Invisible Mediators: Interpreters of German Occupied Greece (1941–1944)




interpreters, World War II, gender, social class, Occupied Greece, ideology


Recent years have seen the creation of a complex and multifaceted body of scholarly work examining the role of translators and interpreters in conflict situations. More is yet to be discovered, however, about these significant individuals and their functions and contribution to past and current wartime situations. Using data collected from oral histories gathered as part of the digital archive project by the Free University of Berlin, and the written testimonials provided by the Center for Neo-Hellenic Studies, this study focuses on the underexplored role of interpreters in German Occupied Greece (1941–1944). The digital archive offers key information regarding issues beyond what has been recorded so far regarding interpreter ethnic and ideological allegiances, for instance. Issues connected to the interpreters’ background, with a special emphasis on acquisition of linguistic skills, shed light on broader anthropological and sociological issues, such as their level of education, which may be linked to social class. Gender is another aspect discussed, as a result of the finding that a large number of interpreters in Occupied Greece were women.

This paper includes an annex with excerpts from testimonials (in Greek).


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How to Cite

Georgiou, N. (2024). Invisible Mediators: Interpreters of German Occupied Greece (1941–1944). Chronotopos – A Journal of Translation History, 4(2), 83–100.