gaiba (1998) The Origins of Simultaneous Interpretation. The Nuremberg Trial. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press. (The most complet work on the subject)

*This article by Wadi Keiser, available at: https://www.erudit.org/revue/meta/2004/v49/n3/009380ar.pdf

*Jesús Baigorri-Jalón (2016 /2004 /2000) From Paris to Nuremberg. The birth of conference interpreting. Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

I am still interested in the subject and would like to know if any of the participants in the conversation, such as Andre Simha, whose father’s name was mentioned to me by many UN colleagues, keep any records or memorabilia.

24. Jesús Baigorri-Jalón - September 29, 2016

I have just come across this string of comments. Some of the testimonies I’ve read on the participation at the Nuremberg trials by observers’ relatives may be explained by the fact that there were 12 subsequent Nuremberg trials (only English-German) after the main military tribunal. In my view the best book on interpreting and interpreters at the main Nuremberg Trial is:
*Gaiba, Francesca (1998) The Origins of Simultaneous Interpretation. The Nuremberg Trial. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press.
Other references:
*this article by Wadi Keiser:
*the book Baigorri-Jalón, Jesús (2016, English edition) (2004, French edition) (2000, Spanish edition) From Paris to Nuremberg. The birth of conference interpreting. Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
I am interested in this subject and in the history of interpreting in general. If any of the readers has kept records (documents, photos, etc.) from their relatives, please let me know (baigorri@usal.es). Eric Simha was often mentioned by colleagues at the UN when I was working on the book Interpreters at the United Nations (2004) Salamanca: Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca.

25. Avril Collier - October 13, 2016

I used to work at WHO Hq in Geneva in the office that hired interpreters for conferences. I remember Eric Simha who was an interpreter at the Nurembourg trials. I think Hélène Pfaendler was another, and possibly Gedda Prejsman. Both ladies were also interpreters at WHO.

26. John Berkeley - November 11, 2016

My wife’s family has long believed that my late father-in-law Francis Ian Hamilton Wood, an aeronautical engineer who was fluent in German, had been an interpreter or translator at the Nuremberg Trials. I was once told that the Wiener Library in London might have a complete list but have yet to follow this up.

Bernie Maengen - November 11, 2016

I e-mailed the library to see if they in fact have a list of names. I will post my response once I hear back.

Bernie Maengen - November 14, 2016

I received a reply from the Wiener Library and they do not have lists of interpreters at their library. The suggest contacting the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.

27. Larry - December 7, 2016

My uncle, Joseph Millner from Detroit was a interpreter. After the trials were over he worked for Ford Motor Co.

28. Linda Carlson - December 12, 2016

I am also trying to find information on my Uncle Julius Fewer. I was told he was a translator at the Nuremberg Trials, but that is all I know.

29. Steve Ganzfried - January 27, 2017

My mother Ethel Terhaar was the only WAC at Nuremberg Trials, she went there as a translator. She wrote all about it, I have never read it but one of my sisters has it and I would like to read it. I’m not sure of the name of the book on the trials my mother once showed me but it had a picture of her with other people standing around a piano singing Christmas songs.

30. Peter - February 7, 2017

Here is another link to the list of translators.

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