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The Tragic Love Story of the Titanic

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Ravi loves writing within the cusp of relationships, history, and the bizarre, where boundaries are blurred and possibilities are immense.

The heart-warming story of Ida and Isidor Straus, the couple who chose to die together on the ill-fated Titanic

The heart-warming story of Ida and Isidor Straus, the couple who chose to die together on the ill-fated Titanic

The Real Love Story of the Titanic

I am sure anybody who has seen James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster Titanic would remember the poignant scene of the elderly couple lying on the bed, tightly cuddled to each other, waiting for their death as the majestic ship sinks all around them.

While the role of the elderly couple was played by actors Lew Palter and Elsa Raven, James Cameron did not cook up this scene for dramatic purposes. They were a real couple who were madly in love with each other and preferred to die together.

The Strauss couple, Isidor and Ida Straus were 67 and 63 years respectively when the disaster happened. The couple was known for their great love and devotion to each other, and they were a shining example of self-sacrifice and devotion that shone through from the freezing darkness of that fateful night.

As Ida Straus to her husband Isidor Straus as she refused to board on Titanic’s lifeboat No.8 despite being pleaded multiple times.

“Where you go, I go”.

Isidor and Ida were last seen together on deck holding hands before a wave swept them both into the sea. Isidor’s body was recovered by the cable ship Mackay-Bennett and he was buried in New York’s Woodlawn Cemetery. Ida’s body was never recovered.

The couple was known for their great love and devotion to each other, and they were a shining example of self-sacrifice and devotion that shone through from the freezing darkness of that fateful night.

The couple was known for their great love and devotion to each other, and they were a shining example of self-sacrifice and devotion that shone through from the freezing darkness of that fateful night.

The Story of Isidor and Ida Straus

Isidor and Ida Straus were both German immigrants born in the 1840s who later immigrated to the United States with their families. Isidor married his soulmate Ida Blun in 1871, and the couple went on to have six children.

The Strauses were great travelers. They usually traveled everywhere together and even in Isidor’s business trips; Ida would be with him. Their love story was fresh and vibrant even after 40 years of marriage and they never could get enough of each other.

The year was 1912 and they were in Europe on a holiday and wanted to return to the US. They had planned to go back through another ship, but the wheels of misfortune made them chose the Titanic at the last minute.

Typical of Titanic’s wealthy passengers, the Strauses occupied multiple cabins (C-55-57) with ample space to accommodate Isidor’s manservant, John Farthing, and Ida’s maid, Ms. Ellen Bird. Ida was impressed by the grandeur of the Titanic as she could not stop gushing about it in her letters.

“But what a ship! So huge and magnificently appointed. Our rooms are furnished in the best of taste and most luxuriously and they are really rooms, not cabins. What an amazing experience!”

It was a fun experience for the Strauses who enjoyed every bit of the luxurious ship until the dark day of 15th April 1912 arrived, when the majestic Titanic finally sank in the cold Atlantic Ocean.

It was a fun experience for the Strauses who enjoyed every bit of the luxurious ship until the dark day of 15th April 1912 arrived, when the majestic Titanic finally sank in the cold Atlantic Ocean.

The Majestic Titanic Sunk

It was a fun experience for the Strauses who enjoyed every bit of the luxurious ship until the dark day of 15th April 1912 arrived, when the majestic Titanic finally sank in the cold Atlantic Ocean.

As the Titanic began sinking into the freezing ocean, women and children were ushered into lifeboats. As they belonged to the ‘elite’ class Isidor could travel with his wife Ida in lifeboat no 8. Isidor refused, saying.

“I will not go before the other men.”

Ida followed suit and came out of the boat saying that she won’t be separated from her husband. She gave her fur coat to her maid Ellen stating that she won’t need it and stood by her husband on the deck. Their friends namely Colonel Gracie and others tried to persuade her but she didn’t budge from her decision saying.

As we have lived, so will we die, together.”

Ida and Isidor were last seen on the deck holding each other’s arms. As per eyewitnesses’ accounts, their love was one of the ‘most remarkable exhibitions of love and devotion.’

