Nicole Galloy Hays, 95, born in Paris and today living in Kirkland, Washington, worked as a translator for the Nuremberg Trials. She recently spoke with the Seattle Times.
At age 20 her parents finally gave her permission and she "climbed into a C-47 aircraft with other secretaries and translators." This description thrust vividly on my mind my own experience in November 1994 after the signing of the Angola peace treaty, the Lusaka Protocol. With United Nations secretaries, translators, interpreters and other UN staff who had supported the negotiations, I boarded a small Antonov aircraft and headed for Luanda, Angola, where we nursed the long and arduous Angola peace process.
The article further reports on the Nuremberg hearings: "Hays was able to attend a few sessions. The room was packed, but she could see the judges from the four Allied nations — France, Great Britain, the United States and Russia — behind a large desk on top of a platform. The defendants sat behind military police, and behind them, booths of people where people could wear headphones to hear the court testimony in their native language." No mention of interpreters yet.
"If the proceedings went too quickly, a red light went on to indicate the real-time translator was falling behind. Those transcripts were sent to Hays and her colleagues for translation."
The story of Nuremberg is fascinating. I would love to read Ms. Hays’ book (see right). But since this is a blog about interpreters, I can't help commenting on the way the the Seattle Times journalist tiptoed around the term "interpreter" and instead wrote "real-time translators," as if translators and interpreters were doing the same thing, except that one does it in "real time," the other at a later time.
Use the button to the right to read the Seattle Times article.