New York Woman Admits Serving As Guard in Two Nazi Death Camps

A New York housewife, who became an American citizen last year, admitted today that she had been a guard in two Nazi death camps.

The woman, the former Hermine Braunsteiner, was identified as having been a guard in the Maidanek murder camp during World War II, and as having served a prison term for her activities as an overseer in the Ravensbruck camp. The information about her came from Simon Wiesenthal, director of the Jewish Documentation Center in Vienna.

An official of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service said the fact that the woman, now Mrs. Russell Ryan, had sworn falsely that she had never been convicted of a crime in applying for citizenship might be grounds for a review of her admission to this country. He indicated, however, that such reviews rarely result in cancellation of citizenship.

Mr. Wiesenthal, who made the identification in letters from Vienna to Israeli authorities in Tel Aviv, declared that Mrs. Ryan was sentenced in the provincial court at Graz, Austria, in 1953, to three years’ imprisonment as a minor offender in the Ravensbruck camp. He added that proceedings were still pending against her in Graz.

Mrs. Ryan admitted the correctness of the identification but insisted she had never been more than a guard at Maidanek, where an estimated 1,500,000 persons, half of them Jews, were murdered. She insisted that she had no authority as a guard.

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