3d class and lifeboats : a matter of Eugenics ?

Hello, I have an MA in History, and I am specialized in Second World War and to be more specific, in Nazi ideology which is Eugenist and social-darwinism.
And while working on that stuff, a question went through my mind : would it be possible that the managers of White Star Line had put on the Titanic a number of boats only to save First Class and Second class, considering that it was not very important if those steerage passengers, the poor, are lost if something happened to the ship ?

In fact, since the 80's of the XIX th Century, a new "science" (which was NOT actually a science!) appeared from the misery of the new industrialization western world (disease due to hygiene and to the fact that people lived near one to another in city because of the rural exodus; increase of crimes like prostitution, theft, rape, etc.) that says that everything related to a person is in her/his genetic, and nothing comes from the environment where he or she lived in. Thus all were considered like a sickness (thief, disabled person of any sort, raper, blindness, and -- and here's what makes me think about the Titanic -- the poor ones) and those "sick" persons are decreasing the quality of Mankind and the only way to avoid it is to prevent those ones to be married and have children, to lock them in special centres, and even to kill them (as German asked the Weimar Republic to do, what she refused in the 20's but what Hitler did in the 30's and 40's). In Europe, Great Britain was, with Germany, the two leaders in those kind of silly theories (let's just talk about Stewart Chamberlain, and above all, the "father" of Eugenics, Francis Galton) and for we know that in this is eugenics ideas of the time that made the will of separating classes, my question is I think reasonable : would it be possible that White Star Line and its managers found perfectly acceptable if third class is drowned and even more, they could have found that this could be a "good rid" for the "improvement" of human genetic.

Is someone ever read something or know something about it ? I mean something's impartial (because we have all an opinion on the topic of Eugenics and I'm pretty sure that all of us disapproved what it was) based on scientific Historical knowledge of Eugenics and the part its played on the Titanic's reality on board.

Kareen Healey,
Canada.
 
Aug 16, 2016
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It's hard to say... but I'm inclined to think it wasn't the case. Otherwise no changes would have been implemented by the Board of Trade.
 
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Aaron_2016

Guest
Titanic only had 16 lifeboats as that was the legal requirement set by the board of trade. None of the big passenger ships had enough lifeboats for everyone because lifeboats were generally only to be used to ferry passengers from one ship to another or to the nearest port as tenders. They never imagined a scenario that would require the immediate evacuation of the entire ship. The scenario was unthinkable, especially when ships were designed to be practically unsinkable. 3rd class survivor Daniel Buckley said the people in 3rd class had the same chances of surviving as those in 1st and 2nd.

54 men in 1st class survived
13 men in 2nd class survived
59 men in 3rd class survived

113
women in 1st class survived
78 women in 2nd class survived
88 women in 3rd class survived

There were hundreds more 3rd class passengers than in 1st and 2nd class, as the Titanic like most other ships was an immigrant ship taking hundreds to America, but sadly like all other ships there just wasn't enough lifeboats for everyone aboard. Regarding the extermination of a race or class of people - The passenger ship used in the Nazi propaganda Titanic film in 1943 was called the Cap Arcona. Just one day before Germany surrendered the Nazis purposely filled the ship with Jews and she was deliberately sunk, killing over 5,000 people.


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Thank you both of you for your very interesting point of view. Ideas you gave helps my reflection about that. I've read somewhere that passengers in first class gave money to the stewards to have them let them go down to see steerage's passengers, just like in our time we pay to visit the zoo : they wanted to see the poor ones, just like animals. So that was eugenist : they didn't considered steerages like human being, but like some weird living being of second zone if you know what I mean... That could be also the reason why they locked the doors while ship was sinking, and they gave more chances of surviving to the First Class passengers... Why ?... Thank you.
 
Nov 13, 2014
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Belgium

54
men in 1st class survived
13 men in 2nd class survived
59 men in 3rd class survived

113
women in 1st class survived
78 women in 2nd class survived
88 women in 3rd class survived
These numbers are mostly irrelevant because, like you said, Titanic had hundreds more 3rd class passengers than 1st or 2nd class. When combining the total numbers with the survivor numbers and calculating the percentage of survivors, the numbers will turn out completely differently.

62.5% of the 1st class passengers survived
41.4% of the 2nd class passengers survived
25.2% of the 3rd class passengers survived

When looking at these numbers, it's hard to say like Buckley that steerage had the same chance of surviving as 1st and 2nd class.

I've read somewhere that passengers in first class gave money to the stewards to have them let them go down to see steerage's passengers, just like in our time we pay to visit the zoo : they wanted to see the poor ones, just like animals. So that was eugenist : they didn't considered steerages like human being, but like some weird living being of second zone if you know what I mean... That could be also the reason why they locked the doors while ship was sinking, and they gave more chances of surviving to the First Class passengers...
That sounds made up. On Titanic, steerage was completely separated from 1st & 2nd class. This was bescause the crew was worried steerage passengers were carrying contagious illnesses. To reduce the risk of infecting the upper classes, steerage was kept down below and were not allowed to go up. The higher classes also never went down, for the same risk of getting infected. This way, only steerage had to undergo a medical exam at embarking and disembarking.
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
These numbers are mostly irrelevant because, like you said, Titanic had hundreds more 3rd class passengers than 1st or 2nd class. When combining the total numbers with the survivor numbers and calculating the percentage of survivors, the numbers will turn out completely differently.

