Any Titanic survivors who never told their children


Feb 14, 2011
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Im curious if anyone knows of any instance where a family was shocked to learn thier grandmother, or great uncle was a Titanic survivor- because they never mentioned it to anyone......
Im sure with ther trauma of the sinking, many survivors tried to surpress the memory..
Just as today there are many 911 survivors who will not discuss that tragedy with anyone-, as it was too traumatic- I'm sure there were Titanic survivors who never mentioned Titanic to future spouces and children....
One friend was skeptical of the detail in the Cameron titanic film where fictional elderly Rose never told her family about being a survivor- My friend is confident every survivor filled in thier familes on the details of what it was like to survive titanic. I have a hunch the Titanic was a subect many survivors never addressed. Eva Hart and her mother never discussed the sinking, and I'm sure they were not alone..


regards


tarn stephanos
 
Aug 2, 2006
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Ruth Becker Blanchard did not speak of the Titanic until her 90's i think Marjorie Newell Robb was the same. Many survivors did not speak about it for it was a painful thing and many of them lost loved ones/friends.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>My friend is confident every survivor filled in thier familes on the details of what it was like to survive titanic.<<

From what I've learned here, your friend would be gravely mistaken. What fascinates us from a centuries distance was an uncomfortable horror which caused many a sleepless night. Small wonder that some preferred never to discuss it with anybody for any reason. "It was a night to forget" as one survivor put it.

Can't say as I blame any of them.
 

Lucy Burkhill

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Mar 31, 2006
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>>What fascinates us from a centuries distance was an uncomfortable horror which caused many a sleepless night. Small wonder that some preferred never to discuss it with anybody for any reason. "It was a night to forget" as one survivor put it<<

Yes, this attitude to the tragedy would seem to have been the most likely. I once recall hearing on a radio phone-in a gentleman whose father was a survivor of the First World War, and he said that his father could never bring himself to tell his son, or anyone else, about the horrors that he had experienced.

I have in my possession a book entitled "The Wonder Book Of Ships", which was given to my grandfather for Xmas 1919, and in it, the Titanic disaster is described as being too recent and too terrible to be further discussed.

No doubt that to survivors it was simply too traumatic to recall, and afterwards, all they wished to do was to try and get on with their everyday lives.

Lucy
 
Feb 9, 2006
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I certainly would be very surprised if everyone felt like regaling their friends and families with details of their trip on Titanic.

My late neighbor was on Iwo Jima and he would sometimes talk about it, but he would cry if he did. He saw the flag raising and got injured by a grenade.

And I of course wish I has been old enough to pay attention and realize how important his stories were.

Ah the awkwardness I feel in wanting to know every detail of people's worst experiences, just because they're called history...

I really feel the worst for people like Lillian Asplund, who remembered it, lost family, but didn't have anything to do with the situation. Why would you want to talk about the time your parents took you on a ship when you were five and your father and brothers died, and then suddenly for the rest of your life that was going to be your claim to fame.

Looking at it that way, I can easily see myself never wanting to talk about it ever.
 

Brian Ahern

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Dec 19, 2002
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Grant - you're correct about Ruth Becker not discussing the Titanic. According to Don Lynch, her children did not know she had been on it until they were grown.

It was the same with Ellen Shine. She lived in my hometown when she died, and her daughter told newspapers that she did not know her mother had been on the Titanic until she saw her name on a passenger list in a book at school.
 
Nov 11, 2005
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John Panula lost his wife and children on Titanic, but when he remarried and had children, he failed to tell any of them that he had lost anyone on Titanic, until, his last few years alive, when his children were all grown.
He married Sanna Kaisa Ulvinen in 1914, and they had seven children
 
Feb 14, 2011
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I suspect that in 1912, people were more apt to repress traumatic memories, rather than discuss them- Which could be why many survivors could never bring themselves to discuss the sinking with anyone-even with family members.
The same could be said for WW1 and WW2 vets- some of their experiences were too horrific to be revisited...
It would be decades before many Holocoust survivors could tell others the living hell they had endured...
In our own time, I'm sure there are some people who were in NY City on the morning of 9/11, and might never be able to talk about the horror they saw, even to the closest family members. My best friend's brother worked at the Deutche Bank, and was there when the attacks occoured on the morning of 9/11- He can't get 2 words out before breaking down...
 
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My grandparents never told us any details about the 'bandit raids' in Ukraine after the Russian Revolution - just that they were horrible and we should thank God that we live here in peace.

I met a survivor who volunteered at the Holocaust museum here. He was 8 when the Nazis took them. He said he started telling his story when other people claimed the Holocaust "wasn't that bad", but it's been hard on him to remember. He gets nightmares, "but how will the children know if they're not told? Should they find out for themselves?"
 

Claude Roulet

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May 29, 2007
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One cannot compare the tragedy of the Titanic with the horror of the murders during or after the Russian revolution and with the organized mass murders of the nazis. The first one was an accident who deeply shocked the survivors, the two others are just the hell from which the ones who came back are definitely traumatized.
 

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