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Published 2022-02-25
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The Real Life Couple That Inspired The Titanic. A Bigger Love Story Than Jack And Rose?

If you’ve seen Titanic, chances are that one heartbreaking scene from the movie has stuck in your memory. The scene in question featured an elderly couple who as the ship went down, held each other close in bed as water began pouring in around them. As it turns out, James Cameron based many of the characters in the film on people who actually existed and this elderly couple is no exception. They were Ida and Isador Straus. Who exactly were they? And just how much of their story was true from the movie? Read on to find out.

Why Was The Couple On The Titanic?

Isidor and Ida Straus were returning to the United States after having spent some time in their native Germany. The pair were joined by Ida’s maid, Ellen Bird, and Isidor’s servant, John Farthing. According to reports, the pair were known to travel extensively and especially preferred German ships. Though on this occasion they decided to return home on the Titanic.

Who Were The Straus’?

The Straus’ were a wealthy couple and because of that they had the luxury of traveling first class and it was no different on the Titanic. In fact, reports suggest that they were among some of the wealthiest passengers on that luxurious ship. It is known that the couple traveled alone on rare occasions during their marriage. As for who they were, Isidor was aged 67 and he was a member of the U.S Congress and co-owner of Macy’s department store.

Could They Have Survived?

On that fateful night when the ship had hit the iceberg when it came to evacuation, the priorities were women and children. Although, according to the words of a relative of the Straus, they both had the opportunity to save themselves. On April 14th, 1912 when the Titanic began to sink into the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the two had the possibility to live. Paul A. Kurzman, their great-grandson had recounted that night by saying: “My great-grandmother Ida settled into the lifeboat hoping her husband would follow her. When he didn't follow, she became very concerned, and the ship's officer in charge of lowering that particular lifeboat said to him, 'Well, Mr. Straus, you're an old man...and we all know who you are... Of course, you can get in the lifeboat with your wife.'”

Making The Decision To Stay

Isidor Straus had given up his seat, refusing to enter a lifeboat, and wouldn’t do so "until I see that all the women and children aboard this ship are in a lifeboat". Ida after hearing that her beloved husband would not follow her, made a shocking decision that she would also give up her seat in that lifeboat, saying to Isidor: "Where you go, I go". In fact, it is said that this real-life event inspired the phrase "you jump, I jump" on the set of Titanic.

Their Fate

Ida's maid, Ellen, was taken into the lifeboat. Her employer, Ida, gave Ellen the elegant fur coat she was wearing at the time, telling her, "I won't need anymore. Please take this when you get into the lifeboat to keep you warm until you are rescued." The elderly couple was last seen on the deck of the ship, holding hands, before a giant wave plunged them into the sea. Unlike in the movie, they did not die in bed in each other's arms but met a much more tragic end.

via GIPHY

Aftermath Of The Sinking

Unfortunately, Ida's body was never recovered, but Isidor was found and buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in New York. Isador's servant, John Farthing, also plunged into the depths of the sea and his body was never recovered. Ellen Bird survived the sinking of the ship and died in 1949.

Well Documented Story

This true story was very well documented in the media at the time, after the catastrophic sinking. This documentation of this love story gave James Cameron the inspiration to somehow include the story of this couple in his film. It is also said that there was a deleted scene, Isidor tries to get Ida to get into the lifeboat without him. Ida reportedly responds to Isidor by telling him: "Where you go, I go. Don't argue with me Isidor, you know it's no use".

Titanic The Movie Touched Many

We all know that being a drama that transcended history, 'Titanic' would undoubtedly touch on the death of many people. James Cameron, however, took this opportunity to make mention of giving meaning to life, making it count day by day. Since he presented the possibility of analyzing the details of the shipwreck, thanks to technology; and in this case Rose who is the one who gives voice to the story. At this moment is where Cameron takes the opportunity to tell us that this is fiction and not a documentary.

The Future Of Movie Characters

In fact, let's remember that almost at the end of the movie we see photographs where Rose is shown making all the plans she said she would make with her beloved Jack. Therefore it can be interpreted that Jack in some non-physical way, accompanied her throughout her life, as a promise, of a love that did not prevent her from marrying or living fully after having to let him go, in the end, it is very touching how Jack was waiting for her all that time.

Did you know that the story of the older couple was real? Let us know in the comments and if you enjoyed this article do not hesitate to share it with your friends and leave a Like on our Facebook page!
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