This paper focuses on the German translations of Handel’s Italian operas. Using as a starting-point the Hamburg translations made in the composer’s lifetime, it expatiates on the Wagnerian Durchtextierung characteristic of the Handel Renaissance of the 1920s, under the aegis of Oskar Hagen. It then analyses some of the rewritings favoured in Nazi Germany. Such translations are pitted against the versions produced at the time of the German Democratic Republic, typically targeted towards the cultural needs and aspirations of the working-class. Such contextual elements enable us to account for the major differences between two types of translation, the “historically informed”, supposedly authentic translation current in Western Germany, and the more politically- charged versions traditionally used in Eastern Germany until the 1970s.