August 8, 2013

1950. A Tragic Postwar Romance

"Why Imagine Your Own Plots? Real Life Offers Them Gratis"

From the Ticonderoga Sentinel, Thursday, April 13, 1950 [PDF] - Excerpt of "Why Imagine Your Own Plots? Real Life Offers Them Gratis" by Billy Rose.
ON AN EARLY morning broadcast out of Berlin a few weeks ago, Bill Downs of CBS relayed the following: Shortly after the war, a German Hausfrau was notified that her soldier husband had died in a Russian prison camp. After the usual formalities, the Berlin authorities issued a certificate of death, and a few months later the woman remarried.

Last month she was informed by the commandant of the prison camp that her husband was alive and would arrive by train on a certain date.

The woman showed husband No. 2 the notice, and the couple decided that the sensible thing was for the three of them to sit down at a table and talk the matter out.

When the train pulled in a few days later, however, husband No. 1 didn't get off. The Russian officer in charge informed the wife that the excitement of the homecoming had been too much for the ex-prisoner, and he had died of a heart attack the night before. 

When the woman got back to her flat, she found her second husband had committed suicide. A note explained that, under the circumstances, it was the only decent thing to do.