62.5% of the 1st class passengers survived
41.4% of the 2nd class passengers survived
25.2% of the 3rd class passengers survived

When looking at these numbers, it's hard to say like Buckley that steerage had the same chance of surviving as 1st and 2nd class.

True. They were kept below decks during the initial stages of the evacuation because it took almost an hour before the lifeboats were ready to be filled and lowered and during that first hour 1st class waited in the lounge and listened to the music. It just wasn't time to go to the boat deck and that is why 3rd class were kept down at the start. When the boats were ready to be lowered the women and children were shown to the boat deck. Just saying that despite all the odds against 3rd class men surviving, more of them survived than 1st and 2nd class men. I think that is why survivor Daniel Buckley said 3rd class had the same chances of surviving. I think he just meant the men in the immediate area around each lifeboat, regardless of class had the same chances of surviving as there was no discrimination once they were all on the boat deck.


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Aaron_2016

Guest
During the voyage 2nd class survivor Lawrence Beesley liked to watch how the 3rd class passengers were enjoying themselves. He said:


"Looking down astern from the boat-deck or from B deck to the steerage quarters, I often noticed how the third-class passengers were enjoying every minute of the time: a most uproarious skipping game of the mixed-double type was the great favourite, while "in and out and roundabout" went a Scotchman with his bagpipes playing something that Gilbert says "faintly resembled an air." Standing aloof from all of them, generally on the raised stern deck above the "playing field," was a man of about twenty to twenty-four years of age, well-dressed, always gloved and nicely groomed, and obviously quite out of place among his fellow-passengers: he never looked happy all the time. I watched him, and classified him at hazard as the man who had been a failure in some way at home and had received the proverbial shilling plus third-class fare to America: he did not look resolute enough or happy enough to be working out his own problem. Another interesting man was travelling steerage, but had placed his wife in the second cabin: he would climb the stairs leading from the steerage to the second deck and talk affectionately with his wife across the low gate which separated them. I never saw him after the collision, but I think his wife was on the Carpathia. Whether they ever saw each other on the Sunday night is very doubtful: he would not at first be allowed on the second-class deck, and if he were, the chances of seeing his wife in the darkness and the crowd would be very small, indeed. Of all those playing so happily on the steerage deck I did not recognize many afterwards on the Carpathia."


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A

Aaron_2016

Guest
5th officer Lowe told the Titanic Inquiry that he fired his revolver in the air because the 3rd class passengers were trying to get into his lifeboat as it was being lowered down. He said:

"We were coming down the decks, coming down past the open decks, I saw a lot of Italians, Latin people, all along the ship's rails. Understand, it was open, and they were all glaring, more or less like wild beasts, ready to spring. That is why I yelled out to look out, and let go, bang, (gunshot) right along the ship's side."

He later found a passenger dressed as a woman in his lifeboat. He said it was - "an Italian, and he sneaked in, and he was dressed like a woman......I found this Italian.......he had a shawl over his head and I suppose he had skirts."

Lowe had to apologise to the Italian Ambassador for his remarks that Italians were cowards which was sadly a stereotype for races at the time e.g. .Americans carry guns.....Irish are drunks...etc.

Lowe went back to pick up survivors in the water. They saw one calling for help. A survivor heard the 5th officer Lowe say:


"What's the use?" said Mr Lowe. He's dead, likely, and if he isn't there's others better worth saving than a Jap!" He had actually turned our boat around; but he changed his mind and went back."

He helped to row and worked very hard. 5th officer Lower was surprised and said: "By Jove!" muttered the officer. "I'm ashamed of what I said about the little blighter. I'd save the likes of him six times over, if I got the chance."


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Mar 22, 2003
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Chicago, IL, USA
Americans carry guns
Still do. It's codified in the 2nd amendment to the US constitution: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Ninety people were killed by guns in Chicago this August alone.
 
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Aaron_2016

Guest
Still do. It's codified in the 2nd amendment to the US constitution: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Ninety people were killed by guns in Chicago this August alone.

The famous author George Bernard Shaw told the American public exactly what he thought about the constitution during the Great Depression in 1931. Note - The ship he is on (Arandora Star) was sunk during WW2 with the loss of 865 lives.


 
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Dec 4, 2000
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Perhaps a reading of the Federalist Papers is in order -- but that's for a different forum entirely. This one is about Titanic. As far as I know, Lowe was a British officer on a British-flagged ship. Look to British law of 1912 to see if he was illegally carrying that weapon. The U.S. Constitution had nothing to do with it.

-- David G. Brown