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Two Orphans Thrown Aboard a Lifeboat

This article was published in the Yiddish-language Forward on April 21, 1912.

When the sailors had finished letting down the last lifeboat, a Frenchman ran to the edge of the deck with two children in his arms. In his desperation, he pleaded with the sailors and passengers in the lifeboat to take his children. The sailors didn’t understand his language, but they understood his desperation.

A hand reached out of the lifeboat toward him. The Frenchman threw one of the children toward it, and several pairs of hands caught the child. Then he threw the second child, who was caught by a sailor. The father was left on the deck of the ship, and in the next moment, he was swept away by a wave.

Mrs. [Margaret Bechstein] Hays, who was sitting in that lifeboat, gathered the children near her. They were two boys of 2 and 4 years of age. Mrs. Hays speaks French, and she tried to tell the children where they were, but without success.

Now, the youngsters play and are well-behaved, but they don’t understand the tragedy that has happened to them.

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