Survivors' list


Arun Vajpey

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At what stage after the Titanic sank did anyone try to take a comprehensive list of survivors? Obviously, people like Bruce Ismay, Lightoller, Molly Brown etc would be well known and recognised but what of the lesser known passengers and crew? I would have thought most would have been in shock on board the Carpathia, especially those who had been widowed or lost other loved ones; that would not have been the time to badger them with cross questions about where they bought their tickets, boarded the ship etc. Perhaps upon arrival in New York?

One reason I ask this question is that a few passengers temporarily misled the reporters and others waiting to receive them. Kate Buss temporarily 'disappeared' into the crowd on arrival in New York and it is reported that Alice Cleaver, arriving with baby Trevor Allison, told reporters that her name was Jean.

Putting this in another way, if, say, a Second Class female survivor did not want her survival status to be known for some reason, could that be accomplished?
 
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I thought all the data (names) on the survivors were taken aboard Carpathia. But one could give a false name because I dont think the ships passenger list was ever telegraphed to Carpathia to cross check. I know the Carpathia transmitted survior names on the way to New York but wether they were accurate I don't know. Other than names I've read Capt Rostron told the wireless operators not to send any news stories.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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I thought all the data (names) on the survivors were taken aboard Carpathia. But one could give a false name because I dont think the ships passenger list was ever telegraphed to Carpathia to cross check. I know the Carpathia transmitted survior names on the way to New York but wether they were accurate I don't know. Other than names I've read Capt Rostron told the wireless operators not to send any news stories.
Thanks. I realise that prominent passengers would be recognised and followed by the press but 'ordinary' people might have been able to get away with subterfuge since almost no one would have had documentation with them. For example, had Michel Navratil Sr survived with this children, he almost certainly could have successfully continued being "Hoffman" long enough for them to disappear in America.

But if a hypothetical Second Class survivor Miriam Hopkins gave her name as Jane Bloggs on board the Carpathia and stuck to the false name upon arrival in New York, it would take them some time to find out that there was no record of a Jane Bloggs buying a ticket for the voyage. Meanwhile, if the woman had disappeared into planned obscurity in America, no one would be able to find out that she was in fact Miriam Hopkins with over 1500 people dead in the tragedy. I that case, Miriam Hopkins would be listed as a Titanic victim when in fact she survived, right?
 
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Thanks. I realise that prominent passengers would be recognised and followed by the press but 'ordinary' people might have been able to get away with subterfuge since almost no one would have had documentation with them. For example, had Michel Navratil Sr survived with this children, he almost certainly could have successfully continued being "Hoffman" long enough for them to disappear in America.

But if a hypothetical Second Class survivor Miriam Hopkins gave her name as Jane Bloggs on board the Carpathia and stuck to the false name upon arrival in New York, it would take them some time to find out that there was no record of a Jane Bloggs buying a ticket for the voyage. Meanwhile, if the woman had disappeared into planned obscurity in America, no one would be able to find out that she was in fact Miriam Hopkins with over 1500 people dead in the tragedy. I that case, Miriam Hopkins would be listed as a Titanic victim when in fact she survived, right?
Yes that would be a very plausible scenario if someone wanted to try it. Especially in those days. People traveled with fake names a lot easier back then. People having affairs, professional gamblers...ect. And with approx 1200 never recovered that added even more problems with who was who. It wasn't that long ago when you could just walk up to an airline gate and ask if there were seats left....pay cash and get onboard with just your name. They wouldnt' even ask to see id. I did that a few times when I was in the navy. That was back in the 70's. So yes I could see someone pulling that off quite easily back in 1912.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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Yes that would be a very plausible scenario if someone wanted to try it. Especially in those days. People traveled with fake names a lot easier back then.
Thanks. I was also looking at actual events that occurred before, during and in the aftermath of the Titanic disaster. There was the Hoffman-Navratil case; some like Antoinette Flegenheim (she was really Antonia Flegenheimer) changing their names a bit; several Middle Eastern passengers, whose names were sometimes confused or misspelt by White Star Line anyway, anglicising their names after settling in America; people giving false birth dates etc. So, if someone wanted to keep their identity secret and had time to plan the subterfuge, I would have thought it was possible in those days.
 
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Just curious...did you have someone in mind that actually tried or did pull this off? It would certainly be an interesting story if it happened.
 

Arun Vajpey

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No, but I often speculated what could have happened if Michel Navratil Sr had survived.
 
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It might have been harder for him than say others. Wasn't he man of means? What I mean is he would have to plan things in advance like hiding funds and such to access later. Changeing identities ect. Doing it on the spur of the moment when Titanic sank and the opportunity presented itself might have been difficult for him in the long run. But being 1912..easier than today I would guess.
 

Arun Vajpey

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I think that he had planned a livelihood in America with his kids but now no one will ever know what they were. Remember that no one suspected his "Hoffman" persona till later. They were travelling Second Class and so Navratil Sr must have had access to some funds then and later. Perhaps he had a job lined-up in America?

If he had survived, he would have been listed as Mr Hoffman and the children whatever first names he chose to give on arrival in New York. Thereafter, the trio could easily have 'disappeared' into the immigrant pool at the time and no one might have been the wiser.

As to your question in the previous post, as I said the Navratil family is my main interest in thinking on those lines. However, there is also another which I have mentioned in these forums before and rather not do so again. I'll PM that to you.
 
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Yes you are right about that. He must of had a plan as he was already travelling incognito and was making his move. I have wondered before what was so bad in his marriage that he felt he had to do what he did. Must have been something intense that he felt he needed to get his sons away from their mother. Or maybe just he was afraid the courts would take them away and she wouldnt let him see them. Not sure about the custody rules in 1912.
 

