Famous Jewish Couple Who Perished Aboard Titanic Featured in New York Exhibit


“Where you go, I go,” Ida Straus told her husband, Isidor, aboard the RMS Titanic in April 1912. With lifeboats first available for women and children, men had to wait. Given a chance for a seat due to his wealth and status, Isidor declined a place on a ship. Although she could have gotten on a lifeboat and lived, Ida chose to share her husband’s fate. Both drowned.

Ida’s fateful choice is included in “Titanic: The Exhibitionnow open near Union Square in Manhattan. The exhibit features a large photo of the two first-class passengers as well as a monument of Isidor, co-owner of Macy’s who served for just over a year in Congress as a Democrat representing New York’s 15th district. .

In James Cameron’s 1997 film “Titanic” there is a scene in which the couple hold each other as they lie in bed and flood waters rush in. In reality, they were on the deck of the ship, similar to a scene who did not do the final editing of the film. They each emigrated from Germany to New York with their families. They married in 1871 and had seven children. Isidor’s body was found but not his. He was 67 and she was 63.

Considered unsinkable, the luxury steamer on her maiden voyage struck an iceberg on the evening of April 14, 1912, four days after setting sail from Southampton, England. When it sank in the early hours of the following morning, more than 1,500 of the 2,240 on board died.

Third class passengers were the least likely to survive. But one of them was Jewish passenger Sarah Roth, who was able to ride on what was known as Collapsible C. The exhibit shows what is believed to be the only third-class menu salvaged from from April 14 on the Titanic. The offerings included rolled oats, smoked herring, roast beef, deli meats and sweet corn.

White Star Line kosher items. Photo by Perry Bindelglass.

Also on display are kosher plates, cups and silverware as well as a plate identified as kosher in Hebrew, while a knife has the same word and “milk” engraved on the handle. Although he did not recover from the Titanic themselves they were used on the White Star Line, which means similar dishes would probably have been on the Titanic.

For moviegoers who enjoyed Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet’s performance as Jack and Rose, while their exact love story is fictionalized, Katie Phillips’ real-life story is on display, including her necklace, her suitcase , her keys and her purse. Phillips and Henry Morley were both married to other people and having an affair. Their plan was to run away and move to California. She survived the sinking of the ship but not him. His suitcase remains at the bottom of the ocean.

A miniature replica of the doomed ship. Photo by Perry Bindelglass.

The exhibit also features replicas of the ship before departure and what was found on the ocean floor, wrecked. There is also a replica of the Titanicof the Marconi Wireless room. Chief Telegrapher Jack Phillips was ordered by Captain Jack Smith to send a distress signal and call for help shortly after midnight on 15 April. According to Charles Lightoller, Phillips slipped in the water and was taken to a lifeboat, but he did not survive. Lightoller, who was second officer and off duty when the ship struck the iceberg, said a vital warning from the Masaba ship that an iceberg was directly in the TitanicThe path had never arrived. But the ship had received other warnings of icebergs before hitting one.

Curiously, the exhibit does not include a photo of Benjamin Guggenheim, the Jewish millionaire who allegedly said aboard the Titanic, “We dressed to our best and are ready to go down like gentlemen.” The Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan is named after his brother Solomon.

Bruce Ismay, president of the White Star Line, reportedly gave the order to reduce the number of lifeboats so as not to clutter the ship. Reports vary, with some saying he boarded the first lifeboat and others saying a ship official ordered him to board a lifeboat. Ismay himself claimed that there was no one else in his vicinity, so he took a free seat in a lifeboat. He was considered by many to be a villain.

The exhibit also features beautiful cabins and many stories of other passengers, survivors and victims.


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