Räumung

English translation: clearing of the concentration camps

11:24 Jul 22, 2018
German to English translations [Non-PRO]
Social Sciences - History
German term or phrase: Räumung
Räumung der KZ durch die SS gegen Ende des Krieges.

Gibt es einen Standardbegriff, den man in diesem Zusammenhang dafür verwendet?
aykon
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:31
English translation:clearing of the concentration camps
Explanation:
Compare with this:

"More camps opened in the spring and summer of 1942, when the Nazis began systematically clearing the ghettos in Poland and rounding up Jews in western Europe for 'deportation to the East'. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/genocide/holocaust_ov...

"In summer 1944, the SS began clearing the concentration camps close to the
front." http://media.offenes-archiv.de/zeitspuren_hpt_Raeumung_KZ_en...

Evacuation is not wrong. But this is closer to the German and has fewer positive connotations.

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Note added at 8 hrs (2018-07-22 20:19:26 GMT)
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I am happy to take anyone on with this one. This is a linguistic issue that requires no special consideration of the historical context. Looking for a standard term in the target language only makes sense if you already had a standard term in the source language that would automatically trigger associations of said historical context. But with 'Räumung' you don't. In German you can talk about "ein KZ räumen, ein Flüchtlingslager räumen, ein Gebäude räumen, etc...' Use of 'räumen' is not a function of what became established use in connection with Nazi camps but a function of idiomatic usage in German.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day 3 hrs (2018-07-23 14:59:58 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Steve and dkfmmuc:
With or without historical context, "Räumung der KZs" is NOT a German standard term that "dictates" the need to add the concept of liquidation in a descriptive way to render its full meaning. It may be tempting to throw in "liquidation" given the historical context but then you're adding another term (whereas the German consists of only one term) to cover all bases because you are, perhaps understandably, unwilling to make a distinction between "räumen and "liquidieren." Of course, the term liquidation is a direct transfer from the German and here clearly is a euphemism for removing and killing inmates. (The Nazis themselves talked about 'Liquidation der Konzentrationslager'). But if the author wanted to bluntly reference the fact that most of the inmates wounded up being murdered, they could have used the German term of Liquidation in the first place (especially since the meaning of the German euphemism has transferred over to English). 'Räumung,' by contrast, - because it merely means "removing or clearing out" on the world level - could be considered an even more sinister euphemism as, more than the other one, it conveys meaning by suggestion rather than expression. But if the German term is more euphemistic than the English term, you have a mismatch..
Selected response from:

Michael Martin, MA
United States
Local time: 08:31
Grading comment
I would like to give points for both answers, but unfortunately, I can't. I went with "clearing" in the end because it appears as a noun and verb in the interview. It seems much more common to say "they cleared the camp" than say "evacuated and liquidated" each time. In this case, the camp was cleared but not with the intention to kill everyone (and by the way, they were not Jews but other Europeans from occupied countries) but the town where the prisoners ended up was being taken by the Americans so the SS did end up killing them.
3 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +5evacuation and liquidation
Helen Shiner
4clearing of the concentration camps
Michael Martin, MA
3Abandonment
gangels
Summary of reference entries provided
liquidation
David Hollywood

Discussion entries: 15





  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
evacuation and liquidation


Explanation:
This is the term used for Auschwitz: http://auschwitz.org/en/history/evacuation/the-final-evacuat...

They tried to get rid of prisoners (in various ways) and to remove documentation that would prove what had been done there.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 8 mins (2018-07-22 11:33:04 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

In the case of the Warsaw Ghetto, the term used is 'liquidation': http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/exhibitions/warsaw_ghetto_tes...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 9 mins (2018-07-22 11:34:09 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Majdanek: http://www.majdanek.eu/en/history/liquidation_of_the_camp/18

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 7 hrs (2018-07-22 19:22:28 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Ironically enough, even today, the Auschwitz Memorial Twitter account, which I follow has used the term 'liquidation': https://twitter.com/AuschwitzMuseum/status/10209199744357294...

