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The Hunt for Nazis: The Real-Life Captures That Inspired The Debt
Posted August 22, 2011 to photo album "The Hunt for Nazis: The Real-Life Captures That Inspired The Debt"
John Madden’s THE DEBT tells the tale of a trio of Mossad agents who hunted down a wanted Nazi war criminal. We explore the stories of the many real-life Nazi war criminals who went into hiding after the war, and the people who tracked them down to bring them to justice.
Hermine Braunsteiner Ryan
Hermine Braunsteiner Ryan was the assistant wardress of Maidanek, a concentration camp in Poland where the female and child prisoners made clothing. She was responsible for choosing which women and children would be sent to the gas chambers, and was famous for whipping women for sewing on their prison numbers incorrectly. She earned the nickname “The Stamping Mare” for her propensity to kill women by stomping on them with her metal studded jackboots. She is also known to have grabbed children by their hair and thrown them on to trucks bound for the gas chamber, and to have kicked away a stool to hang a young girl. After the war, she was arrested and convicted in Austria of assassination, infanticide and manslaughter. Sentenced to three years in prison, she was released early. She married an American soldier and eventually ended up in Queens, N.Y., where her neighbors knew her as a friendly person who kept her house scrupulously clean. In 1964, the New York Times, acting on a tip from Simon Wiesenthal, revealed her identity, and in 1973 she became the first Nazi to be deported from the United States. She was tried in Germany, and in 1981 sentenced to life in prison. She died in 1999.