Interpreters, photography and memory: Rabinovitch’s private archive
The aim of this paper is to reflect briefly on newly found sources which contribute to rebuild the history of the Rabinovitch family of interpreters, focusing mostly on Georges, who became United Nations (UN) chief interpreter in 1947. The subject fits into the Italian tradition of microhistory, as part of a chapter in the narrative of a story which unfolds in the realm of a family but connects with larger-scale events. The geopolitical and social consequences of those events, particularly the two World Wars, shaped the lives of the characters and institutions I am approaching here. My inquiry protocols include conventional history records – in physical or digital format; personal interviews – a blend of oral history and memory – with Joana Rabinovitch, G. Rabinovitch’s daughter; and photographic image analysis, where my positioning as a present observer of past images is unavoidably distant in time and place, far from neutral, and in need of guidance from the holder of the photographs. The essay shows a sample of the sources as interpreted by the author. Additionally, the paper touches on the importance of private archives for historical research.
The Interpreters' Newsletter
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Jesús Baigorri-Jalón, "Interpreters, photography and memory: Rabinovitch’s private archive", in: The Interpreters' Newsletter n. 21 (2016), Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2016, pp. 1-16