Titanic was released in 1997 and immediately ignited a new wave of interest in the disaster and the stories of the people who were on board.
The passengers from the Molly Brown became very famous for the stories of their escape from the ship. But, before we had a Jack and Rose, the Strauses were famous as the original love story of the Titanic disaster.
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So, Isidor Straus who moved to America from Germany, made a name for himself very quickly. He and his brother Nathan, started selling crockery in the basement of New York’s famous Macy’s department store. They became partners and then owners of the store.
Soon, the business made Straus one of the wealthiest men in America but still, nothing made him happier than his wife Ida. They had 7 children together (one dies as an infant) and were madly in love with one another.
The days that the two were apart they would write a letter to each other. Their grandson actually has a collection of their letters and thinks that they were together for all but 10 days while they were married.
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That kind of love makes the tragedy that happened on the Titanic more awful. The pair wanted to spent the winter of 1911-12 in Europe and then booked a trip back home to New York . They were traveling first class on the RMS Titanic. The tickets costed $60,000 each in today’s money.
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While passengers swarmed to the lifeboats, women and children were boarding first. At first, Ida got on the boat thinking that her husband would follow her, but she immediately got off when she realized he would be staying behind.
She gave her seat and expensive fur coat to her maid and said: “I will not go before the other men,” according to another survivor. A lot of other passengers tried to convince her to change her mind but no one could make her leave her husband’s side.
Source: Gotham Magazine
“I will not be separated from my husband,” she said. “As we have lived, so will we die, together.” And so they did.
The couple were last seen arm in arm on the ship’s deck just waiting for their fate. Their love story hit the newspaper only hours after the crash and so it inspired people around the world. Next time you re-watch Titanic, pay attention: they are the couple landing in bed together as water floods the ship.
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Isidor’s body is buried in the Bronx’s Woodlawn Cemetry with the inscription from the Song of Solomon: “Many waters cannot quench love—neither can the floods drown it.” As for Ida, her body was never found.