The present study examines the actual working conditions of professional interpreters
in National Socialist Germany. By using authentic historical material, the recruitment,
preparation and general organisation of interpreter assignments at the Eleventh International
Penal and Penitentiary Congress (IPPC) in Berlin in August 1935 will be reconstructed.
The study sheds light on how strongly the regime influenced the actual work
of conference interpreters. To the Nazi leadership, the IPPC was a welcome propaganda
opportunity to promote parts of their political agenda. The IPPC’s language staff also
became a means to this end. At the same time, the study shows how professional the approach
to conference interpreter assignments was in Germany as early as the 1930s.