Helen Shiner
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:31
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 97

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  David Hollywood: "liquidation" is spot on
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, David, but not enough, if they sent the prisoners on death marches just prior to the camp being liberated. Liquidation would be more about destroying buildings and records, for instance.

agree  Thayenga: With David. :)
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Thayenga - see my note to David.

agree  Haigo Salow
7 hrs
  -> Thanks, Haigo

agree  Lancashireman: Confirmed by your links ("Gibt es einen Standardbegriff?") // Exasperating.
7 hrs
  -> Thanks, Lancashireman ;-)

neutral  Michael Martin, MA: With hindsight, "Räumung" may trigger all sorts of associations from that context. But "liquidation" adds a bluntness that's not contained in the word "Räumung"
7 hrs
  -> Well, if you are prepared to take the Holocaust authorities on with that one, it's up to you. The question asked for a Standardbegriff./Clearing could just as well mean removing undergrowth.

agree  writeaway: yes, that is exactly what the seemingly innocuous term Räumung means in this particular context. It's Nazi-speak for empty the place of the people in it and kill them.
11 hrs
  -> Thanks, writeaway, exactly.
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
clearing of the concentration camps


Explanation:
Compare with this:

"More camps opened in the spring and summer of 1942, when the Nazis began systematically clearing the ghettos in Poland and rounding up Jews in western Europe for 'deportation to the East'. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/genocide/holocaust_ov...

"In summer 1944, the SS began clearing the concentration camps close to the
front." http://media.offenes-archiv.de/zeitspuren_hpt_Raeumung_KZ_en...

Evacuation is not wrong. But this is closer to the German and has fewer positive connotations.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 8 hrs (2018-07-22 20:19:26 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I am happy to take anyone on with this one. This is a linguistic issue that requires no special consideration of the historical context. Looking for a standard term in the target language only makes sense if you already had a standard term in the source language that would automatically trigger associations of said historical context. But with 'Räumung' you don't. In German you can talk about "ein KZ räumen, ein Flüchtlingslager räumen, ein Gebäude räumen, etc...' Use of 'räumen' is not a function of what became established use in connection with Nazi camps but a function of idiomatic usage in German.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day 3 hrs (2018-07-23 14:59:58 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Steve and dkfmmuc:
With or without historical context, "Räumung der KZs" is NOT a German standard term that "dictates" the need to add the concept of liquidation in a descriptive way to render its full meaning. It may be tempting to throw in "liquidation" given the historical context but then you're adding another term (whereas the German consists of only one term) to cover all bases because you are, perhaps understandably, unwilling to make a distinction between "räumen and "liquidieren." Of course, the term liquidation is a direct transfer from the German and here clearly is a euphemism for removing and killing inmates. (The Nazis themselves talked about 'Liquidation der Konzentrationslager'). But if the author wanted to bluntly reference the fact that most of the inmates wounded up being murdered, they could have used the German term of Liquidation in the first place (especially since the meaning of the German euphemism has transferred over to English). 'Räumung,' by contrast, - because it merely means "removing or clearing out" on the world level - could be considered an even more sinister euphemism as, more than the other one, it conveys meaning by suggestion rather than expression. But if the German term is more euphemistic than the English term, you have a mismatch..


Michael Martin, MA
United States
Local time: 08:31
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 66
Grading comment
I would like to give points for both answers, but unfortunately, I can't. I went with "clearing" in the end because it appears as a noun and verb in the interview. It seems much more common to say "they cleared the camp" than say "evacuated and liquidated" each time. In this case, the camp was cleared but not with the intention to kill everyone (and by the way, they were not Jews but other Europeans from occupied countries) but the town where the prisoners ended up was being taken by the Americans so the SS did end up killing them.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  philgoddard: I agree with your final sentence - "clearing" has a sinister ring to it, whereas evacuation implies "to a place of safety".
47 mins
  -> Thanks, Phil.

neutral  Helen Shiner: Evacuation and liquidation are terms used very precisely according to legal definitions in relation to the Holocaust. Yad Yashem and the Auschwitz Memorial Museum are very careful with what they say. See my discussion notes./Yes, there is.
58 mins
  -> I am sure they are but there is no "requirement" to use one term over the over

neutral  Steve R: Context matters. I would stick to conventional terms, unless it was essential to convey the specific connotations of Räumung- for instance, if translating a document by a Nazi officer or making a critical assessment of German historiography on the subject
15 hrs
  -> See added note

disagree  dkfmmuc: Sorry that I am not able to agree. You wrote: "This is a linguistic issue that requires no special consideration of the historical context." This is NOT only a linguistic issue.
19 hrs
  -> See added note
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2 days 2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Abandonment


Explanation:
The guards simply fled and left the inmates to their own devices.

Those are the historical facts.

gangels
Local time: 06:31
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Helen Shiner: That was not the case with most of the camps.
4 hrs
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Reference comments


2 hrs peer agreement (net): +1
Reference: liquidation

Reference information:
www.majdanek.eu/en/history/liquidation_of_the_camp/18

In the face of the quickly advancing offensive of the Red Army, preparations for liquidation begun at the camp. In March 1944, the Concentration Camps ...

David Hollywood
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 48

Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
agree  Helen Shiner: Same link as I provided ;-)
23 mins
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