Stories of Titanic passengers who were from Belarus

"Titanic" / Public Domain / Euroradio colorization

The story of the Titanic has attracted attention again 111 years later. It happened after the tragedy of the Titan submersible: a group of tourists wanted to see what was left of the legendary liner, but perished.

Did you know that some of the passengers of the Titanic were born on the territory of modern Belarus? Here's what we know about them.

A family from Vitsebsk, wanted to study to become doctors

Sinai and Miriam Kantor were born in Vitsebsk. At the time of the Titanic disaster, he was 34 and she was 25.

It is believed that both already had received education, but wanted to continue it in the United States. Miriam was interested in dentistry, and Sinai planned to attend a joint hospital near their future home in New York. He had a small business in Vitsebsk.

During the Titanic disaster, Sinai died. Miriam was saved, soon received American citizenship, and became Mary. Her fate is unknown.

Sinai's body was found and buried in New York. In 2018, his watch was auctioned for $57,500.

The girl from Mahiliou who sailed for her brother

Among the passengers who survived the wreck of the Titanic is Jenny Dropkin - she was born on June 20, 1887 in Mahiliou to a Jewish family. Jenny's name appears in American papers. She may have had a different name at birth.

Her older brother, Abraham, had emigrated to the United States in 1907, and she was on her way to join him. Before boarding the liner, the girl spent some time in London, where her relatives also lived.

Гісторыі пасажыраў "Тытаніка", якія былі родам з Беларусі
Jenny Dropkin and her husband / Titanic International Society / Euroradio collage

She survived the tragedy, arrived in the United States and a year later married a native of Daugavpils. They had several sons. Jenny died in 1951 as an American citizen.  

An emigrant visiting relatives

Solomon Banever was 42 years old in 1912. By that time he had lived in the United States for a long time, but he came to Europe to visit his family. The man was born in Vilnius, and in the documents indicated the city in the Polish version - "Wilno". This is not the territory of modern Belarus and not the Belarusian spelling, but we remember it because of the historical proximity and because at the beginning of the 20th century the Belarusian community in Vilnius was very active. As a bonus, so to speak.

Гісторыі пасажыраў "Тытаніка", якія былі родам з Беларусі
Rescue of the Titanic passengers/ U.S. National Archives / Euroradio colorization

"On April 10, his birthday, he boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a second-class passenger (ticket number 211535 for £13). "Solomon Banever died during the sinking, and the body, if found, has never been identified," reports Encyclopedia Titanica.  

And the Belarusian who helped uncover the disaster

Another Belarusian, David Sarnoff, is associated with the Titanic disaster. He was born in the village of Uzlyany (Pukhavichy district) and moved to the United States with his family as a child. When he grew up, he started working for a telegraph company.

On the night of the disaster, April 14, 1912, when he was 21 years old, David received a radio telegram about the sinking of the liner "Titanic" and for three days kept in touch with the rescuers, helping to get information about the survivors and the dead and tell it to the world.

Subsequently, Sarnoff invested a lot in the creation of regular television broadcasting in the United States, and in time and space communication systems.

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