The extraordinary true story of Howard Triest, the only German-Jewish interpreter to work with the psychiatrists in the Nuremberg Prison during the trial.
At the end of WW2, twenty-two surviving members of Hitler’s government were behind bars in Nuremberg Prison, awaiting trial for their part in the most heinous crimes in history.
Munich-born Howard Triest fled Nazi Germany on the eve of war. Four years later he landed on Omaha beach with invading American forces and served on the frontline all the way to the invasion of Germany. As he entered the country of his birth, he felt euphoric. But there was a special, painful task ahead for the man whom the Nazis once wanted to kill and whose family had disappeared in France in 1942. Howard was assigned as the only translator to the psychiatrists working in the jail. For twelve months Howard walked into the prison cells on a daily basis and sat within inches of Hitler’s henchmen and the men who sent his parents to the gas chambers of Auschwitz. How did Howard react to being so close to pure evil? Was reconciliation with Germany possible in the light of such nationwide complicity? Sixty-five years later Howard is the only surviving witness to those prison interviews.
“The only right way to punish these twenty-one defendants was to put them into the death camps and subject them to the same treatment they gave millions of others. But we couldn’t do that as civilised people. Maybe for this reason, I was chosen for the job.” Howard Triest, 1945.
Dr T. Scarlett Epstein OBE: “I could not put it down. It makes fascinating reading”.
Read Howard Triest’s latest interview on the bbc: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14706309
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