(Jerusalem Post) David Geffen—The Titanic and Jews

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On my late summer visits to Bubbie Birshtein in Norfolk Virginia, my mother’s mother, a surprise was in store for me. The Titanic words became real when I was introduced to a man in his forties, Mr. Aks, a family friend, and I was told that he was one of the babies who survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.

Amazingly, he was taken from his mother’s arms that terrible night as the ship began to carry its passengers under water and thrown overboard.

He was caught by a woman in a lifeboat, whose last name was Astor. She wrapped him in a blanket since he was only nine months old. Later he was returned to his mother, who did survive.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsJudaism

Posted April 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Ad Orientem wrote:

I am noticing a trend in a lot of the recent coverage of the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster.  It seems that a lot of it is directed at claiming a piece of the wreck for a particular group or special interest.  The Catholics have had articles up about the priest who went down with the ship.  Feminists have posted articles about the gender inequality on the ship (though they certainly benefited from it).  And of course we have the usual cartoonish stereotypes about the class system, and all the mean people in first class who left all of the steerage to drown.  The Irish are claiming the ship was theirs (they built her).  But Catholics (again) are pointing out that Harland and Wolfe had a policy against hiring Catholics back in those days.

I could go on.  But the bottom line is that there has been more spin and agenda or group promotion (victimhood?) than I usually see except in the last month or two of a presidential election.

April 15, 11:07 pm | [comment link]
2. MichaelA wrote:

In that spirit, let me add this link to an Orthodox survivor!


April 16, 8:19 am | [comment link]
3. Catholic Mom wrote:

The mean people in first class didn’t leave the people in steerage to drown, but the officers of the ship certainly did.  There were scores of crew members assigned to help the first and second class passengers get onto the boat deck and then into the lifeboats, while a single crew member attempted to get 699 steerage passengers up from the bottom of the ship and on to the boat deck.  (There were normally locked doors preventing them from leaving the steerage section of the ship, in addition to which it was no easy task to figure out how to get from steerage to the boat deck).  Which is why 527 of them drowned (including 55 out of 80 children in steerage). 

By contrast,  only 119 of the 319 first class passengers died.  Only one first class child died, compared to 69% of steerage children (compared to 66% of first class men—meaning it was better to be a first class man than a third class child). 

Total death rates are:  First class: 37%,  Second class: 57%, Third class:  75%.  This is largely a function of how many crew members were helping people in each class.  (How many stewards a class normally had was a function of how much the tickets cost—that, after all, was part of what you were buying.  So in the crisis, stewards just helped passengers in their assigned class.  Neither the captain nor anyone else seems to have thought that the numbers should be re-distributed under the circumstances.)

April 16, 12:21 pm | [comment link]
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