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Witness to Nuremberg: The Many Lives of the Man Who Translated at the Nazi War Trials | [Richard Sonnenfeldt]

Witness to Nuremberg: The Many Lives of the Man Who Translated at the Nazi War Trials

In this gripping memoir by the chief American interpreter at the Nuremberg trials, Richard Sonnenfeldt recounts a remarkable life. By age 22 he had fought in the Battle of the Bulge and helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp, when he was appointed chief interpreter for the American prosecution of Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg trials.

During his service, he spent pretrial time with Hermann Göering as well as other top Nazi leaders.

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Audible Editor Reviews

Richard Sonnenfeldt has lived an incredible life. In this memoir, Sonnenfeldt recounts his numerous brushes with history. The first and central story surrounds his role as lead translator for the Nuremburg Trials. Intimate and thought-provoking, Witness to Nuremberg: The Many Lives of the Man Who Translated at the Nazi War Trials in an insider's account of one of history's greatest judicial episodes. Robert Blumenfeld gives a distinguished performance. Well-rehearsed and fast paced, Blumenfeld succeeds in his reading of Sonnenfeldt's intimate reflections on his past.

Publisher's Summary

In this gripping memoir by the chief American interpreter at the Nuremberg trials, Richard Sonnenfeldt recounts a remarkable life. By the time he was 18, Sonnenfeldt had grown up in Germany, escaped to England, been deported to Australia as a "German enemy alien", arrived in the U.S., and joined the U.S. Army. By age 22 he had fought in the Battle of the Bulge and helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp, when he was appointed chief interpreter for the American prosecution of Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg trials.

During his service, he spent pretrial time with Hermann Göering as well as other top Nazi leaders like von Ribbentrop, Rudolph Höss, and Julius Streicher, the infamous editor of the anti-Semitic Der Sturmer.

An engineer in later life, Sonnenfeldt was also a principal developer of color TV and computer technology and a key player in NASA's preparation of the first moon shot.

©2006 Richard W. Sonnenfeldt (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (24 )
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3.4 (21 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Cookie Anacortes, WA, United States 04-08-12
    Cookie Anacortes, WA, United States 04-08-12

    Cookie

    HELPFUL VOTES
    348
    ratings
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    52
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    Story
    "A Whole Life"

    The Nuremberg chapter of this man's life was just one of the stories told in this book. It is a very comprehensive story of one Jewish German's experiences in an almost "Forrest Gump", "I was there" scenario. Totally amazing.
    Sadly, the narrator gave it a reading that was at once braggaocious and defensive as if a super big chip was on his shoulder. I don't think this is what the author had in mind, as it does not come off this way in the written book.
    The endings (that go on and on), become a bit preachy, but all in all this a great story that could have been presented better. Still well worth your credit.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Bedford, TX, United States 03-23-12
    Kathy Bedford, TX, United States 03-23-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    3893
    130
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    Story
    "So much more than expected"

    This story was so much more than I expected. What a life Mr. Sonnenfeldt had! Very well written and narrated. It left me gob-smacked!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mr kieran j murphy 03-18-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Story is great but the performance grated"

    I really enjoyed the story. Both from the point of view of the historical information and the personal story of the author. The performance however grated on me....a lot. The reader sounded like he was putting on a false posh accent. The story was really good if you can get past the performance.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nate Christensen UT, USA 10-23-12
    Nate Christensen UT, USA 10-23-12 Member Since 2012

    Revolutionist

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very VERY little trials"

    This book is about the man and not so much the trials. I was really hoping to learn about these trials. This is not the book for that.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thelma BELLEVUE, WA, United States 09-30-12
    Thelma BELLEVUE, WA, United States 09-30-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointing"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    More about what went on at the trials and less about the author.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    More about what went on at the trials and less about the author.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Author brags about his American accent and was read by someone with English accent. Reader came across as arrogant.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • MR
    Solihull, United Kingdom
    4/1/13
    Overall
    "What an amazing life"

    Firstly, the narrators voice takes some getting used to, but once you do the story is awesome. This man went through so much and had such a positive life in such a negative period of history. He turned everything bad that happened to him to his advantage. There was never a dull moment in this and it was interesting to get a first eye look at life after the war.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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