Nothing is known of him now

While I’m on the topic of old obituaries, I have a favorite one, “Hermine Braunsteiner Ryan was a Queens homemaker in 1964 when The New York Times revealed her notorious past as a vicious Nazi death camp guard.” is how The Times obit began. She passed away in April of 1999, but the Times failed to notice this until December 2, 2005. Her belated remembrance ended with this heavily laden paragraph, a novel in short form:

…in prison, Mrs. Ryan refused to speak to other inmates and liked to sew dolls and soft toys. When she was released, she went to a nursing home in Bochum-Linden where her husband lived. A German weekly, Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin, wrote of the couple in 1996, saying he had been seen pushing her wheelchair, and asking her if she would like a bouquet of flowers. She did not respond. He looked at his watch and pushed on. Nothing is known of him now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *