Obit: Ernest Peter Uiberall Dies

Obit: Ernest Peter Uiberall Dies

Ernest Peter Uiberall, 95, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, long-time resident of Hollin Hills in Mount Vernon, and the Chief Interpreter for the Nuremberg war crimes trials, died of congestive heart failure Aug. 26 at his home.

He was born in Vienna, Austria, on Nov. 7, 1911, graduated from the Bundes-Reformrealgymnasium VIII in 1931, and attended the University of Vienna for three years. He also received a diploma in French language and literature from the University of Grenoble.

At the time of the Nazi takeover of Austria in 1938, he was living in Paris, and was warned by his father not to return to Vienna. He and his wife Erna then immigrated to the United States. Following their naturalization in 1944, they both volunteered for the military. She entered the Women’s Army Corps, and he joined the Army. He then attended Infantry Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga., becoming the oldest Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1945. He was assigned to the Nuremberg trials as a German-English translator, and in 1947 he was named Chief Interpreter for these historic trials. He was frequently called upon to reprimand Nazi leaders such as Herman Goerring.

In the early 1950s, Lt. Col. Uiberall returned to Austria as command interpreter for the U.S. forces headquartered in Salzburg. In 1961, he served in a special assignment in Vientiane, Laos. In 1963, accompanied by his wife Erna, he was assigned to the Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) as the chief French-English interpreter for General Paul Harkin, the U.S. Commander.

After retiring from the Army, he worked as a civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Air Force. His wife Erna died soon thereafter, and he married his second wife, Anna Grossmann Cooper, a fellow Viennese and retired Environmental Protection Agency writer and researcher, in 1972.