History of War

TRANSLATING EVIL

The Nuremberg Trials are the most famous military tribunals in history. Overseen by Allied forces in the immediate aftermath of WWII, the trials were the prosecution of prominent members of Nazi Germany. These individuals were responsible for participating in some of the worst war crimes in history, including the Holocaust.

Held within the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg, the first and best-known tribunal was that of 24 major war criminals of the Nazi regime between November 1945 and October 1946. Key to the proceedings was the team of linguists who ensured that statements and rulings were fairly translated. Towering above all was the Chief Interpreter, Wolfe Frank, who is now the subject of the posthumously published autobiography Nuremberg’s Voice Of Doom.

Compiled and edited by historian Paul Hooley from previously hidden memoirs, the book reveals a fascinating man. Frank was a German underground resistance worker against the Nazis during the 1930s before he was forced to flee to Britain. He initially prospered but was then interned during the initial years of WWII. Frank was eventually released and joined the British Army before his role at Nuremberg. He was a crucial part of the trials and became known as the ‘Voice of Doom’ for his official pronouncements of death sentences.

Frank tragically committed suicide in 1988 but Hooley now reveals this extraordinary character who was both an adventurous hedonist and a deeply courageous

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from History of War

History of War2 min readPolitics
The Don Cossacks
Once Catherine the Great stripped the Zaporozhian Cossacks of their arms and privileges on 5 August 1775, the much touted freedom associated with the horsemen was little more than a formality. The Napoleonic Wars and other conflicts in the 1800s mean
History of War5 min read
Kings, Tsars And Field Marshals
During the 17th century, the Swedish Empire had expanded and at its height it included Finland and parts of modern Norway, Germany and the Baltic States. For a relatively small Scandinavian country this was an unprecedented success and it caused rese
History of War2 min readPolitics
Cossacks With Kalashnikovs
Cossacks have been an integral part of Russia’s armed forces since the late 18th century. Their roles have evolved over generations and whole eras but when it came to policing cities and towns, as well as supporting regular army formations, Cossacks