Translation and the language of testimony: Filip Müller’s testimony at the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial

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Abstract

This paper examines the interaction between the Auschwitz survivor Filip Müller, the interpreter Otto Stegmann, and the Presiding Judge Hans Hofmeyer during Müller’s cross-examination during the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial. A close reading of testimony, made possible by the audio recordings, allows us to show how Müller’s decision to speak German, as opposed to his native Slovak or Czech, led to an interesting dynamic between the participants: Müller’s testimony arises out of their interaction and the moments of conflict and collaboration that characterized it. In particular, this essay explores the role of the interpreter in enabling Müller to make his testimony, and shows how translation processes help to shape the way that the testimony is formulated.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHolocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History'
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2019
EventEuropean Association for Holocaust Studies - Jagiellonian University , Krakow, Poland
Duration: 13 Nov 201715 Nov 2017

Keywords

  • translation
  • interpreting
  • Auschwitz
  • testimony
  • Sonderkommando
  • trial testimony
  • German language
  • Czech language

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