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Book Title: Hitler's Interpreter|
The author of the book: Paul Schmidt
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Reader ratings: 4.4
Edition: Fonthill Media
Date of issue: July 19th 2016
ISBN 13: 9781781555163
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 3.35 MB
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As the main interpreter for Adolf Hitler during the key prewar moments, such as the Munich Agreement, the British Declaration of War and the Surrender of France, Paul-Otto Schmidt was well placed to record his impressions of events from 1935 up to 1945. He was an interpreter working in the German foreign ministry where he served from 1923 to 1945, and being fluent in English and French, he gained respect and was Hitler's usual first choice for the important meetings.
During the war years, Schmidt served as Hitler's interpreter during his meetings with Marshal Philippe Petain and Francisco Franco. After the 1942 Dieppe Raid resulted in thousands of Canadian soldiers captured, he was put in charge of their interrogations.
Schmidt's book is helpful in gaining an insight into the minutiae of Third Reich thinking and planning as much as planning went beyond Hitler's will. One classic nugget is from the early morning of 3 September 1939 when Britain issued its ultimatum to Germany, for it was Schmidt who had to hand the translation to Hitler: "After an interval which seemed an age, he turned to Ribbentrop, who had remained standing by the window. 'What now?' asked Hitler with a savage look, as though implying that his Foreign Minister had misled him about England's probable reaction. "
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Read information about the authorDr. Paul-Otto Schmidt was a translator in the German foreign ministry from 1923-1945. During his career, he served as the translator for Neville Chamberlain's negotiations with Adolf Hitler over the Munich Agreement (September 1938), the British Declaration of War, and the surrender of France (June 1940).
Upon graduating from secondary school, Schmidt joined the German Army in 1917 and saw extensive combat on the Western Front. Shortly before the Armistice, Schmidt was wounded by American artillery shellfire.
Following his Army discharge in 1919, Schmidt studied modern languages in Berlin and worked at the same time for an American newspaper agency. In 1921 he took courses in the Foreign Office for the training of conference interpreters. Schmidt distinguished himself there by virtue of his outstanding memory.
In July 1923, Schmidt, still preparing for examinations, accepted his first assignment for the translating and interpreting service of the Foreign Office at the Permanent Court of International Justice in the Hague. He married in 1925 and had a son in 1926.
After more language study in Berlin, Schmidt worked briefly in the Reich Foreign Language Office. Starting in 1924, he worked as an interpreter in the Foreign Office. Schmidt interpreted during the Locarno Treaty meetings (1925) and participated in many other important international conferences. He served as an interpreter at the League of Nations (1926-1933) and at the London Economic Conference. Under Reich Chancellor Gustav Stresemann, Schmidt became chief interpreter, a position which he retained after Hitler came to power in 1933. Schmidt remained chief interpreter until 1945. At the Munich Conference he interpreted between Hitler and Neville Chamberlain and Édouard Daladier.
During the war years, Schmidt served as Hitler's interpreter during his meetings with Marshal Philippe Pétain and Francisco Franco in late 1940. After the August 19, 1942 Dieppe Raid resulted in thousands of Canadian soldiers captured, Schmidt was in charge of their interrogations. Schmidt joined the Nazi Party in 1943.
Arrested in May 1945, Schmidt was freed by the Americans in 1948. In 1946, he testified at the Nuremberg Trials, where conversations with him were noted down by psychiatrist Leon Goldensohn and later published. In 1947, he testified for the prosecution against the directors of IG Farben. In 1952, he joined the Sprachen and Dolmetscher Institute in Munich, a college where students could learn languages and become translators and interpreters. He retired in 1967.
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