Oral History

Drexel Sprecher describes layout of the courtroom at Nuremberg

Drexel Sprecher was educated at the University of Wisconsin, the London School of Economics, and at the Harvard School of Law before receiving a position at the US Government's Labor Board in 1938. He enlisted in the American military after the United States declared war on Germany, and was posted to London. After the war, Sprecher served as a prosecutor of Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg trials.


Immediately beside the prisoners' dock was the interpreting section which had about eight interpreters in it. And that was walled in by glass. And behind it there was this simultaneous interpretation equipment whereby if a person were speaking in German, that would be on Channel l. We had a simultaneous interpreting system which is, I should go into perhaps. But Channel 1 was always a voice being spoken either in the dock or wherever. And the interpreters would get this voice and translate it into the other three languages. If English were being spoken, it would be translated into German, French, and Russian, and if Russian were being spoken, it would be translated into the other three languages, and so on.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum
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