Arun Vajpey

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From what information is available here on ET and elsewhere, Michel Navratil was Slovak-Hungarian while his wife Marcelle was an Italian woman. They lived in France where they had 2 kids. By 1912, Michel Sr was having business issues while Marcelle was reportedly having an affair. They were separated but I am uncertain if there were formally divorced; as I understand, the children were living with the mother but their father picked them up for weekends and such. During one such access period, Michel reportedly "kidnapped" his children and went into brief hiding, planning to move to America with them and settle there. He was reportedly helped in this plan by a friend named Hoffman and so Michel Sr adopted that surname, calling himself "Louis Hoffman" and the boys became 'Loto' and 'Louis Jr'

This suggests that Michel Navratil Sr had done at least some advance planning and given the circumstances, this would have included some financial security and plans once they reached America. Once on board the Titanic, Michel Sr reportedly wrote to his parents in Hungary, explaining what he had done and asking them to take care of the children in case there were problems in America. To my mind, this suggests that apart from careful planning, Michel Navratil was a good father who loved his children, whatever else one feels about his actions.

On board the Titanic Michel Sr told his fellow passengers that his wife had died recently. He reportedly rarely let his sons out of his sight but eventually befriended a Swiss passenger (who spoke French) named Bertha Lehmann whom he let babysit the boys on one occasion when he joined a card game. Bertha Lehmann was rescued on Lifeboat #12; we all know about how Michel Navratil Sr handed his two sons to the crew loading Collapsible D and stepped back, later gong down with the ship. His body was later recovered and believing he was Jewish, he was later interred.
Note: This particular incident with Collapsible D indicates to me more than any other the illogical and mechanical mindset of Second Officer Lightoller. When it was lowered, Collapsible D was less than half full with about 20 people in it (although it later picked-up several more) and it would not have hurt anyone if the father, the only carer of 2 very small children, had been let in.

Somehow, I find this Navratil story very poignant and feel a lot of sympathy for Michel Navratil Sr, irrespective of the moral significance, if any, of his actions. If you look at my own thread in the "What if...." sub-forum, I have said that if I had a chance to save just ONE additional person from the Titanic, it would be Michel Navratil Sr.

The other paradoxical outcome of this tragedy is that the children, Michel Jr and Edmund, were eventually (the authorities had some difficulty in determining their identities upon arrival in New York) claimed by their mother Marcelle, went back to France and lived out their life as Frenchmen. It might not mean much to any third party but had their father 'Louis Hoffman' survived the Titanic sinking, the two sons would have grown-up as Americans with a completely different lifestyle.
 
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Well Arun you've certainly researched the Navratil story well. Thanks for the info. My only comment after what you posted was I could see where his wife was coming from. Nobody likes to be betrayed by an affair. Even in those societies where it was/is common and almost expected to have a mistress its still a slap down. But in the end I would say at he did the right thing...getting his 2 boys on a lifeboat. I give lots of credit for that. You hear so many tragic stories today where disgruntled spouses take it out on the kids.
 

Arun Vajpey

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My only comment after what you posted was I could see where his wife was coming from. Nobody likes to be betrayed by an affair. Even in those societies where it was/is common and almost expected to have a mistress its still a slap down.
Hey wait! In case you misread my post, it was Michel Navratil Sr, who was also having business problems at the time, who accused his wife Marcelle of having an affair (not the other way round) and that led to the estrangement.
 
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Hey wait! In case you misread my post, it was Michel Navratil Sr, who was also having business problems at the time, who accused his wife Marcelle of having an affair (not the other way round) and that led to the estrangement.
Oops...I did misread it. My Bad. Ok I take back the nice things I said about her..the cheatin hoebot. *L*. But seriously marital problems are probably as old as the first marriage. He probably thought that was the best option and he might of been right. Like I said in the end he did the right thing and made sure they were taken care of.
 
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Arun I just found this here on E.T. Didn't know it existed. You might find it interesting (I did) if you haven't already seen it.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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Thanks. That is a very interesting list. Of course, I knew some of them eg Michel Navratil, Alfred Nourney, George Rosenshine and August Wennerstrom.

There is an interesting speculation about August Wennerstrom as which which of the two surnames was real. In the mid-1990s, we all assumed that he was really August Edvard Andersson but later several Scandinavian sources said that he was really Wennerstrom and that Andersson was the alias he sometimes used. My Finnish friend Juha Peltonen was one such who did an about turn about the man's real name.

Whether he was Wennerstrom or Andersson, he was one of the more interesting survivors of the Titanic disaster. He was saved on Collapsible A and might have been one of those who witnessed the shooting incident close at hand.
 
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What I found interesting was the number of crewmen using different names. I wonder why. Trouble with the shipping lines, wanted by the law, dodging taxes if they had income taxes in those days for England? I know the US didnt until 1913.
 

Arun Vajpey

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While on the subject of aliases, I was reminded of another thread that I started 5 years ago in the "What if events that never happened" sub-forum. This was about how Michel Navratil Sr, in his guise as Louis Hoffman, could have disappeared easily with his children once they reached New York if the Titanic had not struck the iceberg and sunk. Of course, it it had not sunk, the Titanic would not have been famous as it is now and the passengers on board for its maiden voyage would not have been any better known than those on board the maiden voyages of Olympic, Mauretania etc.

But if the tragedy had unfolded in exactly the same manner except that "Louis Hoffman" has survived, he would have had considerably more difficulty in disappearing into obscurity. But I still think her would have managed it by the time Marcelle realized what could have happened and started an investigation.
 

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