The Strauses did have an unbreakable bond, and they really did choose to die together rather than leading lives without each other. This is called true love; pure, simple, and uncomplicated.

“Isidor wrapped his arms around her. Then, a great wave came over the port side of the ship and swept them both into the sea. That was the last time they were seen alive.”

“Isidor wrapped his arms around her. Then, a great wave came over the port side of the ship and swept them both into the sea. That was the last time they were seen alive.”

True Love Is Eternal

As the couple’s great-grandson, Straus family historian, and professor Paul Kurzman recalls their sacrifice.

“Isidor wrapped his arms around her. Then, a great wave came over the port side of the ship and swept them both into the sea. That was the last time they were seen alive.”

Isidor’s body was recovered, but the funeral service was delayed hoping that Ida’s body would also be found so that they could be buried together. Unfortunately, her body was never found. Ellen Bird, her maid survived the Titanic and died in 1949. John Farthing, the manservant’s body was lost with the ship and was never recovered.

Days later, more than 6,000 people gathered at Carnegie Hall in New York City for a memorial service in the Strauses’ honor. Today, a New York City park is named after the couple, and a sculpture is dedicated in their honor.

As Kurzman says.

“This is a love story and I hope that in a time when this world needs a little more love, a little more inspiration, the lasting story of Ida and Isidor Straus will give people hope.”

Sources

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Ravi Rajan

Comments

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on August 19, 2021:

Thanks Brenda

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on August 19, 2021:

Thanks, Rosina for your comments.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on August 19, 2021:

Ravi

That is a true love story.

You have written a wonderful tribute to them.

Rosina S Khan on August 19, 2021:

I have watched the movie "Titanic" several times at home and also at the cinema hall. But I didn't know about this strong love bond among the old couple onboard the ship. It truly is pathetic but the bond is hope for many although the couple died staying on the ship. Truly amazing.

Thank you, Ravi, for bringing us aware of this fact in the Titanic tragedy. Gratitude for the wonderful share.

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on August 19, 2021:

Thanks Peggy.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 19, 2021:

That is a beautiful love story. Thanks for sharing more details about it during the tragedy of the Titanic sinking.

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on August 19, 2021:

Thanks, Misbah for your kind comments.

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on August 19, 2021:

Thanks, Vidya for your comments.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on August 19, 2021:

Ravi, thanks a lot for sharing this beautiful and great love story. I have seen Titanic many times and I really enjoyed a lot reading your beautiful article.

Blessings always!!

VIDYA D SAGAR on August 19, 2021:

Thanks for sharing the true story of the Titanic, Ravi. It's a beautiful and sad love story. The quote at the end says it all. "When the world needs a little more love, the lasting story of Ida and Isidor Straus will give people hope.” So true.

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on August 19, 2021:

Thanks Bill

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 19, 2021:

Thanks for sharing their story, my friend.

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on August 19, 2021:

Thanks Charlene for your comments

Charlene Gallant from Cape Town, South Africa on August 19, 2021:

What a tragic love story! But wow what a great love, got me so emotional:(

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on August 19, 2021:

Yes, Miebakagh.True love is eternal and has no limits.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on August 19, 2021:

They bond is true love. It knows no divide.

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on August 18, 2021:

Thanks Chitrangada for your kind comments

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on August 18, 2021:

What a beautiful love story!

I have seen Titanic many times, and I do remember this couple. Thanks for sharing the detailed history about them. Loved the quote at the end.

This was a great read, Raviji! Thank you.

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on August 18, 2021:

Thanks Vanita for your kind comments

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on August 18, 2021:

Thanks Liz for your comments

Vanita Thakkar on August 18, 2021:

I have seen the movie Titanic in bits and pieces - on TV .... I am aware of the storyline though.

I loved reading about the great lover couple - Ida and Isidor Straus - very sad and inspiring real life story.

Thanks for sharing.

Liz Westwood from UK on August 18, 2021:

I recall the powerful image of the couple in the film. This is a fascinating article about a remarkable couple. It is interesting to learn more about them and to see how the film used poetic licence to alter their last moments alive.

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