Found in Upstate NY: Insane Asylum Suitcases and Nazi Diaries

  |  June 19, 2013
Photograph by Lisa Rinzler/The Things They Left Behind

Photograph by Lisa Rinzler/The Things They Left Behind

Friends of ours bought a house in Milan a few years ago — an “as is” buy that came with everything in the house: the furniture, the button collections, the closetful of muumuus. Nothing crazy, but it piqued our interest in that kind of buy.

This week’s strange findings haven’t come from real estate deals, but they are intriguing nonetheless. Photographer Lisa Rinzler has documented the innards of suitcases left behind by patients at the Willard Psychiatric Center in the Finger Lakes. The suitcases, discovered when the institution closed in ’95, seem untouched since the patients’ entry to the place, a frozen document of life at the moment it changed. Click here for the online exhibit.

Meanwhile, outside Buffalo, the diary of Alfred Rosenberg, one of Hitler’s trusted advisors, has been found. Rosenberg’s lawyer, Robert M.W. Kempner, apparently held on to it, then passed it on to his secretary who moved upstate with it.

Read On, Reader...