The European Academy of Yuste Foundation has entered into partnership with the University of Salamanca at this exhibition, which can be viewed until 30 April at the Faculty of Translation and Documentation. It forms part of the 5th Symposium on Translation and Interpretation from and into German, an activity in which the Foundation is also involved.
The symposium’s main objective is to provide a meeting point for professionals from the translation and interpretation teaching world, where they can display and debate the latest trends in research into translation and interpretation from and into German.
In addition, this year’s commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and the beginning of the Nuremberg trials, at which the allied powers (the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and France) prosecuted those chiefly responsible for the Nazi war crimes, is a symbolic moment which invites a wide range of reflections.
The still images on display at this exhibition are, with just a few exceptions, public photographs, mostly taken by military photographers to institutionally record an event regarded as historic. In many of the photographs the interpreters, whose names are only now coming to light, are not the target of the photographer’s lens and appear by accident. “By selecting and assembling these photographs, we, as historians of interpretation, are putting the spotlight on the interpreters who appear in them and emphasizing their crucial role at the Nuremberg trials, at which four languages were used, German, French, English and Russian”, explains Jesús Baigorri, exhibition curator and professor at the University of Salamanca.
The collection seeks to underline that the interpreters had to deal with difficulties of a technical, linguistic, thematic and psychological nature. In broader terms, the interpreters had to meet a hermeneutical challenge which is often overlooked, namely how to transfer accounts from one language to another, conveying a reality which meant not only the physical extermination of whole groups of society, particularly the Jews, but also the metaphysical elimination of their traces from the book of history.
This project forms part of a line of research into interpretation studies which brings together several disciplines. Firstly, history, focused in this case on the collective of interpreters, who were essential for the conducting of the main Nuremberg trials (1945-1946), and documentation, in which priority is given to photographic resources, supplemented by written and oral sources. The methodological itinerary interweaves aspects related, among others, to technical advances, especially in simultaneous interpretation, the sociogenesis of interpreters, recent developments in international law (with a mixture of legal cultures) and the role of the media in the face of an increasingly influential public opinion.
The exhibition was presented at a press conference by Manuel Heras, Director of the Cultural Activities Service, and Jesús Baigorri Jalón, Concepción Otero Moreno and Críspulo Travieso Rodríguez, exhibition curators and professors at the University of Salamanca.