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Starboard at Midnight
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For the sake of historical data and to refresh our minds, 'in 1912 the sinking of the Titanic began late on the night of April 14th. Information on the sinking Titanic indicates that the ship approached a massive iceberg, and although efforts were made to steer clear of the large frozen mass, all efforts were to no avail. Sadly, further records of the Titanic accident history indicate that the Titanic disaster may very well have been able to have been completely avoided had officers on ship paid heed to reports received earlier regarding the frozen waters they were approaching.' And as the narrator of the book states 'Survivors waited and waited for absolution that would never come. Helen Newsom and Karl H. Behr were amongst them. Karl was hailed as a rising tennis star, but when he survived the infamous sea-time disaster, his affiliation with guilt had little reckoning until he plunged into activism with Theodore Roosevelt. '
The Titanic incident could not have been more poorly timed as ti was in the timeframe of the smoldering and ultimately burning World War I: the tension between Germans of people of German ancestry was fragile at best.Read more ›
Using fictional techniques when necessary, Sanford movingly recounts the internal challenges Karl experienced and the resolve with which he fought them throughout his eventful life. The most poignant passages concern the guilt he experienced over being one of the few male survivors of the Titanic. Was it fate that he directed his fiancée's family to the starboard boat deck where boarding lifeboats was less restricted? Was it fate that his fiancée's mother asked the head of the White Star Line if Karl could join her in the lifeboat as Karl was in her party? Should he have declined? Since the lifeboat was not full, would someone else have been saved if he had? He was not a coward: he had faced down marauding Rurales and bandits in Mexico; held his own in adolescent street fights with "the Micks"; and later maintained his composure and patriotism despite the rampant anti-German discrimination of World War I America.Read more ›