Holocaust Translations

A few days ago, I discovered an article with my name that got indexed on my ZoomInfo professional networking site. The Internet is a wonderful thing, and I have run across many old press releases, newspaper articles, online comments, etc. that mention our past or current work. This one, however, is one I had not thought about it in quite some time, because it precedes my work as a professional translator and because it is about the bleakest subject one can possibly imagine: the Holocaust.

During my graduate days as an M.B.A. student at UNLV, I helped my friend and UNLV professor John Zimmerman with a project that is very dear to both our hearts: the rebuttal of completely unfounded conspiracy theories from an irrational group of Holocaust deniers, which he contributed to the Holocaust History Project. In spite of the unimaginable descriptions and lack of appreciation for human life that was painfully evident in the grim documents, I agreed to help John with the German into English translation and interpretation of texts written mostly in Amtsdeutsch (a needlessly formal language that is used in German government communications). John needed to know the content of these documents in order to substantiate his arguments and make his case, which is obvious to all normal people on this planet: the Holocaust did happen. Mainly, this involved digging through hundreds of pages of Nazi documentation, much of it in nearly indecipherable old German handwriting. As a native German speaker (there aren't many of us here in Vegas), I was a natural choice, but as an Austrian who is truly horrified of her country's involvement in one of the biggest atrocities in the history of humanity, I was a poor choice.

I am delighted to discover that John Zimmerman's work is an important part of the Holocaust History project, and while the words and translations still haunt me, I am proud to have played a tiny role in the fight against Holocaust deniers. You can read the study, which acknowledges the translator, here. In addition, John's work was published in book form, and he kindly acknowledges my contribution in the book's introduction. You can buy Holocaust Denial: Demographics, Testimonies and Ideologies here.


1 comments:

Thomas Gruber on October 22, 2008 at 2:43 AM said...

I' m proud on you! RESPECT!!!

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The entrepreneurial linguists and translating twins blog about the business of translation from Las Vegas and Vienna.

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