Second World War

The first phase of the research, which started in May 2008, is focusing on the role of interpreters and translators in war. Various fields of operation have been identified through the material held at the Imperial War Museum (oral interviews recorded in the Eighties and Nineties, diaries, letters and memoirs): the armed forces, the Control Commission Germany (CCG), POW camps in the United Kingdom, intelligence (WRNS, naval intelligence), and war crimes investigations and trials.

The next phase of the research on the Second World War case study will give particular attention to the last two fields, intelligence and war crimes. The historical account and the analysis of the function of interpreters and translators in intelligence in World War Two, and in war crimes trials will be set within a Bourdieusian framework, taking into consideration both policy (via official documents held at the National Archives, London) and practice (via material held at the Imperial War Museum, London).

Staff working on this case study:

Professor Hilary Footitt, Dr. Simona Tobia

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