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International conference

"Translation and the Third Reich"

University of Vienna, University of Mainz (Germersheim) & Humboldt University Berlin

Berlin December 5/6, 2014

Although searches for “Translation and Power” and “Translation and Censorship” do come up with some articles relating to the translation processes during and immediately after the fall of the so-called Third Reich, they are few and far between. The few articles published suggest that little research has been done in this field from the point of view of translation studies. Translation and interpreting are actions within discourse. A period of drastic change in discourse and value systems, such as took place between 1933 and 1949, was bound to have had a major impact on translation. Alongside general academic interest in researching this period from the point of view of translation studies, the following specific issues arise: how did translation function within the forced discourse changes under National Socialism? How did translation function in the service of National Socialism? Who were the stakeholders, decision makers, mediators and gate keepers of the new "values" and how much leeway did they have? What happened after the collapse of the Third Reich in 1945? Is this a period that can provide new insights into the historiography of translation? The conference provides a platform and forum for scholars who are engaged with these questions.


Key topics


  • Translation in the service of National Socialism
  • Translation and (foreign) policy
  • Translation during the Second World War (within the system of forced       labour, the military / the 'Wehrmacht' / the Allied Forces)
  • Literary translations and translators
  • Subversive translation
  • Translations by victims
  • Translators who were persecuted, silenced and forgotten
  • Translation and resistance
  • Translation in the occupied zones in the post-war era

Further suggestions are welcome !

Zentrum für Translationswissenschaft
Universität Wien
Gymnasiumstraße 50
1190 Wien

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