August 21, 2017
Preston-based Lifeline Language Services has won the prestigious competitive tender for the world-renowned Wiener Library to provide translation from German to English of a large volume of WW2 Nazi Holocaust survivor statements
The large volume of eyewitness testimony will form an online resource at the Library in London.
The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide is the world’s oldest institution devoted to the study of the Holocaust, its causes and legacies. Founded in 1933 as an information bureau that informed Jewish communities and governments worldwide about the persecution of the Jews under the Nazis, it was transformed into a research institute and public access library after the end of the Second World War and is now located in Russell Square, London.
The Wiener Library’s collections of eyewitness testimonies, which were gathered as part of a project led by the Library’s head of research Eva Reichmann in the 1950s and early 1960s, bring out the voices of earlier generations of Holocaust survivors. The aim of this project is to transform the Library’s testimony collections, written in German, into a fully accessible educational digital resource, open to all and carefully preserved and catalogued for future generations.
While the German content has been previously transcribed to make it digitally accessible and searchable – including a summary in English – this project will translate the survivors’ memoirs themselves for a modern English audience. The content ranges from accounts of Jewish life in Germany before the Nazis came to power, to a wide variety of individual experiences of the Holocaust including personal experiences of survival in the Nazi camps and ghettos. Much is inevitably gruelling for the translators, and a key factor in Lifeline’s selection was the experience and professionalism of their translator pool, the support Lifeline provided them, and Lifeline’s previous experience in war crime and similar material.