Margot Bortlin was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Bortlin studied in Minneapolis. She came to Nuremberg right after graduating from high school. She also participated in IMT,the International Military Tribunal, which tried 24 of the most important captured leaders of Nazi Germany, thought several key architects of the war such as Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler and JosephGoebblels had committed suicide before the trials began, and she worked as an interpreter from German to English.
The initial trials were held from November 20, 1945 to October 1, 946
During WorldWar II she joined allied forces, with other interpreters to the Nuremberg trials.
Margot Bortlin was a person had a passion for language. Some of her main characteristics were that she spoke withgreat emphasis, smiling and frowning. When she expressed her ideas she demonstrated them with gestures and dramatic vocal inflections, producing admiration and amusement, where she eventually adoptedher nickname “Passionate Haystack.”
The name “Haystack” was given to her because she was a woman with great imagination. She had a towering hairdo and it was magnificent to watch as she workedbecause she would have to constantly adjust her headsets.
Margot Bortlin is listed on the Personnel List of the Translation Division as receiving a CAF-11 pay. She is also mentioned in an episode in thememoirs of the American Judge Biddle that says:
At a dance where we met she seemed a little stiff and could say only “Yes, Judge, “Oh no, Judge,” “You don’t say, Judge,” handling her glass with astiff and polished little finger, almost at right angles, emphatically elegant. Thinking that it would be easier than conversation I asked her to dance. If her cheek was still formal we were at least on alevel.”
We can see that she was a determined woman who would strive to meet her goals.
Interpreters were recruited and examined by the respective countries in which the official languages were...